The best holiday gifts for culture vultures

Including three CanCon memoirs, a T-shirt for the nudist in your life and a Barbie-inspired psychedelic hoodie

All products featured on this page were selected by Toronto Life’s editors. However, when you purchase an item through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

A24 Brendan Fraser zine

Brendan Fraser zine

The ’90s called—and they’re as thrilled about the Brendan-aissance as we are. Issue 20 of A24’s zine series is devoted to the Encino Man himself, with an introduction by The Whale director Darren Aronofsky. $8.25

The cover of D is for Dreidel, a kids primer on Hanukkah. It features two kids playing with dreidels in front of a fireplace.

Hanukkah alphabet book

We love this primer on the festival of lights, featuring retro-cool illustrations of latkes, menorahs and, of course, dreidels. The Hanukkah-bedecked mid-century interiors they’re featured in are pretty neat too. $15

8 Tiny Reindeer by Robert Tinkler

8 Tiny Reindeer

In Toronto author and voice actor Robert Tinkler’s new graphic novel—based on his popular podcast of the same name—two elves try to save Christmas from an evil tech baron. The colourful story is structured like an advent calendar, with one chapter for each day of December, making it the ultimate holiday countdown. A zany, big-hearted classic for our times. $20

Yara by Tamara Faith Berger


Tamara Faith Berger, whose fans include writers Roxane Gay and Miranda July, pens fearless, red-hot literary smut. In her latest book, a reverse cautionary tale set in the early 2000s, we follow protagonist Yara across the globe, from Brazil to Israel to Toronto to California, on a journey of sexual realization. $24

Two actors in dog costumes, one brown and one blue, from the live-action touring cast of Bluey

Bluey’s Big Play

The favourite TV show of anyone who has kids (or was once a kid) is coming to a stage near you, featuring new music by the show’s composer, Jeff Bush. In their first-ever live outing, siblings Bluey and Bingo try to cajole their dad into joining in on their delightful, imaginative fun. From $27


A black, kid-sized t-shirt that reads "Super Me" with an image of a young, Black girl dressed in a super hero costume

Super Me kids T-shirt

Kim West launched Kids Swag to put Black kids front, centre, and all over items like notebooks, backpacks, activity books and this adorable T-shirt. $35

VenCo by Cherie Dimaline

Witchy fiction

Cherie Dimaline’s wickedly feminist tale has something for everyone—smashing patriarchies, modern covens, deep dives into witch lore and an epic road-trip from Toronto to New Orleans. $35

Pageboy by Elliot Page

CanCon memoirs

It’s been a big year for autobiographical CanCon. In January, Pamela Anderson released Love, Pamela, a dazzling and dizzying account of her tumultuous time in Hollywood. Pageboy, Elliot Page’s brutally honest book about his gender transition, followed in June. And this fall, philanthropist and art collector Salah Bachir released First to Leave the Party, a collection of Toronto-set stories featuring an assortment of A-list celebrities including Marlon Brando. $37 each

The best holiday gifts for culture vultures

Royal Porcelain Sursock Vitrail mug

Searching for a captivating gift to impress the arts and culture aficionado in your life? Explore a carefully selected collection brimming with décor that blends the legacies of the past with contemporary design, like this royal porcelain mug that elevates moments of relaxation. $40

Simply the Best is a compilation record of Tina Turner hits

The best of Tina

Celebrate the icon who was better than all the rest with this compilation of Tina Turner’s greatest hits. Originally released in 1991, Simply the Best includes classics like “What’s Love Got to Do With It” and “Private Dancer.” $40



Moving the Museum: Indigenous and Canadian Art at the AGO

Moving the Museum: Indigenous and Canadian Art at the AGO

This lavish coffee-table book takes readers behind the scenes of the 2018 reopening of the J. S. McLean Centre for Indigenous and Canadian Art. Moving the Museum features over 100 reproductions of work by First Nations and Inuit artists like Shuvinai Ashoona, Carl Beam and Annie Pootoogook, along with Canadian artists such as Lawren Harris and Kazuo Nakamura. $45

Hanlan’s Point t-shirt

Hanlan’s Point T-shirt

Earlier this year, Toronto city council unanimously voted to make all of Hanlan’s Point clothing-optional and designated it a historically queer place. For when and where you must wear clothes, pay homage with this psychedelic T-shirt designed and printed in Toronto. $48

A 4k restoration of The Last Waltz

The Last Waltz

Chances are, a dad has sat you down to watch Martin Scorsese’s genre-defining 1978 concert film of the Band’s farewell performance, with guest appearances by Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and other blasts from the past. Pay it forward with this Scorsese-approved 4K restoration, featuring outtakes, cast and crew commentary, a documentary about the making of the film, and a new interview with the director by Rolling Stone editor and critic David Fear. $55

Being Legendary by Kent Monkman

Being Legendary

Internationally renowned Cree artist Kent Monkman and his shape-shifting, time-travelling, gender-fluid alter ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, are back to flip the colonial gaze once again in this book of never-before-published works. $60


I am Kenough sweatshirt

“I am Kenough” sweatshirt

If your job is beach and you lost interest in the patriarchy after finding out it wasn’t about horses, Mattel has a sweatshirt for you. $90

A special edition of the book Dune

Dune special edition

With the release of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two pushed to 2024, there’s no excuse not to read Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic. Level up with this 50th anniversary edition from the Folio Society—a very cool employee-owned London-based publisher—which is hauntingly illustrated by Ontario-raised artist Sam Weber. $165

Slim Aarons: The Essential Collection

Lifestyles of the rich and famous

From the 1940s to the 1990s, George “Slim” Aarons photographed the American elite in their natural habitats: lidos and beach clubs, discotheques and ski hills, and in and around oh-so-many pools. Slim Aarons: The Essential Collection is an expansive new edition featuring more than 400 photographs, about a quarter of which are previously unpublished. $219

The best holiday gifts for culture vultures

Good taste in movies

The Revue Theatre—Toronto’s oldest movie theatre still running—is an indie cinema institution, but their roster has something for everyone, including restored Hollywood classics, buzzy new flicks, cult faves and a ton of CanCon. An individual membership covers a year of unlimited movies and a free popcorn and drink at each visit. $450

Partial, an art marketplace and platform, launched in 2016 with a simple goal: put more Canadian art—especially by emerging and BIPOC artists—on more Canadian walls
Mash Ritchie

Try-before-you-buy art

Partial, an art marketplace and platform, launched in 2016 with a simple goal: put more Canadian art—especially by emerging and BIPOC artists—on more Canadian walls. Today, it’s a destination where art enthusiasts can discover new artists and rent, buy or rent-to-buy pieces (100 per cent of monthly payments go toward the purchase should you choose to buy the art). They also offer the services of an art sommelier for personalized consultations. $600 to $2,500 



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