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souvenirs

Holiday Gift Guide – Souvenirs

Explore Toronto’s fantastic shopping scene to find gifts for friends, family and anyone else on your list.

Toronto subway buttons ($2 each)
Spacing store, 401 Richmond St. W., spacingstore.ca

View a slideshow of great clothing items and other cozy gift ideas:

Calgary Souvenirs Get An Upgrade

By HANNA DEEVES

Hand-turned birch bowl by Ken Hawtin of Ardrossan AB. Available at Galleria Inglewood. Photo Courtesy Galleria Inglewood

If you are looking for a little more than T-Shirts and tiny bottles of maple syrup to bring back home after visiting our beautiful city, try checking out these spots. Even locals are sure to find something to show off their Calgarian spirit. (more…)

Local Colour

By Joelle Kidd
Photos by Ian McCausland

Move over minimalism: Winnipeg retailers are ushering in spring with bold and bright hues.

Speedy In Pink

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Little speed demons will be off in a flash on a mini racecar from local fashion and gift shop, Moulé. $250. 443 Academy Rd, 204‑488‑1891, moulestores.com

Dreamy Decor

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With glassware, art pieces, and garden accessories straight from Mexico, stepping into La Bodega Imports offers the festive takeaways of a sun-drenched vacation. Keep the party going with confetti glass margarita, rocks, and wine glasses. $14.95 each. 955 PortageAve, 204-772-4331, labodegaimports.com

Colourful Kitchen

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Scoop N’ Weigh has items for the discerning gourmand alongside quality bulk specialty food. These bright kitchen torches make caramelizing cute. $29.99. 1770 Taylor Ave, 204‑489‑1031, scoopnweigh.com

Culture Cred

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Find Indigenous art and craft pieces at Teekca’s Aboriginal Boutique. Make a style statement with reading glasses sporting chic designs by First Nations artist Corrine Hunt. $39.95. The Forks Market, 204‑946‑0539, teekcasboutique.ca

Sock It To Me

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While stocking up for outdoor fun at Royal Sports, pick out a pair of silly socks to show off your quirky side. Burton, sizes s/m and m/l, $27.96-$29.95. 750 Pembina Hwy, 204-453-7437, facebook

Plugged In

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Exchange District shop UN Luggage is the place to go for travel solutions, like smart, stackable 4-in-1 travel adapters that prepare jet setters for any situation. $32. 175 McDermot Ave, 204‑943‑1068, unluggage.com

Bright Blooms

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Start the growing season at Shelmerdine, which boasts an expansive greenhouse and retail space with products for green thumbs. Kneelo pads with memory foam technology give gung-ho gardeners a comfy place to plant. $44.99. 7800 Roblin Blvd, 204-895-7203, shelmerdine.com

Red Is Best

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Sweet shop for nature lovers, the Preferred Perch, adds some nutty fun to the kitchen with this bright red squirrel nutcracker. $21.99. 1604 St Mary’s Rd, 204‑257‑3724, thepreferredperch.ca

More Winnipeg Shopping Stories:

Where to Shop Downtown
Top 5 Spring Fashion Finds
Where to Shop on Corydon

Montreal Bagels: The Delicious 93-Year-Old Institution No Visitor Should Miss

Montreal Bagel

Montreal Bagel: a thing of chewy beauty (Photo: Resident on Earth)

Montreal bagels get at the heart of civic pride in Quebec’s largest city. Like Montreal itself, these delicious treats are unique in the world, and locals identify not only with what flavour they prefer, but also which bake shops they frequent. Merely mentioning the word “bagel” can provoke an extreme reaction.

A quick tip to avoid conflict: don’t compare Montreal bagels to the New York version. The former is chewier than the latter, and is prepared differently. The process begins by kneading flour, malt and eggs (no yeast or salt here), forming a large ring out of the dough, and boiling it in honey water. They are then baked in a wood-fired brick oven on a long stick. The result is a bagel that is never perfectly circular or evenly browned. Compared to the New York version, Montreal bagels are thin, slightly crisp, and have a large hole. As a friend once explained, “It’s not a bun, it’s a bagel.” (more…)

Indulge: Five Luxury Items that are Worth the Splurge

Shopping

Treat yourself to a day of indulgence in the nation's capital.

You work hard, it’s time to enjoy yourself! From small splurges to big-ticket items, we’ve highlighted five luxury items that — bonus — also make great souvenirs from your trip to Ottawa.

ROAD TO RELAXATION
Nothing says luxury like taking time for yourself (why is that?). In this day and age of smartphones, laptops, and nonstop digital communication, there is no greater feeling than turning off and tuning out to curl up with a magazine. The glossy pages, beautiful photographs, and scintillating stories offer an escape — if only for a little while. Whether you’re reading fodder for the mind or guilty pleasure rags, this act (and its inexpensive price) is one of life’s simplest pleasures. While in Ottawa, a trip to Mags & Fags on Elgin Street is a must. In business for 30 years, this shop carries 4,000 magazine titles that range from obscure and special interest to mainstream favourites. 254 Elgin St., 613-233-9651.

koko chocolates: delicious, rich, and local, too!

GO GOURMET
Local chocolatier Jen Winter has created quite a reputation for her gourmet sweets, koko chocolates. A perfectly grown-up treat that won’t break the bank, her tasty truffles have creamy ganache centres and are dipped or molded in premium Belgian chocolate. Find fine flavours such as Thai Chili, Triple Chocolate, Margarita, Passion Fruit, and more, as well as seasonal offerings. Retails for about $5.25-$6.50 per 3-piece sleeve. Available at The Candy Store, 350 Richmond Rd. in Westboro, and several other locations in Ottawa.
(more…)

Pic-Bois Maple Vinegar, Quebec

By Kat Tancock

If you’re a maple lover, you’re probably already using the syrup on more than just pancakes: on top of plain yogurt, added to salad dressings or as a natural sweetener for your morning oatmeal. But if you’re ready to take things up a notch, reach for a bottle of the latest kid on the maple shelf: sweet and sour maple vinegar from Brigham, Quebec’s Cabane du Pic-Bois. (more…)

Érablière Escuminac Birch Syrup, Quebec

By Kat Tancock

Maple syrup is a potent symbol of Canadiana and a key staple in many of our nation’s pantries. But what you may not know is that the sugar maple doesn’t have a monopoly on the business of sweet sap. A growing industry is making use of birch trees to produce a similar sugary nectar.

Like maple syrup, birch syrup is produced by tapping mature trees—usually 30 to 70 years old, and at least 10 inches in diameter—in early spring, then evaporating and filtering the sap before bottling. Érablière Escuminac, in the Gaspésie region of Quebec, currently taps 6,000 trees annually, though the property has the capacity to harvest from up to 25,000 as demand increases. (more…)

Saskatoon Berry Jams, Syrups and Pies

By Kat Tancock

Saskatoon berries, also called juneberries, are antioxidant-rich, sweet blue-purple berries with (edible) seeds.

Though the berries grow elsewhere in the northwestern US and western Canada, the Canadian Prairies are where you’ll find most of the world’s commercial production of Saskatoons, and in Okotoks, Alberta, about 20 km south of Calgary, you’ll find the Saskatoon Farm, home to 50 acres of pick-your-own saskatoon berries, usually ready in mid-July. (more…)

Hot Shopping: T.O. Coasters

A souvenir of your Toronto trip need not be kitschy. Take home a sophisticated birch plywood coaster map of the city, which can double as a show-and-tell tool as you inform family and friends of the fantastic restaurants along Eglinton Avenue, the luxe shopping on Bloor Street or your adventures on the Toronto Islands. A set of four “I Kinda Like it Here” coasters is $40; available at Russet and Empire.