The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide 2019
We scoured the city (and beyond) and cherry-picked the year’s most covetable gifts, from affordable stocking stuffers to jaw-dropping splurges
Pehr’s fluffy floating llamas were designed in Toronto and handcrafted by artisans in India. Holt Renfrew, 50 Bloor St. W., 416-922-2333, holtrenfrew.com.
This handwoven wool rug is a cute—and victimless—take on the hunting lodge staple. En.smallable.com.
Sharon Tate frames
These oversized vintage specs are dead ringers for the ones Margot Robbie wore in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Etsy.com.
Hamilton artist Lee Meszaros forages flowers from parks, gardens and forests, then casts them in resin to create stunning ashtrays and paperweights. Likely General, 389 Roncesvalles Ave., 647-351-4590, likelygeneral.com.
Ember’s smart coffee cup keeps Americanos toasty for an hour at a time, and caffeine freaks can set their ideal heat level from their phones. Amazon.ca.
Serial plant killers, rejoice: the Swedes have developed an idiot-proof solution. Just fill the glass reservoir with water, and the soil will intuitively absorb only as much as it needs to thrive. Store.moma.org.
Pop star jeans
Internet crush Shawn Mendes is rumoured to own more than 100 pairs of black skinnies. These, made from raw denim, are a good starter pair. Over the Rainbow, Manulife Centre, 416-967-7448, rainbowjeans.com.
Bike saddle bag
This satchel was inspired by St. Bernard dogs, who, according to legend, used to carry tiny brandy barrels around their necks for travellers in need. Etsy.com.
This clear bedside lamp transforms into a portable lantern for late-night backyard book binges. Kids at Home, 181B Carlaw Ave., 647-352-5437, kidsathome.com.
For tiny language buffs, the basswood blocks feature simplified Mandarin characters, their English translation and instructions on how to create the symbols. Bloxxtoys.com.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina lipstick
Netflix’s chicest sorceress started wearing Christian Louboutin’s goth-red Very Prive Velvet Matte lipstick after joining the Church of Night coven in season two. Holt Renfrew, 50 Bloor St. W., 416-922-2333, holtrenfrew.com.
This slinky silk blindfold is an essential tool for sleep hygiene, self-care and avoiding eye contact with strangers on airplanes. Oliviavonhalle.com.
Kids' Doc Martens
These sequin-spangled patent-leather combat boots are the perfect choice for the tween who can’t decide between glamour and grunge. Drmartens.com.
Beautiful watering can
British horticulturalist John Haws created his elegant and ergonomic watering can in 1886. Now it’s the sprinkler of choice for plant parents all over Instagram. Lee Valley, 1275 Morningside Ave, 416-286-7574, leevalley.com.
According to trend forecasters, Gen-Z yellow is the new millennial pink. Store.moma.org.
The hand-stitched, pocket-size leather Dopp kit from Toronto’s Monte and Coe comes with its own tweezers, scissors, comb and nail clippers. Monteandcoe.com.
Turns out pot smells pretty good when it’s layered with whiffs of dry amber, citrus and bergamot. Weedbox.io.
A contribution to Earth Alliance’s Amazon Forest Fund is a great way to both save the planet and suck up to Leonardo DiCaprio, who runs the charity. Ealliance.org.
Jonathan Adler’s glossy, gold-toothed trinket dish brings some rock and roll to your living room. William Ashley, 131 Bloor St. W., 416-964 2900, williamashley.com.
Mejuri’s ingenious leather travel pouch has compartments for rings, earrings and other baubles on the go. Mejuri.com.
Critter night light
Is there anything more Torontonian than falling asleep under the watchful eye of a mischievous raccoon? Kids at Home, 181B Carlaw Ave., 647-352-5437.
Apollo 11 Lego
Armchair astronauts can recreate the moon landing with this 1,000-piece lunar lander set (including tiny figurines of Neil and Buzz). Lego.com.
It’s machine-washable, available in a dozen vibrant prints, and stylish enough to wear out of the house. Sephora.com.
Every quarter, Raven Reads sends out a collection of kid-friendly literary goodies from Indigenous artists and illustrators. Ravenreads.org.
The Quebec-designed stool is made from cherry wood offcuts, and ergonomically constructed for those who find sitting cross-legged to be anything but Zen. Benchikuko.com.
A peacock plume adds a rakish pop of colour to staid lapels and fedora brims. Shop.nordstrom.com.
Vancouver jewellery designer Melanie Auld anchors her spiky bangle with a pair of dreamy moonstones. LoversLand, 215 Ossington Ave., 416-551-3321, loversland.com.
Anyone could seduce a hot priest in this get-up, iconically worn by Phoebe Waller-Bridge on the BBC comedy. Silkfred.com.
The Prynt Pocket instantly produces hard copies of your smartphone snaps on special Polaroid-style paper. Amazon.ca.
The SmartHalo helps cyclists navigate Toronto’s treacherous roads, with a bike light, GPS, speed trackers, and sensors to detect oncoming hazards. Apple.com.
Only a true dandy can pull off silk velvet neckwear. Etsy.com.
Superstar hair products
for both Timothée Chalamet styles his heartbreaking curls with a few dollops of R and Co’s Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner and High Dive Shine Cream. Kissandmakeupstore.com.
The best way to prove you were a Raptors fan before Kyle and Kawhi is with an original uniform from the Vince Carter days. The Sport Gallery, 15 Tank House Ln., 416-861-8514, thesportgallery.ca.
Meghan Markle's perfume
for 100mL The Duchess of Sussex relies on a daily spritz of Jo Malone’s buoyant Wild Bluebell fragrance. Sephora.com.
Calhoun and Co.’s gold-stitched celestial blanket shows the moon in all of its phases. Scout, 405 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-546-6922, iheartscout.com.
Diptyque, the Rolls-Royce of fancy candles, has branched out into wearables. The delicate stork pin does double duty as a rose-scented fragrance diffuser. Modesens.com.
Hypebeasts can festoon their plain white kicks with prints and textures at Stackt Market’s customization station. Mackhouseinc.com.
for six Collyer Mansion’s birch discs feature household pets decked out for cameos on The Crown. Shopthemansion.com.
A clever substitute for screen time, the analog MacBook swaps out the screen for a blackboard and the trackpad for a chalk holder. Bergo Designs, 28 Tank House Ln., 416-861-1821, bergodesigns.ca.
Buh-bye, Billabong: this sophisticated suit from Toronto swimwear brand Bather is inspired by old-timey botanical illustrations and still lifes. Trouva.com.
Illustrated Handmaid's Tale
For Atwood completists, Renee Nault’s gorgeous graphic novel renders the horrors of Gilead in living colour. Amazon.ca.
A spoonful of the citrusy powder and a splash of water transform a glass of Tromba into an instant margarita. Cocktail Emporium, 20 Kensington Ave., 647-727-3600, cocktailemporium.com.
These hand-blown glass orbs work equally well as weed delivery vessels or cheeky objets d’art. Etsy.com.
The hair staple gets an elegantly fuzzy upgrade. Victoire, 129A Ossington Ave., 416-588-6978, victoireboutique.com.
This Victorian-style booze receptacle is the cutest barware this side of Diagon Alley. Curiosa, 1273 Queen St. W., 647-341-0394, curiosasociety.com.
Judy Garland vinyl
Thanks to Renée Zellweger’s Oscar-baiting biopic, we’re in for a full-fledged Judyssance. Her 1961 Carnegie Hall recording is her most iconic post-Oz moment. Amazon.ca.
The wonderfully woke Creatable World doll is proudly non-binary, with two hairstyles—one short, one long—and a wardrobe that includes both tutus and camo pants. Toysrus.ca.
The revamped parlour game dispenses with the easel and Sharpie in favour of a stylus that draws the clue in the air and displays it on your phone. Toysrus.ca.
The board man is forever a Raptor in Stephanie Cheng’s poignant print. Stephaniecheng.ca.
Thankfully, this wedge of Swiss smells like sweet mangoes instead of stinky feet. Easy Tiger, 1447 Dundas St. W., 647-748-6161, easytigergoods.com.
The 500-piece entomological puzzle is an ideal challenge for lazy holiday hibernation. Scout, 405 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-546-6922, iheartscout.com.
The stainless-steel sipper—which comes in a pocket-friendly, pastel sheath—is an essential tool for our plastic-free future. Lundlondon.com.
Arty egg cups
Salvador and Frida bring a fine-art flourish to the humble huevo. Store.moma.org.
This cotton baseball shirt (translation: “school strike for climate”) pays tribute to Greta Thunberg’s now-iconic call to action. Etsy.com.
Designer dog collar
This sophisticated patterned poochwear is stitched by hand in Port Moody, B.C. Etsy.com.
These sleek origami-style ships change colour as soon as they hit the water. Kol Kid, 674 Queen St. W., 416-681-0368, kolkid.ca.
The sculptural Skittle canteen—made from recycled steel and available in a plethora of pastels—is the undisputed status item for trend-conscious hydrators. Chapters.indigo.ca.
and up Krista van Brugge designs stunning dried arrangements from the blooms she grows at her home in Brant County. Etsy.com.
The colour-blocked silicone wrapper is an adorable way to protect and preserve wireless earbuds. Urbanoutfitters.com.
Mindy Kaling loves the Toronto artist Babbu the Painter so much that she decorated The Mindy Project’s set with Babbu’s punky pieces. Babbuthepainter.com.
Studio Ghibli postcards
This gorgeous set of 100 cards show the final frames from each of the Japanese studio’s feature films—a perfect choice for anime-niacs. Amazon.ca.
Feminist board books
This adorable box set instills girl-power thinking into baby brains with bios of icons like Malala Yousafzai and Ella Fitzgerald. Chapters.indigo.ca.
Sneakerheads will love Looker’s clear shoebox, which both preserves and displays your precious Yeezys and Jordans. Urbanoutfitters.com.
DIY arborists can cultivate their own crystallized Japanese cherry trees with a terraforming solution from Copernicus Toys. Amazon.ca.
OG My Little Pony
Kids and bronies alike will love the original toys from 1983. Each scented steed comes with a ribbon and comb for proper mane maintenance. Drake General Store, 1151 Queen St. W., 416-538-2222, drakegeneralstore.ca.
K-pop supergroup BTS teamed up with Mediheal to create hydrating sheet masks that will leave your face as fresh and dewy as a boy bander’s. Amazon.ca.
This mini pressure cooker is the 21st century’s answer to the Easy-Bake Oven. Intl.target.com.
At the NBA playoffs, Drake trolled Kevin Durant with this Home Alone sweatshirt Etsy.com.
This replica of It’s iconic red balloon is whimsical decor by day, glowing portent of evil by night. (Scary clown sold separately.) Firebox.com.
Imolarte’s cheerful piece is hand-painted in a 150-year-old studio near Bologna. Maisonnumen.com.
Versace’s kids’ items are only slightly less bombastic than their adult counterparts. Bambinifashion.com.
Toni Morrison books
The beautifully designed box set is an elegant way to honour the late, great Nobel Prize winner. Juniperbooks.com.
For players who are sick of basic black, Razer Quartz makes a headset and base station the colour of cotton candy. Razer.com.
The Montreal brand Matt and Nat was vegan before it was cool. Their quilted parka, stuffed with recycled polyester, is designed to keep your body warm and your conscience clear. Mattandnat.com.
Portable pizza oven
Ooni Koda’s miniature gas oven turns out blistered Neapolitan pies. Your picnics will never be the same. Spruce, 455 Parliament St., 647-748-4060, sprucetoronto.com.
This aluminum salad dish glitters with shades of purple, silver and champagne. Black Rooster Decor, 1075 Queen St. E., 416-465-7778, blackroosterdecor.com.
Designer dollhouse furniture
and up If you don’t want to break the bank on a Saarinen womb chair, Vitra’s palm-size replicas are the next best thing. Quasi Modo, 1079 Queen St. W., 416-703-8300, quasimodomodern.com.
The cropped mom jeans from Toronto label Pretty Denim are business at the top, party at the hem. Prettydenim.com.
This pooch perch from super-trendy Brooklyn brand Dusen Dusen will be the envy of the canine crowd. Dusendusen.com.
Toronto designer Lesley Hampton elevates the traditional silhouette with sci-fi reflective fabric. Lesleyhampton.com.
Acorn, a Toronto start-up, collects a batch of your cells and cryogenically freezes them for future cloning or 3-D-printed organs. Store.acorn.me.
3-D family selfie
for four At Sculptraits’ Etobicoke studio, customers are scanned by futuristic photogrammetry machines, then 3-D printed as figurines. Sculptraits, 36 Fieldway Rd., 416-966-2539, studios.sculptraits3d.com.
Weed subscription box
Discerning potheads can receive a monthly shipment of handsomely packaged, premium-grade kush in rotating flavours. Thegrowhouse.ca.
No deer were harmed in the making of this adorable kids’ stool—it’s built from solid oak and dappled faux fur. Ella and Elliot, 188 Strachan Ave., 416-850-7890.
The Memphis Group was an ’80s Italian art collective devoted to kitschy geometry and mismatched prints. These Saved by the Bell–esque earrings were among their original designs. Studio Brillantine, 1518 Queen St. W., 416-536-6521, studiobrillantine.com.
Like something out of Mission: Impossible, the Bose Frames resemble regular shades but covertly play music directly into your ears. Bay Bloor Radio, Manulife Centre, 416-967-1122, baybloorradio.com.
Millennial blacksmith (yup!) Mac Osborne teaches one-day workshops in the bygone medieval art. Macosborne.com.
To replicate Harry Styles’s lounge-lizard chic, you’ll need a flamboyant printed button-down. Saksfifthavenue.com.
Fledgling cyclists are swapping out training wheels for pedal-free, ergonomically designed, retro-styled balance bikes. En.smallable.com.
Forget Endgame—the real Marvel Golden Age was in the 1940s. This gorgeously geeky compendium from the Folio Society gathers some of the rarest and most important comics from the era, with all the original art. Foliosociety.com.
This copper-plated pressurized keg keeps beer frosty and fizzy. Growlerwerkscanada.com.
A subtler take on Carmen Miranda’s fruit couture. Deepagurnani.com.
This wooden chest is a Caboodle for cannabis, with humidity-controlled compartments, a removable grinding tray and glass storage jars. Theapothecarrycase.com.
This graceful porcelain tureen is gilded with 14-karat liquid gold. L-objet.com.
Architect and designer Yaw Tony makes Wakanda-worthy Afrofuturist silk scarves out of his studio in Markham. Lifeliveth.com.
This minimalist 24-karat-gold pendant doubles as a surreptitious vibrator. (If that’s not personal enough, it’s engravable.) Lovecrave.com.
and up Cheffy superstars like Matty Matheson, Curtis Stone and Michael Smith swear by Rich Brackett’s charcuterie planks, hand-chiselled in Hamilton. Rusticdesignsbyrich.com.
Marie-Chantal’s pretty pintucked frock is fit for a princess—Princess Charlotte, even, who recently wore it to a charity polo match. Mariechantal.com.
This trim, turquoise-topped evening bag is woven from buri palm husks by female artisans in Southeast Asia. Shop.kayudesign.com.
The Toronto brand Sentaler will donate the proceeds from their alpaca cap to SickKids. Sentaler.ca.
and up The Wasaga artist Sharon Holmes crafts eerily lifelike replicas of your favourite furball from wire, wool and felt. Etsy.com.
Just in time for the AGO’s massive Picasso exhibit next summer, the hand-thrown piscine piece is a smokable homage to the artist’s 1954 Sujet Poisson sculpture. Parklifestore-webstore.com.
Moira Rose necklace
Catherine O’Hara’s bewigged, bejewelled, utterly deranged character on Schitt’s Creek has become a surprise fashion darling. This excessive vintage bib necklace is just her tempo. Caroletanenbaum.com.
We haven’t invented Marty McFly’s hoverboard yet, but we do have the Flyte Light, which floats above its base through the magic of induction. Bergo Designs, 28 Tank House Ln., 416-861-1821, bergodesigns.ca.
Charles Birchall and Brad Taylor, both originally from Toronto, met at a horological school in Switzerland and now build their meticulously engineered wristwatches in an old industrial warehouse near Parkdale. Birchallandtaylor.com.
To celebrate Friends’ 25th birthday, Pottery Barn has reissued the titular piece from “The One With the Apothecary Table.” Potterybarn.com.
End table speaker
This sleek piece of birch furniture hides a hi-fi, Bluetooth-enabled sound system. Jla.design.
Pop artist Cindy Sherman depicts herself as Madame de Pompadour on her vibrant rococo tea service. Artwareeditions.com.
Style icon Serge Ibaka (he moonlights as a Raptor) caps off his pre-game looks with supple beaver-felt fedoras from Venice Beach milliner Nick Fouquet. Nickfouquet.com.
Taylor Swift wore these Spice Girls–tastic platforms in her Pride-themed video for “You Need to Calm Down.” Shop.nordstrom.com.
This crimson trench from the Montreal brand Mackage has appeared on such VIPs as Lupita Nyong’o, Nina Dobrev and noted Canadian coat hawker Meghan Markle. Mackage.com.
The wildly opulent, slightly ridiculous 24-karat-gold alligator-skin stuffie sets a new standard for child indulgence. Modaoperandi.com.
A floaty jellyfish light transforms any boring Toronto dining room into a shimmering undersea grotto. Roxyrussell.bigcartel.com.
These conflict-free diamonds were lovingly grown in a California lab. Vrai.com.
The slouchy seat from Toronto studio Objects and Ideas was inspired by the twisting curves of the Wye Marsh near Georgian Bay. Objectsandideas.com.
Louis Vuitton’s tiny, gold-lined canister—a favourite of Rihanna—is a delightfully unnecessary extravagance. Ca.louisvuitton.com.
Chiara Ferragni’s cheeky eye-embroidered kids’ bomber is a fun twist on the Pink Ladies uniform. Bambinifashion.com.
Alarm clock barista
The bedside Barisieur brews a perfect cup of coffee while you hit the snooze button. Urbanoutfitters.com.
Front-row regulars Elle Fanning and Alexa Chung sat on these velvet embroidered cushions at Gucci’s runway show in Westminster Abbey. Gucci.com.
The Toronto-born model Lauren Chan sells a line of beautifully tailored, figure-friendly workwear in sizes 12 through 24. Henningnyc.com.
Rule the Seven Kingdoms—or your living room—in this life-sized replica of the Iron Throne, presumably made from the 1,000 swords surrendered to Aegon Targaryen during the War of Conquest. Etsy.com.
and up Lil Nas X wore one of Union Western’s custom fringe jackets in the video for “Old Town Road.” They range from understated to more-rhinestones-than-Dollywood. Unionwestern.com.
This oversized turtleneck is plush, toasty and infinitely more elegant than a fleece Snuggie. Over the Rainbow, Manulife Centre, 416-967-7448, rainbowjeans.com.
Just like your ’90s Motorola, but bedazzled with thousands of crystals. Judithleiber.com.
Artist Jeff Goodman makes his windswept, opalescent vases by hand in his East York studio. Clementinesluxury.com.
Brad Pitt has been living his best life in 2019, and sporting David Yurman’s bumblebee ring while doing it. Davidyurman.com.
This shapely chaise from Toronto designer Paolo Ferrari would fit right in at Midge’s Upper West Side apartment. South Hill Home, 146 Dupont St., 416-924-7224, southhillhome.com.
These painted steel shelves add Santa Fe flair to a kid’s bedroom—and unlike real cacti, they’re fun and functional. Ella and Elliot, 188 Strachan Ave., 416-850-7890, ellaandelliot.com.
This neon-lit Florentine funhouse mirror is the selfie site of choice for Bella Hadid and Frank Ocean. 1stdibs.com.
The camper bunk, which contains a bed, TV, desk, mini bar and sofa, encourages imaginative play of the #vanlife variety. Circu.net.
The fluffy purse is the creation of Brother Vellies, the glam accessories brand founded by Toronto-born Aurora James and beloved by Beyoncé, Solange, Zendaya and other mononymous icons. Brothervellies.com.
Seletti’s rose-patterned perch looks like it was plucked from the Golden Girls’ Miami lanai—and we mean that in the best possible way. Do-shop.com.
Silver fox coat
Hustlers fans who want to live their J. Lo fantasy should consider vintage fur—the most ethical way to achieve her stripper-glam look. Reflectionsvintagetoronto.com.
WaterRower’s wall-mounted cable machine, equipped with adjustable training weights and pulleys, is handsome enough for the living room. Nohrd.com.
Meryl McMaster print
The buzzy Cree-Canadian photographer layers shots of herself and her ancestors to create haunting, spectral collages. Ffoto.com.
Ulla Johnson’s breezy, Coachella-friendly satchels are beloved by celebs like Emma Roberts and Kate Bosworth. Shop.nordstrom.com.
Alexandre Birman’s ultra-feminine footwear—complete with a big suede bow—has Gwyneth’s thumbs-up. Shop.nordstrom.com.
Long Island mansion
The 42-acre compound that plays the Roy family’s Summer Palace on Succession can be yours for the price of a small European country. Williampitt.com.
These furry Fendis have graced the feet of Kimye scion North West. Farfetch.com.
and up The stunning speedboat from Toronto brand Beau Lake is the ultimate in luxury (mahogany trim, Bluetooth speakers, built-in charcuterie board) and eco-friendliness (it’s powered by a lithium smart battery instead of fuel). Beaulake.com.
The silk-swathed ombré table light is one part ’20s flapper, one part Deadwood saloon. Comingsoonnewyork.com.
Moooi’s intricate area rug is copied from a design hand-painted on an antique ceramic plate. Themodernshop.com.
Members of Toronto’s RClub get to borrow from a fleet of rare and vintage cars, including an Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, a Ford Mustang 289 Coupe and a Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Cabriolet. Rclub.co.
Lizzo’s infectious hip-hop flutery has brought the ancient woodwind back into vogue. Jupiter’s student model is a great choice for beginners. Long and McQuade, 925 Bloor St. W., 416-588-7886, long-mcquade.com.
Feline jungle gym
For cat parents desperate to earn their pet’s elusive affection, Tuft and Paw’s kitty tree—with a hammock, ramp, pole and multiple perches—will endear you to Fluffy forever. Tuftandpaw.com.
and up The Mississauga company Adventure Canada whisks travellers through the Northwest Passage, which, after centuries of failed crossings, is all smooth sailing now (thanks, climate change). Adventurecanada.com.
Duke and Dexter’s suede slip-ons are hand-painted with mischievous cardiganed foxes. Dukeanddexter.com.
Topman’s ’90s-overload muscle tee is a paean to belter extraordinaire Whitney Houston. Shop.nordstrom.com.
Smart meat thermometer
The Bluetooth-enabled Meater allows lazy chefs to check if their pot roast is done from the comfort of their sofas. Dickson BBQ, 2030 Avenue Rd., 416-487-4029, dicksonbbq.com.
The only thing more satisfying than finishing this 260-piece recreation of King’s Landing is pulling a Drogon and knocking the whole thing down again. Amazon.ca.
Born to Cree parents and raised by a Métis father and Mi’kmaw-Irish mother, Shane M. Chartrand has spent the past 10 years learning about his history, visiting with other First Nations peoples, gathering and sharing knowledge and stories, and creating dishes that combine his diverse interests. Containing over 75 recipes along with personal stories and photographs of his journey, tawâw is the result: part cookbook, part exploration of ingredients and techniques, and part chef’s personal journal. Houseofanansi.com.
House of Anansi Press
Lost Words puzzle
This 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle, based on the internationally bestselling collection of poems and illustrations The Lost Words, recreates Jackie Morris’s magical watercolour painting that accompanies Robert Macfarlane’s spell-poem for otter. Houseofanansi.com.
House of Anansi Press
The Coyam 2015 represents Emiliana's philosophy, in which organic and biodynamic agriculture has become an inspiration for their work. This red blend is full of beautiful aromas of dark fruits and walnuts, full-bodied with integrated tannins and a long finish. Lcbo.com.
Emiliana Organic Vineyards
Toronto jeweller (and currency defacer) Micah Adams collects antique Canadian pennies and refashions them into patriotic jewellery. Etsy.com.
For astrological bandwagon jumpers, the kaleidoscopic cards from Toronto illustrator and mystic Devany Amber Wolfe is a cheat sheet on signs, houses, planets and moons. Serpentfireshop.ca.
There’s no escaping it: the fanny pack is back. This Italian leather version is a tasteful way to embrace the trend without losing your dignity. Want Apothecary, 1070 Yonge St., 416-924-8080, ca.wantapothecary.com.
The Octopus smartwatch helps precocious tots develop healthy habits, using quirky icons to remind them to brush their teeth and finish their homework. Wantboard.ca.
Warren Steven Scott, a Toronto-based designer and member of the Nlaka’pamux Nation, crafts neon jewellery inspired by Coast Salish totems. Warrenstevenscott.com.
This four-piece cast-iron set from Barebones Living works as well on a portable induction stove as it does in a gourmet kitchen. Bedbathandbeyond.ca.
The company that created the Roomba has one-upped itself with the Braava Jet M6, a brainy AI vacuum equipped with a jet spray to clean grime and grease. Shop.irobot.ca.
The Audacity of Thomas G. Bright, made in Niagara, is technically new, but its roots are firmly planted in 1874. The exceptionally smooth merlot-cab blend—which was finished in whisky barrels—is named after Bright, credited with transforming the Canadian wine industry by growing European grapes in Ontario. Lcbo.com.
The Audacity of Thomas G. Bright
Inniskillin vidal icewine
This special icewine was made using local grapes harvested at a chilly -10°C, but the wine itself will leave you warm and toasty. Notes of ripe peach, juicy mango and citrus fruits are balanced beautifully by bright acidity. Try it with dark chocolate or sharp cheeses, or in an icewine martini. Lcbo.com.
Bourbon barrel–aged merlot
Sideways dealt merlot a rough blow, but 15 years later it’s time to get over it. There’s nothing wrong with the easy-drinking red, especially when it’s finished in Kentucky bourbon barrels. Get the limited-edition release before it’s gone—they only made 500 cases. Lcbo.com.
To honour Captain Bill Smith, grandson of The Glenlivet’s founder George Smith, the Scottish distillery created this single-malt scotch. Finished in American sherry and cognac casks, it smells like the holidays (apricot jam, baked apple, raisin) and tastes like them too (ripe pear, chocolate, citrus). Lcbo.com.
Toronto gingerbread house
If you’re willing to throw down some coin for an epic centrepiece, the bonkers-talented bakers at Bobbette and Belle will make a gingerbread house that’s entirely edible but looks too good to eat. Bobbette and Belle, 1121 Queen St. E., 3347 Yonge St., 416-466-8800, bobbetteandbelle.com.
for 100 grams The colourful candied bricks are sold by weight in flavours such as chocolate-chili and almond-cardamom. Parallel, 217 Geary Ave., 416-516-7765, parallelbrothers.com.
for 12 Hatch Roastery's cute-as-a-button cans combine two of the trendiest potables du jour: creamy nitro cold brew and oat milk—the new thing in non-dairy alternatives—with a little cocoa added for that mocha hit. 905-474-3555, hatchcrafted.com.
Bartender Jeff Carroll's bitters are used at the city’s top spots, including all the Drakes and Piano Piano. This recipe—made with orange oil essence, cranberry and Christmassy spices—adds a little extra to classic cocktails like Manhattans and negronis. The Organic Boutique, 970 Queen St. W., 647-352-2585, carrollandco.ca.
and up Mattachioni's kicky house-made spread improves everything it touches (except maybe your eyes). Mattachioni, 1617 Dupont St., 416-519-1010, mattachioni.com.
for nine Brigadeiros, Brazilian confections made using sweetened condensed milk, cocoa and butter, are like the love children of fudge and truffles. These gorgeous orbs come in flavours like crème brûlée and salted caramel. Chocollata Gourmet, 986A Kingston Rd., 416-693-2448, chocollata.com.
and up per piece Pasta might seem like an unusual gift choice, but not when it’s the fresh ricotta-stuffed ravioli and mezzaluna from Famiglia Baldassarre, the 10-seat lunch counter. Famiglia Baldassare, 122 Geary Ave., 647-293-5395, famigliabaldassarre.com.
for nine These glossy, small-batch bonbons wouldn’t be out of place in a jewellery box. Not for the plain-chocolate lover on your list, they come in far-out flavours like soy sauce kalamansi, tom yum caramel, Ovaltine and durian—the fruit so odorous it’s banned from Singapore’s public transit system. Onyx, 617 Gerrard St. E., 647-948-9107, onyxchocolates.com.
and up My Zaidy's Bakery studs and stuffs their deep-fried dough rounds with all kinds of confections. We’re partial to the s’mores, Oreo and tiramisu varieties, though purists can still find classic rounds filled with jellies, creams and custards. My Zaidy's Bakery, 7241 Bathurst St., #4, Thornhill, 905-763-0373, facebook.com.
Pâté de campagne
per kilogram Butcher Emily Tucker combines pork and chicken liver with all sorts of good stuff, including sour cherries and pistachios, then wraps it in house-cured bacon. Chantecler Boucherie, 1318 Queen St. W., 416-628-3586, restaurantchantecler.com.
and up Belgian chocolate shells are filled with mini chocolate bars and gummy candies that can only be accessed with a little help from a hammer. They’re basically edible pinatas, minus that whole blindfold business. Celebreak, 647-383-7486, instagram.com.
Scandi sugar cookies
and up for a platter These sugar cookies are pretty enough to decorate a tree, but even better paired with a mug of hot cocoa. The Sweetest Thing, 282 Kerr St., Oakville, 905-582-0862, thesweetestthing.com.
for six The scratch-made tarts come in 20 rotating flavours, including plain (for the purists), chocolate-chip, coconut, chai, Skor, peanut butter and—the signature offering—raspberry, which is only available on Saturdays. Sweet Oven, 1911 Queen St. E., 416-519-9559, thesweetoven.com.
Aged in red-wine casks from Niagara and finished with wildflower honey, this rosy hooch goes down smoothly, with flavours of juniper, candied lemon and honeysuckle. Drinkwillibald.com.
for 32 These intricate and auspicious Thai delicacies are made of mung bean paste (it tastes better than it sounds) and coconut cream, then painted and dipped in agar for a glossy sheen. Patchmon’s Thai Desserts, 258 Dupont St., 647-882-5250, thaidesserts.ca.
for six At Little Pebbles, the cannelés feature Japanese ingredients, in flavours including chocolate, earl grey and vanilla-rhum. The volcanic treats have custardy innards with crackly outer shells made shiny with Ontario beeswax. Little Pebbles, 160 Baldwin St., #8, 416-792-0404, little-pebbles.com.
per can Head brewer Brandon Judd makes approachable, balanced beers—not the super-boozy, hella-hazy hop bombs that have been dominating the craft beer scene for so long—and uses at least 20 per cent Ontario grain in every brew. Avling Kitchen and Brewery, 1042 Queen St. E., 416-469-1010, avling.ca.
per delivery Sourdough has a pretty cool superpower: it stays fresh for days—long enough for Dear Grain in Dundas to ship their breads to any address in the province. Pick two slow-fermented loaves and a delivery frequency, then break out the butter when the bread lands on your doorstep the day after it was baked. Deargrain.com.
Coffee tasting kit
The #MYJAVA tasting kit comes with a choice of four seasonally changing, fair-trade (and in some cases, organic) beans—like the Colombian Cosmic Goose—packaged in adorably arted 100-gram bags Javaroasters.ca.
This DIY care package from Toronto’s top sellers of smoked salmon includes 250 grams of lox, a container of fresh cream cheese from Monforte Dairy and four Gryfe’s bagels on which to pile it all. All that’s left to do is make some mimosas. Kristapsons, 1095 Queen St. E., 416-466-5152, kristapsons.com.
This mead-wine mash-up from Rosewood Estates Winery—which is run by a third-generation beekeeper—blends honey with gewürztraminer grapes for an off-dry sip, full of lychee and wildflower flavour. Rosewood Estates Winery, 4352 Mountainview Rd., Beamsville, 905-563-4383, rosewoodwine.com.
Butcher family pack
The family pack of beef, pork and poultry products from Etobicoke-based West Side Beef Co. is the perfect “I’m coming in from out of town with my partner and two kids and we’re gonna need a place to crash for a few nights and we go through a lot of food” contribution gift. Westsidebeef.com.
Caviar gift set
This fancy caviar service for two from the Caviar Centre comes with a one-ounce tin of Russian osetra, eight French cocktail blinis and two mother-of-pearl spoons—because caviar can’t be eaten with just any old spoon. Caviar Centre, 220 Duncan Mill Rd., suite A1, 416-441-9788, caviarcentre.com.
and up Brothers Rasoul and Ismail Alsalha make all kinds of sweet and savoury Middle Eastern goods at their bakery, but this baklava box is the best way to try a bit of everything. It comes packed with a choice of things like esh al ashfour (crunchy vermicelli bird’s nests filled with syrup-soaked pistachios) and swar (phyllo bracelets piped full of Nutella). Crown Pastries, 2086 Lawrence Ave. E., Scarborough, 647-351-2015, crownpastriesbaklava.com.
Southbrook’s wild-fermented golden elixir is bone dry and only mildly effervescent, so it drinks like a brut champagne, and it’s got a bit of barnyard funk to it (that’s a good thing!). Southbrook, 581 Niagara Stone Rd., RR4, Niagara-on-the-Lake, 905-641-2548, southbrook.com.
Vector track top
The Reebok Vector Track Top is a bold '90s-inspired style for the streets with deconstructed Vector graphics pulled from the archives to create a retro vibe. A tall collar adds to its vintage appeal, and its durable plain weave fabric gives it a crisp, structured feel. Reebok.ca.
based on suggested retail price The Oral-B Genius X offers AI capabilities that help users achieve dentist-level brushing. It tracks where people are brushing in their mouth and offers personalized feedback on the areas that require additional attention. Amazon.ca.
The Kobo Libra H2O is the perfect balance of innovative digital reading technology and modern design. Available in black or white, you can choose the model that best suits you. Read longer than ever before with comfortable ergonomic design, portrait or landscape orientation, easy-to-use page-turn buttons, and full waterproofing. The Kobo Libra H2O is designed for a better reading life. Ca.kobobooks.com.
All-new gift book
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Beyond the Bizarre! is filled with thousands of strange stories, unusual feats, and hair-raising oddities from around the world. Bursting with vibrant and eye-catching photos, this book is a must-have for every Ripley’s fan. Ripleys.com.
Nitro Circus gift book
This insider's guide to everything Nitro Circus includes the tale of how it all got started, bios of top athletes and behind-the-scene stories straight from the legends themselves, including Nitro Circus founder and ringleader Travis Pastrana. Nitrocircus.com.
This smooth but complex bourbon whiskey is distilled, aged and bottled at the most award-winning distillery in the world. Made from non-GMO corn, rye and barley malt, it comes of age in new oak barrels after a minimum of eight years. With rich flavours of vanilla, toffee and candied fruit, it’s a treat served neat. Lcbo.com.
A relative of the famous Pappy Van Winkle bourbon—it’s made at Kentucky’s Buffalo Trace Distillery using some of the same ingredients—this new small-batch vodka is distilled 10 times, and triple-filtered to boot, for a delicate and balanced profile with a clean taste and hints of vanilla. Serve it over ice with soda and a lemon wedge. Lcbo.com.
Local amber ale
An homage to pioneer Toronto brewer Robert Henderson, this amber ale can trace its lineage to the classic British beers, with enough American influence to make it unique. The copper-coloured brew has notes of caramel and baked bread. Pair it with a blazing fire. Henderson Brewing Company, 128A Sterling Rd, 416-535-1212, lcbo.com.
Henderson Brewing Company
Made in Niagara, this small-batch craft gin—a winner of 10 international awards—is triple-distilled from Ontario potatoes. Infused with 34 botanicals, the aromatic gin has a pretty pink hue and tastes just as good on its own when chilled or mixed with your favourite tonic. Lcbo.com.
per month For the beer lover who needs more than lagers in their life comes Muskoka Brewery’s Moonlight Kettle Series, a monthly mail-out of experimental brews. The six- or 12-month subscription will surprise any wannabe cicerones witha delivery of offbeat styles, like a white stout, a Champagne-inspired IPA or a pineapple sour. Shop.muskokabrewery.com.
California red wine
The Prisoner, a bold red blend from California, combines Zinfandel with Cab-Sauv, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Charbono grapes for a robust and smooth sip that delivers dark chocolate and dark fruit flavours. Forget turkey or ham—this wine was made for grilled steak. Lcbo.com.
The Prisoner Wine Company
Super Tuscan wine
Modus, a blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet grapes, was first produced in the late ’90s and almost every years since, it’s scored 90-plus points from the world’s top wine critics. It’s full bodied and chock full of complex, ripe fruit flavour. Lcbo.com.
Niagara’s most anticipated VQA releases of the year are a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from winemaker Thomas Bachelder at Le Clos Jordanne. These wines are made with grapes grown on the Jordan Bench, arguably one of the best sites in Canada for these two varietals. Leclosjordanne.com.
Le Clos Jordanne
Harry Potter book
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: The Journey offers a behind-the-scenes look at the award-winning play. With stunning photography and insightful interviews, this deluxe edition is a beautiful gift for Harry Potter fans and theatre lovers alike. Chapters.indigo.ca.
Limited edition Canadian whisky
Aged 10 years, Crown Royal Limited Edition is blended with distinguished batch distilled whiskies to create an exceptionally rich taste with the signature smoothness of Crown Royal. The whiskies are extra-aged to perfection, ensuring the highest quality and a unique blend with more body, smoothness and complexity. Exclusively available in Canada. For that extra special someone this holiday! Lcbo.com.
Lagavulin 8 Years Old is a single-malt scotch that's chock full of smoky, mint-chocolatey and peaty flavours, with notes of apple crumble and spice. Who even needs dessert? Serve it straight up or with a wee drop of water in your best nosing glass. Lcbo.com.
Weaving elegantly and eruditely between historical myth and pop culture anecdote, between the peculiar views of philosophers and the even more bizarre findings of science, Mark Alizart offers us a surprising new portrait of the dog as thinker—a thinker who may perhaps know the true secret of our humanity. Wiley.com.
John Wiley & Sons
Canadian classic fiction
Hugh Garner, one of Canada’s best-known writers and winner of the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, tells this classic story of a 16-year-old adolescent living in Cabbagetown in 1929 during a time of struggle, hunger and deep sadness. Mheducation.ca.
McGraw Hill Canada
Fratelli Sicilia Panettone
Two brothers from Sicily are on a mission to put a new spin on the classic panettone. Starting with careful attention to the sourdough—and the best flour, egg yolks from local hens, and citrus fruit creams from Paternò—the dough patiently ferments for at least 36 hours, then is inverted to form its perfect dome. The packaging is modern and sleek, and each panettone comes with jar of crema for slathering. Pusateris.com.
Created on the banks of Guyana’s Demerara River, El Dorado’s smooth and uniquely complex aged rums represent 300 years of Caribbean rum crafting. This one in particular, a creamy blend with notes of butterscotch and candied orange peel, is the LCBO’s best-selling deluxe amber rum. Lcbo.com.
Toronto photography book
This monochromatic take on Toronto uses the luminous black-and-white medium to craft highly personal interpretations of the city’s personality. Fascinating photographic statements draw attention to hidden elements throbbing beneath countless concrete, glass, and wood surfaces. Nimbus.ca.
Canadian Spirits, by Stephen Beaumont and Christine Sismondo, is a full-colour romp across Canada from an award-winning, bestselling duo, featuring profiles of distilleries from across the country and tasting notes on commercial and craft spirits. Nimbus.ca.
This award-winning, small-batch Canadian gin is made using locally sourced water and wild juniper hand-picked from the shores of Georgian Bay. Bursting with juniper and citrus notes, it's ideal for mixing and will elevate any cocktail. Lcbo.com.
Georgian Bay Spirit Co.
Inspired by her clients’ skin needs and busy lifestyle, skincare expert Victoria Radford of Radford Studio has designed a simple daily regimen focused around high-performance products that deliver lasting results. Radford Buff and Radford Face are unique formulas conceived by Victoria using clean ingredients, and it's now easier than ever to extend that post-facial glow and reach skin-deep perfection in one’s home. Victoriaradford.com.
Jane Waterous painting
U.S. A reflection of human connection, The Gatherings, Jane Waterous’s most renowned series, represent an embodiment of three decades of work. The sculpture-like, three dimensional figures jump off the canvas, dancing in a synergistic halo of light, depth, colour and action. While each work conveys a unique emotional experience, they all share a feeling of joy and wonderment. Available at Galerie de Bellefeuille. Debellefeuille.com.
Gold medal rum
This exquisite, double-gold-medal-winning rum is for those with distinguished taste. Aged at the base of an active volcano, this 18-year-old, deep-gold luxury rum offers intense vanilla and spice notes with aromas of nuts and caramel. The long and extra-smooth finish will convert even the biggest whisky lovers. Distilled with 100-per-cent renewable energy, Flor de Caña is proudly Fair Trade–certified. Lcbo.com.
Flor de Caña
Naturally aged at the base of an active volcano, this 12-year-old full-bodied rum is the perfect gift for the rum lover on your list. Flor de Caña 12 offers holiday notes of vanilla and baked apples along with aromas of toasted nuts, red fruits and honey. Exceptionally smooth and well-balanced, Flor de Caña is distilled with 100-per-cent renewable energy and is Fair Trade–certified. Lcbo.com.
Flor de Caña
Premium olive oil
The newest harvest of the Domenica Fiore Novello premium olive oil has just landed—pressed just days prior and flown in from Italy directly to Pusateri’s. Made in small batches, picked and pressed within four hours, it’s one of the only 2018 novello oils available in time for the holidays. Pusateris.com.
Spa gift card
and up This holiday season, pamper yourself or someone else with the gift of serenity at Toronto's leading day spa. Our specially priced holiday packages are available as a gift card or to book and enjoy until December 31, 2019. Elmwood Spa, 18 Elm St., 416-977-6751, elmwoodspa.com.
Double barrel reserve whisky
This Ontario-made whisky undergoes an extra aging process of up to two years in once-used bourbon barrels. The result is a bottle of liquid gold, with a flavour rich in vanilla, caramel and spice. Use it to kick up your favourite holiday drinks with a taste that’s truly Canadian. Lcbo.com.
Know a wine lover who wants the inside scoop on Ontario’s best VQA wines? Sign them up to receive a monthly delivery of curated wines from top producers, including three small-batch VQA wines; an assortment of special reserves, limited editions, and pre-release wines; and tasting notes and food pairings included in each box. Torontolife.wine.
Toronto Life Wine Club
Made-in-Toronto gift box
For indecisive foodie gifters, Foodie Pages' Six-specific bundle gets rid of the guesswork by curating a selection of big-name, made-here gourmet goodies. Makers like Forno Cultura, SOMA Chocolatemaker and Kozlik’s are all included in the edible mix, which features a total of eight artisan products. It’s like taking a trip to a well-stocked gourmet store without having to brave the cold or hunt for parking. Foodiepages.ca.
Flyer Vault book
From B.B. King to Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash to Daft Punk, Cab Calloway to Biggie Smalls, The Flyer Vault is a stunning collection of 150 years of Toronto concert history, with a foreword from Rush’s Geddy Lee. This visual tour de force is perfect for any music lover. Chapters.indigo.ca.