There are tons of local spots in Toronto where you can get a creative gift that will really wow the people close to you. If you’re looking for something with a little more heart than another sweater or pair of socks from the mall, you should take a look at some one-of-a-kind, thrifted, locally sourced, or handmade gifts that are sure to please.
Check out a list of the top places to find the most unique holiday gifts this year below.
This Indie88 feature is presented with McTamney’s
If you head to Kid Icarus you’re sure to find tons of cute prints, entertaining DIY kits, aesthetically pleasing notebooks, and elaborate adult colouring books. This paper, stationary, and art store is located in Kensington Market, and a gift from this spot is sure to inspire the artist in your life. They even take on custom screen printing work if you’re looking to gift something that’s extra sentimental and one of a kind.
Tiny Record Shop and Token
Queen Street East’s Tiny Record Shop is “not your average record shop.” It’s run by local record label Paper Bag and carries vinyl from artists on the label, as well as several from iconic musicians like David Bowie, The Clash, and The Ramones. The front of the store is hosted by Token Gift Shop, which sells everything from fancy piggy banks that look like balloon animals to homemade soaps by Scent etc.
McTamney’s is a great place to go to find some unique one-of-a-kind and vintage gifts. Pawnbrokers sell everything from cell phones to musical instruments, so you’ll be able to cross everyone off your list in just one stop. If your holiday budget is extra tight, you can always bring in jewelry and other goods you’re looking to sell to make some money back this holiday season.
These vibrant, sweet little spots at Kensington Market and West Queen West are the perfect places to get a gift for the elaborate cocktail lover in your life. The stores are fully stocked with all the equipment a cocktail lover could need, from distinctive bitters to tough to find bar tools and everything in between. On top of the cocktail accessories, they also carry niche products like beer making kits and absinthe fountains.
Drake General Store
The Drake General Store is definitely a city wide favourite for unique and endearing gifts. From flavoured maple syrup to Toronto Public Library shirts, almost everything in this mini chain, which is run by the owners of the Drake Hotel, just screams “Toronto.” The offerings at this spot are diverse, with lots of unique products from local businesses and pop-up shops.
DESIGNnook is the perfect place to get a unique gift that you can feel pretty great about, considering they offer a variety of products from local artists and entrepreneurs who get 100% of their sales. The eclectic series of Nooks stores are sprinkled across the Danforth, and they showcase different artists and artisans from across the country.
This is the place to visit in Toronto if you’re shopping for a Harry Potter fanatic. You can make a friend feel like they truly are a witch or wizard with a specialty gift from this shop like a Collectible Quidditch Set or a Gringotts Model Coin Bank. Curiosa prides themselves on discovering and preserving extraordinary things, so you’re sure to find an amazing gift at this Queen West store.
Easy Tiger is a go to gift spot for a lot of young design and media professionals.The unbelievably trendy spot sells a wide variety of unique items from flasks to fake cacti, but everything fits with the clean, yet playful style of this Dundas West and Gladstone store. This lifestyle concept store revolves around well made products like home decor, paper and leather goods, unisex accessories, and other gifts.
Dundas West boutique TKVO boasts some of the best design, apparel, jewellery, and art in the city. The quirky shop prides itself on being a safe space, with products that hope to transcend gender, trend, and time constraints, while still sticking to high quality goods and impeccable designs. Even the shop itself is whimsical, with unique art and film photography, and a plexiglass at the back of the store for customers to leave a message.