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. Well if you live in Toronto you can. Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods 170 of them. I live in Roncesvalles Village so taking a 10 minute walk from my house I can dip my toe into the other neighbourhoods of Bloordale, Bloor West, Little Italy, The Junction, and Parkdale. All of them are gift buyers paradises. Really, an embarrassment of riches.
Here's my shamelessly prejudiced Roncesvalles holiday gift guide that won't clutter up your loved ones’ homes with stuff they don’t want or need and will support local businesses instead of big box stores. Here you can feel good about shopping local and supporting local artisans and businesses! Take a look at your own neighbourhood. I bet you'll find lots to love there.
Scooter Girl Toys Is there a better children's toy store in the city?
Products are unique, smart, quality, socially conscious (no sweat shop, renewable wood, educational, handmade) and fantastically priced!
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.
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!
Sweetpeas' is an eco-focused floral studio and a hub of all things beautiful. Widely recognized as Toronto's Best Florist (Toronto Life, BlogTO, NOW Magazine, Toronto.com) , Sweetpeas is dedicated to quality, design and service. Order your christmas tree, a wreath for your door or a centre piece for your table. Community-minded and socially responsible, Sweetpeas is it. Gift certificates available.
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!
A General Store like no other
Likely General is an artist-focused shop, primarily selling the work and expressions of women, marginalized, queer, and non-binary folks first. Go online for ceramics, candles, jewellery and watches, apparel, bags, wallets, paper products, cosmetics, pins, patches, temporary tattoos, blankets, products for your baby, home goods, local zines and other publications, art... it is truly a general store.
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 the Best 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. A unique gourmet food and gift shop for stylish entertaining and spicy kitchen essentials.
Books about pandemics and a Book to help you heal
Life After Covid-19 : Lessons from Past Pandemics by historian Bob Gordon
What brings the story to life are the contemporary accounts by the diarist Samuel Pepys and novelist Daniel Defoe showing that little has changed in the way society responds to pandemics.
Available for order: www.mortonsbooks.co.uk
Songs for the End of the World by Saleema Nawaz.
The book is about a fictional coronavirus pandemic that takes place in 2020, which originated in China and has similar results to the current pandemic — self-isolation, economic collapse and racist backlash against the Asian community.
Tara Henley's Lean Out: A Meditation on the Madness of Modern Life.
Journalist Tara Henley recounts taking a step back to re-evaluate her life and priorities after a stressful life in the newsroom, working long hours, became too much.
*Saleema Nawaz and Tara Henley's books can be found at Another Story Bookshop so
you can order online and still support your small, local bookshops. A unique book store, 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.
In addition to the above suggestions, there are so many uncluttered gift options.
How about gift certificates to a restaurant, fitness class, groceries a mani-pedi, books, veterinary gift card , hardware or an experiential gift like breakfast in bed, movie night with treats and popcorn.
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. Write that letter you've been meaning to send. Pick up your phone and make that call. Invite your friend to go for a physically distanced walk. What we all need and want is connection. Shopping local is part of that connection. Keeping your community alive and vibrant is part of that connection. So if you have the means shop your neighbourhood. Let's keep our communities alive. As they say, there is no place like home.
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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. Your safety is our first priority. Find out how we can help you. Call Brad at 416 859-0518.