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Where to Shop Toronto

The Union Station Holiday Market Pops Up with Gift Ideas

TRAIN TRAVELLERS HAVE A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO PICK UP LOCALLY MADE GIFTS FROM THE UNION STATION HOLIDAY MARKET

Union Station Holiday Market Toronto

Last year’s Union Station Holiday Market added to the rail hub’s seasonal bustle

NOVEMBER 30 TO DECEMBER 20  The country’s busiest transportation hub, Union Station, is about to get busier. Not only does it welcome thousands of commuters and visitors daily, it’s also undergoing a massive revitalization. And just in time for the gift-giving season, after a successful debut last year, the Toronto Market Co. is bringing back the Union Station Holiday Market. Pop-up stalls with approximately 35 specialty vendors are set to congregate at the station’s recently refurbished outdoor plaza along Front Street. (Never fear, weather watchers, the shopping takes place within climate-controlled tents.) Take note of great goods from Foxy Originals, Sea and Lake Paper Co., The Honest Leaf, Yo Sox, Tuck Shop Trading Co., Desmond and Beatrice, and others. Open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.  —Linda Luong

• Union Station Holiday Market, 65 Front St. W.; unionstationholidaymarket.com

Our 2015 Toronto Holiday Gift Guide

OUR TORONTO HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE ENSURES EVERYONE ON YOUR “NICE” LIST CAN UNWRAP A SMILE OR TWO. THESE 55 PRESENTS ARE GREAT FOR CRAFTY FRIENDS, COOL KIDS, DESERVING CO-WORKERS AND MORE. DON’T FORGET TO PICK UP A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF!

Toronto-Holiday-Gift-Guide-2015-Coworker-Gifts

HOLIDAY GIFTS FOR WORKER BEES
Perfect for your favourite co-workers, these gifts help make the 9-to-5 of career-minded individuals run more smoothly with pretty and practical organizational tools to keep track of meetings and deadlines, while fun desktop accessories are great for personalizing a cubicle. And because commuting is still part of most professionals’ daily grind, we’ve also added a few thoughtful items to make getting to and from work a bit more pleasant.

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How to Navigate the One of a Kind Show Like a Pro

NOW THAT OUR LIST OF FAVOURITE ONE OF A KIND SHOW VENDORS HAS WHET YOUR APPETITE FOR HOLIDAY SHOPPING, HERE ARE FIVE TIPS TO HELP YOU VISIT THE ONE OF A KIND SHOW—THE CONSUMER CRAFT EXPO OPENS NOVEMBER 26—WITHOUT GETTING OVERWHELMED

The entrance to the One of a Kind Show at the Enercare Centre

The entrance to the One of a Kind Show at Toronto’s Enercare Centre

1 Dress appropriately. The Enercare Centre is a massive space and the One of a Kind Show fills a significant amount of the building. The show floor is concrete, so wear comfortable shoes. You don’t want to have to cut your shopping short because of aching feet. Also, it’s likely cold outside and you’ve donned a heavy winter coat, scarf, hat and gloves to get to the show; take advantage of the coat check and offload some layers. (I don’t know about you, but being overheated makes me cranky.) Alternatively, if you drive to the show, park underground for direct access to the Enercare Centre—and the opportunity to leave your outerwear in the car.

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The One of a Kind Show is Back!

THE EVER-POPULAR ONE OF A KIND SHOW & SALE RETURNS TO TORONTO JUST IN TIME FOR THE GIFT-GIVING SEASON

One of a Kind Show Toronto Enercare Centre

NOVEMBER 26 TO DECEMBER 6  Twice a year, Canadian artisans draw consumers seeking unique gifts for themselves as well as for family and friends to the Enercare Centre (formerly called the Direct Energy Centre) for the One of a Kind Show & Sale. Don some comfy walking shoes to peruse crafty wares from more than 800 vendors, whose expansive offerings include gourmet jams, ceramics, jewellery, clothing, photography, paintings, glassware and greeting cards. Among the highlights are handmade dolls and toys by Bubynao, butter tarts in a jar by Shut Ur Pie Hole, cooking and cocktail bitters by Really Horrible Enterprise, and children’s apparel made from reclaimed wool by Woodwater. On December 3, shoppers can enjoy extended retail hours until 11 p.m.  —Linda Luong

• One of a Kind Show & Sale, Enercare Centre, 100 Princes’ Blvd.; oneofakindshow.com
• Map and reviews

Unique Advent Calendars Count Down to Christmas

TORONTO RETAILERS’ UNIQUE ADVENT CALENDARS OFFER MORE THAN JUST A CHOCOLATE A DAY

Unique Advent Calendars 2015 Toronto

A German tradition dating to the 19th century, advent calendars typically contain 24 “windows,” one for each day from December 1 to 24. A window is opened daily to reveal a surprise, making the long countdown to December 25 a little easier to endure. While the original versions contained Bible verses or prayers, modern renditions commonly contain chocolate or candy; some more unique advent calendars contain toys, trinkets and even more adult-oriented items. These contemporary calendars, featuring a range of fun, flavourful and functional gifts, are sure to make the entire holiday season special for everyone.

1 Squish 24 Days of Gummies, $29, Hudson’s Bay (Queen Street location only)

2 12 Teas of Christmas, $30, David’s Tea

3 Benefit Cosmetics Party Poppers, $58, Sephora

4 Star Wars advent calendar, $49.99, Lego

5 Winter village advent calendar, $25, Purdy’s

6 Beauty advent calendar, $69, The Face Shop

7 Charlotte Tilbury’s Book of Makeup Magic, $250, Holt Renfrew (Bloor Street location only)

—Linda Luong

You Are Here: Eat, Shop & Explore in Yorkville

LOOK BEYOND THE BIG BRANDS ON BLOOR STREET AND YOU’LL DISCOVER YORKVILLE’S ECLECTIC MIX OF LOCALLY OWNED UPPER-TIER BOUTIQUES, GALLERIES AND RESTAURANTS

Axe and Hatchet Toronto Yorkville

Axe and Hatchet Grooming Club

1 Throw a stone in Yorkville and you’ll hit a highly credentialed salon; the pickings are slimmer for men in need of a new ‘do. Fortunately there is Axe & Hatchet, an unpretentious “grooming club” for perfectly executed old-school haircuts and shaves. 101 Yorkville Ave., 416-901-3634; axeandhatchet.com

2 Part of an elite group of spas highlighting treatments and products by Swiss brand Valmont, Spa at the Hazelton is one of Toronto’s most intimate retreats for facials, massages and more. 118 Yorkville Ave., 416-963-6307; thehazeltonhotel.com/spa

3 Esteemed fashion plates George and Lisa Corbo curate trendy ready-to-wear attire for both sexes at George C, one of the couple’s three unique Yorkville boutiques. 21 Hazelton Ave., 416-962-1991; georgec.ca

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Toronto Brand Nobis Gets You Outfitted for Winter

GET LUXURIOUSLY WARM WITH COATS AND APPAREL FROM NOBIS’S RECENTLY OPENED TORONTO FLAGSHIP STORE

Nobis Toronto Coats

Canadian winters can be rough. With temperatures that occasionally dip to –40 degrees Celsius, plus wind chills, lake effect snow and more, it’s enough to make anyone consider hibernation. Thus, a good jacket is essential for any Canuck—and those visiting our northern climate. Enter Nobis, a Toronto-based company with a loyal international following. Though its outerwear is available throughout the city, the company opened its first North American store earlier this summer. The Queen West space houses the luxury brand’s comprehensive line of coats, accessories and knitwear for men and women. Named for the Latin term “us,” the company is known for its 100 per cent Canadian down-filled multi-functional jackets in iconic silhouettes. Look for such design features as removable hoods, pit-zip vents, interior zip stash pockets, two-way zippers and elastic rib cuffs with thumbhole openings.  —Linda Luong

• Nobis, 360 Queen St. W., 416-979-8886; nobis.ca
Map and reviews

10 Must-See Artists at the One of a Kind Show in Toronto

OUR PRIMER ON THE MUST-VISIT VENDORS—AND OUR FAVOURITE PRODUCTS FROM EACH—AT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON’S ONE OF A KIND SHOW IN TORONTO

Holiday photo booth props from Love Lettering

Holiday photo booth props from Love Lettering are among this year’s top artist-made finds at the One of a Kind Show in Toronto

The One of a Kind Show returns to Toronto from November 26 to December 6, and it’s one of my favourite things to do in in the city every year (fortunately for me, it takes place twice annually!). It’s become a perennial girls’ day on my calendar, and the holiday edition is naturally where I get the jump on Christmas shopping for family, friends, and well, myself! The show, of course, is enormous, with hundreds of artists and craftspeople selling high-quality goods. To get you started, here are 10 of my all-time favourite returning One of a Kind Show vendors.

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Find Affordable Fine-Art Photos at Lumas Gallery in Yorkville

INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY LUMAS BRINGS AFFORDABLE ART PRINTS TO TORONTO

Lumas Gallery Toronto Photography Prints

A small sampling of the many fine-art photographic prints available through Lumas Gallery in Toronto

The idea that art should be accessible to everyone is espoused by pretty much, well, everyone. But it’s a belief that’s not always borne out in practice. Lumas, however, walks the proverbial walk: the Berlin-based chain of concept galleries, now boasting its first Toronto location, specializes in hand-signed original photographs by a roster of more than 160 emerging and established international artists. The hook? By producing limited editions of 75 to 150 prints, each Lumas-represented work can be sold at a fraction of the cost of a more exclusive five- or 10-print run. Thus, aspiring art owners can discover pieces by emerging image-makers for as low as $150, and at a slightly higher price point, exceptional shots by top-tier photographers like Edward Steichen, Erich Lessing and Cecil Beaton.  —Craig Moy

• Lumas Gallery, 159 Yorkville Ave., 416-928-9200; ca.lumas.com
• Map and reviews

Grab Graphic Goods at Nuvango

VISUALLY MINDED RETAILER NUVANGO FEATURES FUNKY CLOTHES, CELL PHONE SKINS AND MORE ON QUEEN WEST

NUVANGO TORONTO QUEEN WEST

Art and fashion converge, with bold results, at a new Queen West shop. Claiming it’s “part gallery and part goods,” Nuvango is rooted in creative expression of all forms. The store’s first floor showcases artist-designed products ranging from funky graphic T-shirts, leggings and tank tops for men and women to throw pillows, prints, canvases and skins for tech gear like cell phones, laptops, tablets and more. (The brand was founded in 2005 as GelaSkins, a line of protective covers for iPods and other gadgets.) The second level is a dedicated gallery space with rotating exhibits by local and international artists; the likes of Sam Shuter, Justin Pape and Sarah Joncas have previously displayed their works.  —Linda Luong

• Nuvango, 639 Queen St. W., 416-955-7986; nuvango.com
Map and reviews

The Urban Tea Merchant Pops Up at Holt Renfrew Yorkdale

GET LUXE URBAN TEA MERCHANT OFFERINGS AT HOLT RENFREW—JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON

Urban Tea Merchant Holt Renfrew Yorkdale Toronto

A preeminent tea brand finds a (temporary) home at the city’s foremost luxury department store. The Urban Tea Merchant exclusive Canadian distributor of the prestigious TWG Tea brand, has opened a pop-up boutique at the Yorkdale location of Holt Renfrew. The airy space carries a well-curated selection of beautifully packaged tea and accompanying accessories, such as hand-blown glass tea pots, fine bone china tea cups and saucers, tins, trays, creamers and sugar bowls. Knowledgeable “tea ambassadors” can provide expert advice and guidance for selecting from the dozens of varieties, such as jasmine, chai, green, black, Darjeeling and Earl Grey.  —Linda Luong

• Holt Renfrew, Yorkdale Shopping Centre, 3401 Dufferin St., 416-789-5377; holtrenfrew.com
Map and reviews

Sherway Gardens’ Expansion a Boon for Jewellery Buyers

NEW RETAILERS AT THE RENOVATED SHERWAY GARDENS BOAST MANY PRESTIGIOUS BAUBLE BRANDS

Sherway Gardens Chopard L'Oro Jewellery Toronto

A new 210,000-square-foot expansion at Sherway Gardens brings several new stores to the shopping centre at Toronto’s western border, including a pair of luxury jewellery boutiques. Family-owned mini-chain L’Oro is renowned for its customer service, and carries such prestigious brands as Jaquet Droz, Glashutte Original, Bremont and Bell & Ross; Longines and Omega are each represented by shop-in-shops. Adjacent is the first Canadian storefront for Swiss company Chopard—and the sumptuously designed rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and watches from the brand’s varied collections, including Happy Fish, Happy Sport and Mille Miglia GTS.  —Linda Luong

• Sherway Garden, 25 The West Mall, 416-621-1070; cfshops.com
Map and reviews