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  • Writer's pictureCathy Borg

Uncluttered Holiday Gift Guide: Shop Locally and Ethically

handmade Christmas ornaments hanging from tree

Wouldn't it be extraordinary to just step out of your house walk down the street and get great uncluttered holiday gifts to suit everyone on your list this season?

Well if you live in Toronto you can. Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods - 170 of them!

I am fortunate to live in Roncesvalles Village, Toronto. I can take a 10-minute walk from my house and dip my toes into 6 different neighbourhoods - Bloordale, Bloor West, Little Italy, The Junction, and Parkdale. All of them are gift buyers' paradises!

Shopping locally is a win-win!
Colourful map of Toronto Neighbourhoods
Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods - 170 of them.

Shopping locally is a win-win!

You get to shop locally, buy uncluttered gifts shopping locally and support local artisans and businesses.

At the same time, you'll find gifts to give this holiday season that won't add clutter!

It's conscious shopping with a conscience. It's feel-good shopping.

I've put together this uncluttered gift guide using Roncesvalles stores as examples. The ideas, of course, can be applied to your shopping neighbourhood.

So, this is a Roncesvalles holiday gift guide and a Your Shopping Neighbourhood gift guide.

In this guide, you'll discover gifts that won't clutter up your loved ones’ homes with stuff they don’t want or need and will also support local businesses instead of big box stores.


red background hands holding beautifully wrapped gift


Kids Gifts

Scooter Girl Toys Is there a better children's toy store in the city?

Products are unique, smart, quality, socially conscious (no sweatshop, renewable wood, educational, handmade), and fantastically priced!

Cooking Classes

The perfect gift experience for your favorite home chef or wannabe, Cook Like a Pro with online cooking classes for kids, teens, and adults at Cookery specialty kitchenware store & cooking school.

Jewelry Making Classes

Learn to make your own amazing gifts at a workshop at Jewel Envy. Classes include goldsmithing, lapidary, gem setting, enameling, and more. What a treasure trove! Of course there is fabulous jewellery to buy.

Movie tickets

Give the gift of advanced passes to the Revue Cinema. This month, Revue holiday packages are gift-wrapped with festive sparkle, and a Chocolateria chocolate “R”. The perfect gift for those who want to connect with film, culture, and friends.

Sustainable Gifts

Ecotique is my one-stop shop for amazing handmade, locally made, and reusable gifts, housewares, and beauty products for the eco-conscious loved ones in your life!


Plant for Soul A family-run Toronto plant store that offers a diverse selection of both common and uncommon houseplants sourced from local Ontario growers and sustainable sources worldwide. Owners Shaziea and Sharif, avid plant lovers with diverse backgrounds, prioritize health and sustainability. They use recycled materials for shipping and operate a free 'recycle program' for used plastic pots.


The Chocolateria Got a Chocolate Lover on your list? The Chocolateria's claim to fame are chocolate-dipped potato chips but they will literally dip anything in chocolate! All products are made with equitably traded and sustainably grown Belgian and South American chocolate. Different-sized baskets are filled with their best sellers and customized to suit your taste! All hand-made in-house with the finest Belgian chocolate - and the price is delicious!

My Olive

You'll be hard-pressed to find a selection like My Olive's anywhere else. The store's unique selection includes premium olive oils like Bacon, Dill, and Italian Lemon, and balsamic vinegar flavours like Black Truffle, Chocolate, and Bourbon Maple. During the PANDEMIC you can order online and they will deliver for free. It's the perfect gift for the foodie in your life! Bonus - they are a small, family-run business.

Food is a delicious Gift

Says The Mercantile owner Shannon Doyle. With a wide variety of items, from cookie cutters to cards, gourmet chocolate, and health products, The Mercantile also specializes in unique gift baskets, for example, make your own sushi basket. Unique gourmet food and gift shop for stylish entertaining and spicy kitchen essentials.

Professional Organizing Services

This is a special gift best given to a friend that you know for a fact thinks that working with an organizer would be a dream come true. For this friend, it could be the perfect gift. In and Out Organizing are your local professional organizers.

gift certificate: Give the Gift of Organization


A unique bookstore, the independent Another Story Bookshop sells a broad range of literature for children, young adults, and adults with a focus on themes of social justice, equity, & diversity.

Store front with green awning of Another Story Bookshop

In addition to the above suggestions, there are so many uncluttered gift options.

How about gift certificates to a:

Give a donation to your favourite charity in the name of the gift recipient.

Donate your time to help out at a charity on their behalf. Donations always make a meaningful gift - especially now.

There is one gift that is irreplaceable and that is the gift of you. Giving your own time is the best way to express and forge love.

mother wraps gifts as little girl twirls like a ballerina

  • Write that letter you've been meaning to send.

  • Pick up your phone and make that call. Invite your friend to go for a walk.

What we all need and want is connection. Shopping locally is part of that connection.

Keeping your community alive and vibrant is part of that connection.

So if you have the means shop in your neighbourhood. I bet you'll find lots to love there! Let's keep our communities alive.

Because as Dorothy said in the film The Wizard of Oz, "There's no place like home."

neighbouring shop owners high-five each other outside shop

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In and Out Organizing is a Toronto professional home organizing business. We love our Roncesvalles Village community and can't imagine living anywhere else. We hope you feel the same about yours. We are organizing obsessed. E-mail us to find out how we can help you. Call Brad at 416 859-0518.

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Kim Tremblay
Kim Tremblay
19 Νοε 2021

This is such a great post. I would love to shop in your neighbourhood and I am not that far away as I am in London. Road Trip! Lots of great clutter free suggestions too.

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