If you are like me, this is the week to get your Christmas shopping done. So, I’ve created this Gift guide to help all the last-minute folks in Toronto that want to avoid the mall as much as possible. Get to know my favourite shops and the items I think would make great gifts.
Let’s start with the Ladies. I’ve been coveting Byredo perfume for a little while now and I finally bit the bullet this weekend and purchased Bal d’Afrique. I highly recommend. The packaging is beautiful and there a lots of different scents to try. Head to Holt Renfrew or Want Apothecary.
Want Apothecary (1070 Yonge Street) is one of those shops you regret walking into because you want to buy everything. As mentioned above, they carry Byredo perfume but you really want to grab something from one of my favourite brands Acne or the Kastrup backpack by Want Les Essentiels
Buying overpriced lipstick and nail polish is the perfect gift for the makeup junkie. Except for Christmas or birthdays would you have someone spend over $100 on a lipstick? The packaging for the Louboutin Lipstick and nail polishes are works of art. I’ve tried the nail polish and have nothing bad to say and I’m dying to try the lipstick. Head to Holt Renfrew to find these.
Whenever someone asks me what my favourite store in Toronto is I always say Fawn Boutique (967 Queen Street West). Grab anything Black Crane or Markoo and you’ll be set. There is a good selection of great minimalist jewellery too. If you can’t decide, get a gift certificate.
Ever since Rosie the Rebel (961 Bloor St. W.) opened up in my neighbourhood my Rockabilly quotient has skyrocketed (See Instagram). The prices are great and they get new items in regularly. Dresses from Hell Bunny and Collectif are my favourite but be sure to check out the selection of sweaters in store now like the fox one I’m wearing above.
There are so many great local handbag designers these days. Take a stroll down to College and Landsdown and visit Opelle (1234 College St). Circular bags are all the rage right now so grab your trend obsessed friend a Tam-Tam Cross Body bag.
Give the gift of perfect nails with Tips Nail Bar (848 Danforth Avenue). Pick up a gift certificate for a Pedicure and Manicure by this industry famous team. These women know nails and it’s the only nail salon I go to in the city.
You can’t go wrong with a little piece of Dean Davidson. Head on down to Holt Renfrew to see what’s available in store or check out deandavidson.ca.
I have an obsession with the Anzie Aztec Starburst Studs. I’ve stared lovingly at them for years. They come in different stones and price points which you can find at Holt Renfrew or online at anzie.com.
Get a hot as hell Bazzul dress! The studio is in Toronto so you probably can grab one to put under the tree still! I’m in love with the Avion and own it myself. Check out the Holiday picks and get 35% off with the promo code at www.bazzul.com/collections/holiday-picks
The Linda Lundstrom Hot Pink Fox Fowl collar is absolutely breathtaking. If I wasn’t so lazy I would have told you to go to the One of a Kind Show a few weeks ago to buy one there. However, they are available online and I think it’s worth the wait. There are several other colours to choose from too.
The best pompom hat belongs to Eugenia Kim. It’s got a fur pom and super thick wool. Riant Boutique (35 Bathurst St) is where you want to go and buy this.
I don’t often recommend fine jewellery but the Birks Bee Chic® Large Drop Earrings are stunners. I got to borrow a pair during TIFF and I dream of the day when I can drop 4 figures on jewellery and not blink. Head to one of the various Masion Birks locations but I think 55 Bloor Street, Yorkdale and Eaton Centre would be the best options.
The next three gift guide options are for the Guys specifically! Love & Greed is my friend’s new luxury menswear shop and it’s soooooo good. Standout pieces are the Norwegian Rain winter coats. Ditch the lame down parka and get something both warm and good-looking. Norwegian Rain does women’s coats too unfortunately not stocked at Love & Greed. Other great gifts include the TenFed t-shirts (Each shirt purchased, feeds 10 people) and lovely shoes by Oak Street Bootmakers. Love & Greed carries a lot of brands that aren’t available at any other shop.
If was a guy, Nomad (819 Queen St. W.) would be my Fawn. So many great things but take a look at the Cote et Ciel backpacks and the Comme des Garcons gear. Gift Certificates are always great if you get stumped.
Aviation geek, Laird Kay launched Very Plane Clothes this fall. You might have seen some of his amazing aviation photography on Instagram and now you can wear it. There are t-shirts and sweatshirts to choose from. Everything is made to order in Toronto and limited edition. It won’t make it under the tree but they are definitely worth the wait.
Gifting a Star Wars Fan? Take them to the damn movie already! Or if you don’t want to sit through it yourself, give them a pair of Star Wars x Instance socks ($26) from these Toronto retailers Boathouse, Zumiez, Adrift Inc. and The Accessory Bar.
Ynot (831 Queen Street West), locally produced bags are staples with the Biking crowd. I love the Magnetica line of backpacks. They are great for travel and come in different sizes. The magnetic closures are a godsend.
I’m obsessed with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 in a way that has never happened to me before. It’s super slim and is just plain beautiful. I love that it runs Android and is still small enough to carry around daily. I’ve developed a rather unhealthy obsession with SimCity BuildIt thanks to the Tab S2. Check The Source, Walmart and Bestbuy.
Cellphones are great holiday gifts always. Here are my favourites this year:
- I’m all about the HTC One M9. I always come back to HTC as my favourite cellphone. Bell, Rogers and Telus all carry the M9
- If you are looking for a budget/starter phone, the Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 is a good choice. Bell and Telus both carry the Idol 3
- I reluctantly left Blackberry several years ago and haven’t looked back until I saw the Blackberry Priv. Physical Keyboard and runs Android!!!!! I’m dying to try it out. Checkout Bestbuy, Telus and Bell or buy unlocked straight from Blackberry
This is the year I learned to love a smartwatch. The lovely folks at Motorola send me the 1st gen Moto 360 in February and this anti-wearable person fell hard. I can’t think of wearing any other watch again. I’m in love with my Moto 360. It’s gets lots of complements and most importantly it looks like a watch! There is a 2nd generation Moto 360 out now that includes a smaller size for women. Guess where you can buy this, that’s right BestBuy!
Elevator (1273 Queen St. W.) is a great Parkdale shop that stocks my favourite Miansai Anchor Bracelets. These bracelets are unisex but Elevator also carries mens and womens jewellery. Be sure to check out Loren Hope jewellery and The Stowe handbags if you are looking for something special.
Give the gift of custom kicks. Nike.com now ships you Canada and that means NikeiD is now available too. This is the perfect gift for the sneakerhead that wants unique kicks.
If you are gonna get pajamas for Christmas then it has to be the Mountie Onesie from the Drake General Store (1144 Queen St. W.). I usually shun onesies like the plague but I love mine to bits.
I’d love if Santa brought me the Microsoft Surface Book for Christmas but if that’s a bit out of your budget look to the Surface Pro 4. I love the Surface line of laptops. Check out the Microsoft Store in Yorkdale or Bestbuy.
I always recommend the gift of Culture at Christmas. So definitely consider the following:
Tom Dixon Candles are in Toronto!!! They are as beautiful as his designs. Run over to Lac + Co (72 Davenport Rd) to grab yours.
Introduce your friends to the wonder of Turkish Towels from Zebuu (1265 Bloor Street West). Zebuu is this glorious little home décor shop in Bloorcourt that carries handcrafted items from around the globe. Turkish towels are amazing and they’ve replaced my terry cloth ones for good. If you are tight on space these are perfect. Zebuu has a number of colours to choose from.
I got a Chromecast before it was released in Canada and it was one of the best electronic purchases I’ve ever made. If you don’t have a smart TV this is a great way to turn your regular TV into one. Head to BestBuy to get this one.
For those of you that want to give back with your holiday gifting consider Adopting a Species from WWF. You get an adorable stuff animal representing your species and a Tax Receipt. It’s a great cause that helps to protect species at risk and their habitats. Unfortunately, there are no retailers in Toronto so this one will arrive after Christmas.
I was ready to suggest a Winter Wonderland getaway weekend at Deerhurst that would have you riding horses, cross country skiing, enjoying the spa and cuddling up in front of a gas fireplace but it seems we won’t have a white Christmas. That shouldn’t stop you from creating a little weekend package to be used in the future for your special someone. Deerhurst is a beautiful spot in our great Ontario. Read about my visit here.
I hope this Gift Guide helps all my fellow procrastinators out! Remember, when in doubt get a gift certificate to a local shop 🙂