‘Tis the season. The weather is getting colder, and of course, the second Halloween is over, and the Christmas decor and music start hitting the stores. Which means one thing… it’s time to start Christmas shopping!
Back in 2020, I put together this holiday gift guide to help Canadians shop locally for the holiday season to support all the small businesses that were suffering during the pandemic. Although we’re on the other side of the pandemic now, it’s still important to shop locally and support our local economy during this busy season.
Back by popular demand, I’ve revised my holiday gift guide to help get your wheels turning for the people on your Christmas list this year. Some of these businesses are ones that I’ve supported in my shopping, and some are ones that were recommended to me. With everything compiled into one place, you have no excuse to not shop local this year.
For the foodie
For the person that loves to check out the latest local restaurants, and takes photos of every meal they make. This category is full of ideas that’ll make any foodie happy. I also like to buy these sorts of gifts for people that have everything, because they’re always gifts that will get used/consumed!
Terroni (Italian Products)
You’re probably wondering why I have a famous Toronto restaurant on this list, BUT they have some great retail products you can buy online for local pick-up, delivery, or even order on DoorDash. Try their Peperoncini Piccanti, it’s known as one of Meghan Markle’s favs.
Drizzle Honey (Local Honey)
Raw, Canadian-made, bee-friendly honey. Available in a ton of flavours and variations. Order right on their website, or buy in your local grocery stores.
Tease (Loose Leaf Tea & Accessories)
Selling loose leaf teas and accessories for the tea lover in your life.
Gargoyle Wine Club (Wine Club)
Wine subscription service that has sommeliers curating wines from far and wide to be delivered to your doorstep.
Funky Chocolatier (Chocolate)
Making chocolate healthy, wholesome, and delicious in beautiful holiday designs and flavours.
CALM (French Pastries)
Delicious, traditional French pastries that is perfect for a hostess or the person that you just don’t know what to buy for.
Eatable Popcorn (Alcohol-Infused Popcorn)
Alcohol-infused popcorn that ships across Canada AND the USA. Order through this link and get $5 your order. I’ve also seen these delicious popcorn flavors available in some major retailers like Chapters/Indigo too.
ChocoSol (Artisanal Chocolate)
Artisanal chocolate made in Toronto. Their chili and vanilla flavours sound amazing!
Local beer or wine
Here’s an idea for the beer or wine lovers in your family. Instead of buying them a gift card for the liquor or beer store, opt for going to a local brewery/winery instead. Several breweries and wineries across Ontario (and I’m sure in other provinces too) also are offering free delivery.
Cocktail Emporium (Cocktail Supplies)
This is a great shop for all things related to cocktails. Bitters, syrups, cool drink accessories, and mixes. Perfect for stocking stuffers or unique gifts for the cocktail-obsessed.
Quench Bar (Cocktail Kits)
Virtual mixology workshops and cocktail kits.
Rhea (Artisan Chocolate)
Seriously gorgeous chocolate. If chocolate was art, this would be it.
Gift cards for local restaurants
Don’t forget that our restaurants need our support too. Most local restaurants will sell gift cards for purchase. This guarantees profits go right to the restaurant versus to a food delivery service like UberEats.
Healthy Genie (Date Spreads)
Yummy spreads made with dates. Perfect as a hostess gift or a stocking stuffer. Great with cheese or to add to your charcuterie boards.
Blume (Latte Blends)
Delicious coffee alternatives made in Vancouver, BC. Blume’s blends help you get those perfect lattes from your local coffee shop but at home. Made with organic, plant-based ingredients and superfoods. You can buy Blume online and in a variety of local retailers.
For the fashionista
This category is for the people that can’t get enough of the latest fashion and you always wonder how they have any room left in their closet. Shop local with these great fashion-forward brands.
Ragmaw Design House (Handbags)
Colourful, high-quality bags made in Canada. Available in a variety of patterns.
Apricotton (Tween Bras)
Toronto-based business that creates quality bras for tweens and an online community to help make going through puberty less awkward for girls. BONUS! Use promo code TWIRLTHEGLOBE at checkout for 15% off.
Risque Clothing (Fashion Boutique)
Fashion-forward clothing boutique based out of Toronto.
Bunny Boutique (Fashion Boutique)
Based out of Toronto, Bunny Boutique is a sustainable women’s fashion boutique selling everything from gorgeous swimsuits to cozy tracksuits.
KnottyNorthernKnits (Hand Knit Items)
Stay warm this winter with KnottyNorthernKnits hand knit hats, mittens, and more.
Take a Load Off, Fannies (Fanny Packs)
The name of this shop kills me! They make the cutest, fun, fanny packs, and belt bags for both kids and adults.
Ali + Liv (Swimwear)
Comfortable and versatile swimwear. Perfect to lounge in your apartment with this winter because lets face it, we’re not going on any vacations anytime soon.
Made For The Lake Co. (Apparel)
The cutest cottage-themed apparel. Perfect for the cottage-goers in your life.
Red Sky (Loungewear)
Fun and cozy loungewear. The jumpsuits look like a dream for hibernating all winter!
Kootz Collective (Laidback Clothing)
Unisex clothing that is ethically sourced and made, then screen printed in BC.
For the jewellery lover
Gift someone jewellery and they’ll get so much use out of it. Here are some great brands I love, or that have been recommended to me to shop.
Maple Lane Jewelry
Super cute jewelry made in Toronto. Customize it with your (or your friends) initials.
Providing timeless fine jewelry for the contemporary individual. Jewelry for both men and women.
For the jewelry lover who likes to stand out, Jewelust makes creative, refined designs with recycled silver and gold.
For the geeks and gamers, Fandom Regalia makes gamer, fantasy, and sci-fi-themed jewelry.
One of my favs for a while now in Toronto. Anice is also available for custom creations.
A past colleague of mine makes these fun and funky clay earrings here in Toronto.
Bad Ass Jewelry
Fun jewelry created using gemstones.
Oz & Ella
Funky silicone jewelry.
Vegan leather jewelry. Their earrings are adorable!
Corey Treacy Designs
Custom jewelry. I love their name necklaces!
For the perfect holiday cards
Opt out of holiday cards that mean nothing, and instead shop for ones that look like art and can be personalized. Snail mail is not dead! Who doesn’t love to get something in the mail still?
Hand-painted holiday cards + more.
Words & Wonders
Afrocentric stationery with cute and colourful holiday cards.
JK Card Shop
Hilarious holiday cards (or cards for any occasion) that your friends are going to want to frame.
Cute hand-lettered cards, PLUS other adorable lettered items like notebooks.
Tip: I love to buy my cards for any occasion on Etsy. What I’ll do is use the filtering feature to filter by businesses “In Canada” to ensure I’m shopping close to home.
For the home
An assortment of businesses selling great gifts for the home. Whether home decor, plants, or cheeky holiday decor.
Rally & Roots (Planters)
Clay and ceramic planters for your favorite greenery in your home. Perfect for your plant-obsessed bestie.
Pink Banana Sparkles (Holiday Ornaments)
The most adorably cute (and sparkly) handpainted holiday ornaments for your tree.
The Copper Bell (Candles)
Soy candles complete with hilariously punny names. Not only will they make your house smell good, but also make the gift receiver giggle.
Naturally Sassy (Candles)
These candles aren’t just regular candles, they double as a herb plant. Yep, your candle comes with a herb kit so once the jar is empty and the candle is gone, you can repurpose the jar to become a mini herb garden.
I discovered this company in isolation and love it. They deliver house plants right to your door, and are now offering shipping across Canada. The perfect alternative to flowers because, with the right care, they won’t die as quick!
Gnomes By Mari (Holiday Decor)
Everyone has that person in their lives that is just obsessed with holiday decor and these gnomes are one-of-a-kind and adorable.
The Northern Kiln (Handmade Pottery)
A platform that curates a variety of local potters handmade pottery into one, easy-to-shop place.
Steaped Slow Ceramics (Ceramics)
Handmade ceramic goods. Their mugs and tumblers make the perfect gift for the coffee or tea junkie in your life.
Open Rebel (Candles)
Beautiful floral candles that look more like a gorgeous decoration for your home vs. a candle.
OBH Design (Blankets)
Chunky knit hand knit blankets that are perfect for every room in the house.
For the art enthusiast
Art that won’t cost you thousands of dollars, but has a super cute, thoughtful touch to it that will impress even the hardest people to buy for.
Thread & Bark (Art Made with Nature)
Art made from the wild using reclaimed wood. Currently they are taking orders via their Instagram page.
Worker Bee Supply (Inspirational Prints)
If there’s one thing we need in 2020 it’s inspiration. These inspirational prints are far from cheesy and make beautiful art.
Stacy Marie Stranzl (Illustrations)
Personalized, illustrated Christmas ornaments, prints, and more. I love her pet ornaments for the dog lovers in my family!
Michelle Chiu (Photography Prints)
Gorgeous Toronto and beach prints that will bring the city inside your home.
Natalie Czerwinski Illustration (Illustrations)
Cute neighbourhood inspired illustrations. I love Natalie’s Toronto-themed work, but you can also commission her to illustrate something that is meaningful to you!
INKSCRPT (Line Art)
A Toronto illustrator creating beautiful and unique line art, including handmade Christmas tree ornaments.
Art by Chantal Madeline
Hand-made greeting cards and art prints. You can even do a custom order that captures a family member or four-legged pal.
For the kids
In full transparency, I don’t have kids and I have no idea what they want for Christmas this year. I’m going to assume iPads and high-ticket toys. However, if you’re looking to support local, and buy something different. Here are some ideas.
Tawny Dog: The Bravest (Book)
A children’s book on facing your fears through bravery and understanding by a local Toronto author.
Impressions (Growth Charts)
Track your child’s growth with these beautiful custom made growth charts.
Tiny Kinfolk (Rompers)
One-of-a-kind baby rompers in adorable patterns. Oh, they’re also gender-neutral making everyone’s lives easier!
Mommy’s Little Helper Co. (Learning Tours)
Handmade learning tours that help your kids learn and get involved in your daily activities in a safe, and fun way.
Twill & Pine (Flexible Brim Hats)
Five panel hats created by one of my former colleagues. These hats come in adorable, hand drawn patterns with a flexible brim which makes them safe and kid-friendly.
LittleElska (Personalized Stuffed Animals)
I’ve ordered some adorable baby and Christmas gifts from this seller on Etsy who makes personalized stuffed animals. The quality is fantastic and there are so many options to personalize it for your child.
Check out a previous post I wrote on Toronto-based small businesses to support here for more ideas.
For the self-care advocate
We could all use more self-care in our lives. It’s been a rough few years. These are some great items I’ve curated for you to shop for everyone on your list this year.
Sugar Plum Scrubs (Sugar Scrubs)
A natural sugar scrub boutique with all sorts of beautiful scents that make it easy to shop local.
Please Notes (Affirmation Goods)
Selling affirmation cards and journals that are perfect to head into 2024 and channel positivity.
SHYNE Body Butter (Body Butter)
With a goal to empower women to take their healing into their own hands, SHYNE created body butter made with the finest, natural ingredients.
OSHEN (Makeup Cases)
The perfect (and beautiful) gift for a makeup lover. These makeup cases are made with recycled ocean plastic and will keep all your makeup in one place.
Hair Love by Quai (Curly Girl Hair Shop)
The one-stop-shop for everything your curly-haired self or friend needs to keep their curls in check.
A2B Naturals (Uncomplicated Skincare)
Skincare uncomplicated. A2B Naturals is handmade, organic, and ethically sourced skincare. Their packaging is even eco-friendly/95% recyclable.
Baarden (Beard Products)
Small batch, handcrafted beard products for the men in your life.
Verv (Gentle Skincare)
Expertly formulated and handcrafted skincare created in Nova Scotia.
Nail Diva (Manis & Pedis)
Do your quality manis and pedis right at home with Nail Diva’s unique tool that helps you easily fix chips or smudges on your nails.
CanBRB (Relaxation Balms)
Cannabis infused relaxation balms in a variety of scents.
Tip: Have a book lover in your life? Instead of shopping at the big bookstores, opt for a local bookshop instead, or even a used bookstore for those trying to be more eco-friendly.
Cute little gifts that are perfect to stuff into stockings, or use as hostess gifts.
THIC (Repairing Hair Care)
Vegan, effective, and affordable, this new lightweight repairing hair oil and other hair products are a must-have for everyone. Great to throw in stockings!
CurlShoppe (Hair Products)
The perfect stocking stuffer for that curly girl/guy in your house, there curly hair products sound delightful, and they look cute too!
Lehung Handmade (Personalized Ornaments)
These quality, wood ornaments make the perfect gift. You can personalize them for the friends and family in your life and they’ll live on the Christmas tree for years to come.
TILI (Handmade Soaps)
Handmade natural soap that almost looks too pretty to use!
Kokom Scrunchies (Scrunchies)
A business started by a 9-year-old. Yep, you heard that correctly. Mya makes adorable handmade scrunchies.
Bitch Next Door (Stickers, Mugs & Totes)
Stickers, mugs, and totes for the feminist in your life!
Curated boxes are so much fun to receive. These are great for people that you may not see this holiday season, but want to send them something right to their house. Loaded with locally sourced products, they make for the perfect gifts!
Posh Home Box (Curated Boxes)
Home decor subscription box.
Grey Willow Gifts (Curated Boxes)
Beautifully curated gift boxes that support small business owners. This box takes the thinking out of shopping local.
Wonderkind Inc. (Curated Boxes)
Designed to make gifting easy, but still thoughtful. Fill out a quiz about your loved one, and your price range, and they’ll thoughtfully curate the perfect gift box for them.
The Happy Box (Curated Boxes)
A box stuffed with local goodies. Available in a variety of different themes or occasions. Making it easy to shop local.
The Kind Curator Co. (Curated Boxes)
Consciously curated boxes filled with hand-picked, locally sourced, eco-conscious products.
Sock Box (Monthly Sock Club)
A subscription box perfect for the person in your life that loves a good pair of funky socks. They even have a sock lovers advent calendar!
Not everything fits into a category. These are some notable businesses that have fantastic gifts if you haven’t found exactly what you’re looking for.
Common People Shop (Gift Shop)
Another great Toronto shop that is a good one-stop-shop to help you shop local. They also have an online store for you to shop from home!
Rosie & Her Mama (Dog Accessories)
This small business creates dog handkerchiefs. They have some great holiday fabrics too. Perfect for holiday pictures!
Ardent Earth (Eco-Friendly Products)
Low-waste, plant-based, eco-friendly goods for your home, bath, beauty, and beyond.
Black Yoga Society (Yoga Mats)
Bio-degradable plant-based cork and natural yoga mats. Great for the yogi in your family.
Make The Universe (DIY Kits)
Looking for an isolation activity to gift to your friends or family? Make The Universe makes DIY candle and DIY deodorant kits that make a great gift.
Dew South (Eco-Friendly Products)
Everything you need to become more eco-conscious in your bathroom, kitchen, and beyond.
Origin Travels (Travel Tours)
Have someone who has a serious case of wanderlust? Origin Travel runs women’s travel tours around the globe and they sell gift cards!
Lambshead Studio (Leather Products)
Leather laptop sleeves and accessories to elevate your office look.
Props Athletics (Exercise Props)
Still in that at-home workout mode? Props Athletics has you covered with their assortment of fitness props.
Shout-out to the Women Who Freelance Toronto and The Ladies Community Facebook groups for helping me curate this list of amazing businesses to help you shop local. Of course I couldn’t include every great business out there so please feel free to drop some of your favs in the comments below!