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toys

The 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Everyone has their own idea of the perfect holiday. Some like to cook up a storm, others head for the hills. And then there are those for whom holidays mean dressing up and hitting every fabulous party. No matter how you like to wile away the time, our holiday gift guide has you covered.

Party Time

Diamond Earrings at Howard Fine Jewellers, 220 Sparks St.

Sparkle like a red-carpet star with these stunning dangle earrings, which feature round and yellow enhanced diamonds. $19,500.

Dirty Jokes at Stomping Ground, 728 Bank St.

Take your cocktail party banter to a new level with this collection of adult jokes. $11

Ace Face Shoes at John Fluevog Shoes, 61 William St.

These fancy lace-up derbys by the celebrated Canadian designer will ensure that you step out in style. $349.

Appliqué Minaudière Purse at Nordstrom50 Rideau St.

Add texture and shine to an evening outfit with this pint-sized purse. $169.

Silk Ties at E.R. Fisher199 Richmond Rd.

Dion neckwear has been making high-quality silk ties ($95-$135) and pocket rounds ($65) out of Toronto for 40 years.

Cook

Cheese Board at Boogie & Birdie, 256 Elgin St.

Show your national pride with this made-in-Canada bamboo cheese board. $106.

Reusable Bags at terra201304 Wellington St. W.

Be a wise owl and use these cute reusable bags, which come in a package of two. $15.

Japanese Blade at Knifewear, 800 Bank St.

The Mugen Santoku is a multi-purpose knife perfect for slicing, dicing, and mincing vegetables. $500.

Wood Finish at Maker House Company, 987 Wellington St. W.

Enhance and protect your wooden utensils and cutting boards with this all-natural beeswax product. $8.

Food Storage at The Chef’s Paradise1314 Bank St.

This alternative to plastic wrap uses the heat of your hand to create a seal. $30.

Play

Mountaineering Board Game by Family Pastimes

Watch for avalanches, overcome frostbite, and grapple with other challenges in this cooperative, locally-made board game. $21.

Poop Coaster at Maker House Company, 987 Wellington St. W.

This coaster protects furniture — and lets guests know you’re not that uptight. $22. 

Good Gorilla at The Modern Shop, 541 Sussex Dr.

Hanno the gorilla can hold poses and hook onto furniture, bringing a touch of fun to any space. $150.

Snoopy Backpack at Simons, 50 Rideau St.

This Peanuts backpack by Vans features a padded back and adjustable strap. $45.

Phone Case at Boogie & Birdie, 256 Elgin St.

Is it mixed tape or mix tape? Regardless, transform your iPhone into an icon with this throwback case. $36.

Cozy Up

Earmuffs at the Hudson’s Bay Company50 Rideau St.

These faux fur earmuffs from the Canadian Olympic Team Collection feature a cozy knit headband. Also available in red. $30.

Box of Chocolates by Bernard Callebaut314 Richmond Rd.

This collection features handcrafted chocolates, five of which are award winners. $24.

Grand Teapot at Le Creuset517 Sussex Dr.

This teapot has a capacity of four cups — so your reading (or Netflix-binging) time won’t be interrupted by the need to put the kettle on. $60.

Canadian Club 40 YO at the LCBO, various locations

Toast Canada’s 150th with limited-edition Canadian Club Whisky that has been aged for 40 years. $250. 

Wool Blanket at The Opinicon1697 Chaffeys Lock Rd.

Handmade in Canada, this 100 per cent virgin wool blanket is the same one that graces the beds at the historical Opinicon Resort. $195.

Explore

Weatherproof Pad at Lee Valley, 900 Morisson Dr.

The Rite in the Rain notebook will not absorb water, nor will it curl or wrinkle. $9.50.

Craft Beer at the LCBO, various locations

Get adventurous with your tastebuds with beer from Ontario’s Collective Arts and Flying Monkeys. About $3.

Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket at Bushtukah, 203 Richmond Rd.

This lightweight down winter jacket is ideal for when the temperatures drop and weight is a concern. $350.

Eton Grundig Executive Satellite Radio at MEC, 366 Richmond Rd.

This device receives AM, FM, long and shortwave, VHF, marine, and HAM signals. $200.

The Bripe at Equator Coffee Roasters, 412 Churchill Ave. N.

You don’t want to lug a coffee pot to the great outdoors but need a caffeine fix. This copper apparatus and its kit allows the user to brew up an espresso in just a few minutes. $99.

Hot Shopping

By Suzanne Rent

dart-gallery-4-resized

FOR THE LOVE OF ART

Lovers of local art will enjoy the offerings at The Dart Gallery on Portland Street in Dartmouth. Owner Jane MacDougald sources local artwork such as paintings, pottery, jewelry, and collectibles. The gallery also hosts art shows. Art consultation services, installation, and lease-to-purchase financing options available.

STOP AND SHOP

Mic Mac Mall

Mic Mac Mall

• With more than 120 stores, Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth offers a variety of high-end retailers and special services perfect for seasonal shopping, anchored by iconic department store The Bay. Three floors of shops includes American Eagle Outfitters, Bath and Bodyworks, Lush, and Forever 21.
• Situated in the West End, Halifax Shopping Centre is the city’s largest shopping mall with 160 stores and services. Shop for a winter wardrobe at Banana Republic, American Eagle Outfitters, or Cleo. Find matching shoes and handbag at Aldo, Naturalizer, or Coach. One-stop-holiday shopping for everyone on your gift list.

GIFTS WITH PURPOSE

Jennifer's of Nova Scotia

Jennifer’s of Nova Scotia

P’lovers, with locations on South Park Street in Halifax and Queen Street in Dartmouth, is the perfect destination for the shopper who likes to make purchases that are sensitive to the Earth. The product line includes eco-friendly art, clothing, books, stationary, home décor, jewelry, and items for the outdoors.
• Since 1978, Jennifer’s of Nova Scotia on Spring Garden Road has been a big supporter of Atlantic Canadian artisans who make unique gifts and works of art. The selection includes pottery, glass, wood, pewter, jewelry, and food; you’re sure to find something special for everyone on your holiday shopping list.

STORY SELLERS

Woozles

Woozles

Woozles on Birmingham Street is Canada’s oldest children’s bookstore. It boasts shelves of books that inspire any imagination. Titles include those for baby’s first year of reading to those for young adults. Beyond books, Woozles hosts Battle of the Books, book clubs, book fairs, and more.
• For comic lovers, Strange Adventures, Comics and Curiosities on Prince Street in Halifax is a treasure trove of new and old comics, games, clothing, toys, and more. The award-winning comic book store also hosts Free Comic Book Day.

FULL OF FLAVOUR

Liquid Gold

Liquid Gold

For the foodie on your shopping list, find savoury gifts of olive oil and vinegars at Liquid Gold in The Hydrostone and Sunnyside Mall in Bedford. All of the oils in store are ultra premium and made with the best crops in any season. The balsamic vinegars are made in a family-owned facility in Moderna, Italy. Pestos, tapenades, mustards, and confits will help finish off the shopping for any choosy cook.

EDITOR’S CHOICEFreak-Lunchbox-Exterior-South-2-resized

For gifts for those with a sweet tooth and a huge sense of fun, visit Freak Lunchbox at its Barrington Street location in Halifax or in Sunnyside Mall in Bedford. This colourful store is bursting with nostalgic novelties such as Pez and Pop Shoppe. Grab a bag of bulk candies in myriad varieties or check out the bobbleheads of cultural icons.

 

4 Favourite Canmore Shops

By Where Staff

Photo: Olivia Grecu

Photo: Olivia Grecu

Hello Vintage
Why We Love It: Eclectic Style

Want to wear retro but not look over-the-top? Ashley Witts at Hello Vintage advises: “You really only need one piece for unique flair.” Pair funky cowboy boots or a vintage t-shirt with your favourite jeans for a signature look.

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May Hot Shopping

By Suzanne Rent

LOCALLY MADE

Made in the Maritimes

Made in the Maritimes

•For an eclectic mix of local, Canadian and international jewellery and accessories, visit Bedazzled in its new location in Sunnyside Mall in Bedford. Find unique and exquisite designers by artisans such as Earth Goddess, Arcane Angel, Myka and Tori XO.

Bedazzled

Bedazzled

Made in the Maritimes Artisan Boutique brings to its new location in Sunnyside Mall contemporary, high-quality products for its clientele. All of the products, which include woodwork, jewellery, glass art, toys and more, are made in the region.

 

SPRING SHOPPING

HfxShoppingCentre-3-web

Find the latest in spring styles at Halifax Shopping Centre, the largest shopping complex in Halifax. Retailers include Coach, Banana Republic, Victoria’s Secret, Sephora and Roots. Anchored by Sears, and the annex across the street is home to Winners and Wal-Mart.

FINE DESIGN

Art-Zone-2-web

•Art lovers will appreciate Art Zone Fine Arts Gallery on Barrington Street, which showcases some of the best of local talent by providing them a space to display their work. The gallery also hosts monthly shows, workshops and artist talks and more.

•For hand-crafted local treasures, visit The Bogside Gallery in the Hydrostone Market on Young Street. The elegant and whimsical art, made by artisans from Nova Scotia and around Atlantic Canada, make for great gifts or décor for your own home.

BEST OF THE EAST

Drala-web

Drala on Grafton Street is the city’s home to supplies for a contemplative lifestyle. Find Asian-inspired décor items and gifts, as well as meditation cushions and supplies, beeswax candles, Japanese teas and buckwheat hull pillows.

MEMENTO

Cool-Moose-3-web

•For fun and casual custom clothing, visit Cool as a Moose in the Historic Properties on Upper Water Street. Outfit the whole family with hoodies, sweats, pajamas and t-shirts, all of which are emblazoned with the store’s logo.

•Located on the rocks of Peggy’s Cove next to Nova Scotia’s most famous lighthouse, the Sou’wester carries a large mix of souvenirs for anyone visiting the province. Finds include kilts, postcards, sweatshirts, and giftware made my local artisans. You can also find books that explore local history and folklore. Visit the restaurant for a treat like lobster or gingerbread.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

RumRunners-web

For one-of-a-kind shopping, visit The Piazza at Bishop’s Landing on Lower Water Street. Find a dinner wine at Bishop’s Cellar and dessert at Sugah or Rum Runners Rum Cake Factory. Pick up a new outfit at Unicorn and accessories at Frida Custom Jewellery Design or Pearl City.

5 Top Shops for Kids’ Toys in Toronto

Toronto Kids Toys Monster Factory

Inventive kids toys like Monster Factory plush characters are sold at Kol Kid

Looking for a special children’s gift to bring back from your trip to Toronto? Look no further than our picks for the top Toronto toy stores.

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Hot Shopping: Send for the Super Heroes

Strange Adventures appeared in an issue of "Superman."

Strange Adventures on Sackville Street is simply one of the coolest stores in downtown Halifax. The little subterranean shop is jammed floor to ceiling with comics, games, books, toys and action figures. Reader’s Digest called it “Canada’s Best Comic Store” and it appeared in an issue of Superman.

Hot Shopping: Think Outside the (Toy) Box

Pirate ship from Nest.

This beautiful pirate ship will remind you of a time before video games. Designed by a German toy boat and model company that has been in business since the late 19th century, this vessel is constructed from wood grown in sustainably managed forests and decorated with non-toxic paints. Even better, it actually floats and is suited for outdoor play, so with summer (hopefully!) just around the corner, the kids will have a blast trying it out on water. Available at the charming children’s store Nest. $95. 204 Dalhousie St., 613-241-7333.

Hot Shopping: Meet the Makers

Avril Loreti offers Toronto-landmark napkins at the One of a Kind Show

MARCH 31 TO APRIL 4 For five fantastic days, spring shoppers are invited to indulge acquisitive urges by perusing the wares of more than 450 Canadian artisans at the One of
a Kind Spring Show and Sale. Though housed in a massive exhibition hall, this is no department store shopping excursion: face-to-face interaction with the creators of handcrafted jewellery, clothing, home decor pieces, visual art, toys, organic food items and beauty products adds a personal touch—the makers are often eager to share the stories behind their unique goods. Among the pick-up possibilities are charming hats by This is J, aromatherapy candles from Golden Goose Naturals and napkins with local landmarks by Avril Loreti. Exhibition Place, Direct Energy Centre, $6.50 to $12; call 416-960-4515 or check out this site for more information and tickets.