The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide 2019


We scoured the city (and beyond) and cherry-picked the year’s most covetable gifts, from affordable stocking stuffers to jaw-dropping splurges

Cute mobile


Pehr’s fluffy floating llamas were designed in Toronto and handcrafted
by artisans in India.

Holt Renfrew, 50 Bloor St. W., 416-922-2333,

Tiger rug


This handwoven wool rug is a cute—and victimless—take on the hunting lodge staple.

Sharon Tate frames


These oversized vintage specs are dead ringers for the ones Margot Robbie wore in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Floral ashtray


Hamilton artist Lee Meszaros forages flowers from parks, gardens and forests, then casts them in resin to create stunning ashtrays and paperweights.

Likely General, 389 Roncesvalles Ave., 647-351-4590,

Temperature-controlled mug


Ember’s smart coffee cup keeps Americanos toasty for an hour at a time, and caffeine freaks can set their ideal heat level from their phones.

Self-watering pot


Serial plant killers, rejoice: the Swedes have developed an idiot-proof solution. Just fill the glass reservoir with water, and the soil will intuitively absorb only as much as it needs to thrive.

Pop star jeans


Internet crush Shawn Mendes is rumoured to own more than 100 pairs of black skinnies. These, made from raw denim, are a good starter pair.

Over the Rainbow, Manulife Centre, 416-967-7448,

Bike saddle bag


This satchel was inspired by St. Bernard dogs, who, according to legend, used to carry tiny brandy barrels around their necks for travellers in need.

See-through light


This clear bedside lamp transforms into a portable lantern for late-night backyard book binges.

Kids at Home, 181B Carlaw Ave., 647-352-5437,

Chinese blocks


For tiny language buffs, the basswood blocks feature simplified Mandarin characters, their English translation and instructions on how to create
the symbols.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina lipstick


Netflix’s chicest sorceress started wearing Christian Louboutin’s goth-red Very Prive Velvet Matte lipstick after joining the Church of Night coven in season two.

Holt Renfrew, 50 Bloor St. W., 416-922-2333,

Eye mask


This slinky silk blindfold is an essential tool for sleep hygiene, self-care and avoiding eye contact with strangers on airplanes.

Kids’ Doc Martens


These sequin-spangled patent-leather combat boots are the perfect choice for the tween who can’t decide between glamour and grunge.

Beautiful watering can


British horticulturalist John Haws created his elegant and ergonomic watering can in 1886. Now it’s the sprinkler of choice for plant parents all over Instagram.

Lee Valley, 1275 Morningside Ave, 416-286-7574,

Danish jug


According to trend forecasters, Gen-Z yellow is the new millennial pink.

Grooming set


The hand-stitched, pocket-size leather Dopp kit from Toronto’s Monte and Coe comes with its own tweezers, scissors, comb and nail clippers.

Cannabis candle


Turns out pot smells pretty good when it’s layered with whiffs of dry amber, citrus and bergamot.

Amazon donation


A contribution to Earth Alliance’s Amazon Forest Fund is a great way to both save the planet and suck up to Leonardo DiCaprio, who runs the charity.

Lips tray


Jonathan Adler’s glossy, gold-toothed trinket dish brings some rock and roll to your living room.

William Ashley, 131 Bloor St. W., 416-964 2900,

Jewellery case


Mejuri’s ingenious leather travel pouch has compartments for rings, earrings and other baubles on the go.

Critter night light


Is there anything more Torontonian than falling asleep under the watchful eye of a mischievous raccoon?

Kids at Home, 181B Carlaw Ave., 647-352-5437.

Apollo 11 Lego


Armchair astronauts can recreate the moon landing with this 1,000-piece lunar lander set (including tiny figurines of Neil and Buzz).

Shower cap


It’s machine-washable, available in a dozen vibrant prints, and stylish enough to wear out of the house.

Book subscription


Every quarter, Raven Reads sends out a collection of kid-friendly literary goodies from Indigenous artists and illustrators.

Meditation bench


The Quebec-designed stool is made from cherry wood offcuts, and ergonomically constructed for those who find sitting cross-legged to be anything but Zen.

Feather pin


A peacock plume adds a rakish pop of colour to staid lapels and fedora brims.

Cool cuff


Vancouver jewellery designer Melanie Auld anchors her spiky bangle with a pair of dreamy moonstones.

LoversLand, 215 Ossington Ave., 416-551-3321,

Fleabag jumpsuit


Anyone could seduce a hot priest in this get-up, iconically worn by Phoebe Waller-Bridge on the BBC comedy.

iPhone printer


The Prynt Pocket instantly produces hard copies of your smartphone snaps on special Polaroid-style paper.

Bike system


The Smart­Halo helps cyclists navigate Toronto’s treacherous roads, with a bike light, GPS, speed trackers, and sensors to detect oncoming hazards.

Bow tie


Only a true dandy can pull off silk velvet neckwear.

Superstar hair products


for both

Timothée Chalamet styles his heartbreaking curls with a few dollops of R and Co’s Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner and High Dive Shine Cream.

Retro jersey


The best way to prove you were a Raptors fan before Kyle and Kawhi is with an original uniform from the Vince Carter days.

The Sport Gallery, 15 Tank House Ln., 416-861-8514,

Meghan Markle’s perfume


for 100mL

The Duchess of Sussex relies on a daily spritz of Jo Malone’s buoyant Wild Bluebell fragrance.

Cozy throw


Calhoun and Co.’s gold-stitched celestial blanket shows the moon in all
of its phases.

Scout, 405 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-546-6922,

Perfume brooch


Diptyque, the Rolls-Royce of fancy candles, has branched out into wearables. The delicate stork pin does double duty as a rose-scented fragrance diffuser.

Sneaker studio


Hypebeasts can festoon their plain white kicks with prints and textures at Stackt Market’s customization station.

Whimsical coasters


for six

Collyer Mansion’s birch discs feature household pets decked out for cameos on The Crown.

Kids’ laptop


A clever substitute for screen time, the analog MacBook swaps out the screen for a blackboard and the trackpad for a chalk holder.

Bergo Designs, 28 Tank House Ln., 416-861-1821,

Floral trunks


Buh-bye, Billabong: this sophisticated suit from Toronto swimwear brand Bather is inspired by old-timey botanical illustrations and still lifes.

Illustrated Handmaid’s Tale


For Atwood completists, Renee Nault’s gorgeous graphic novel renders the horrors of Gilead in living colour.

Travel cocktail


A spoonful of the citrusy powder and a splash of water transform a glass of Tromba into an instant margarita.

Cocktail Emporium, 20 Kensington Ave., 647-727-3600,

Peach pipe


These hand-blown glass orbs work equally well as weed delivery vessels or cheeky objets d’art.

Faux-fur scrunchie


The hair staple gets an elegantly fuzzy upgrade.

Victoire, 129A Ossington Ave., 416-588-6978,

Quirky decanter


This Victorian-style booze receptacle is the cutest barware this side of Diagon Alley.

Curiosa, 1273 Queen St. W., 647-341-0394,

Judy Garland vinyl


Thanks to Renée Zellweger’s Oscar-baiting biopic, we’re in for a full-fledged Judyssance. Her 1961 Carnegie Hall recording is her most iconic
post-Oz moment.

Gender-fluid doll


The wonderfully woke Creatable World doll is proudly non-binary, with two hairstyles—one short, one long—and a wardrobe that includes both tutus and camo pants.

Pictionary Air


The revamped parlour game dispenses with the easel and Sharpie in favour
of a stylus that draws the clue in the air and displays it on your phone.

Kawhi print


The board man is forever a Raptor in Stephanie Cheng’s poignant print.

Cheesy soap


Thankfully, this wedge of Swiss smells like sweet mangoes instead of stinky feet.

Easy Tiger, 1447 Dundas St. W., 647-748-6161,

Beetle mania


The 500-piece entomological puzzle is an ideal challenge for lazy holiday hibernation.

Scout, 405 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-546-6922,

Collapsible straw


The stainless-steel sipper—which comes in a pocket-friendly, pastel sheath—is an essential tool for our plastic-free future.

Arty egg cups


Salvador and Frida bring a fine-art flourish to the humble huevo.

Climate tee


This cotton baseball shirt (translation: “school strike for climate”) pays tribute to Greta Thunberg’s now-iconic call to action.

Designer dog collar


This sophisticated patterned poochwear is stitched by hand in Port Moody, B.C.

Bath boats


These sleek origami-style ships change colour as soon as they hit the water.

Kol Kid, 674 Queen St. W., 416-681-0368,

Water bottle


The sculptural Skittle canteen—made from recycled steel and available in a plethora of pastels—is the undisputed status item for trend-conscious hydrators.

Long-lasting bouquet


and up

Krista van Brugge designs stunning dried arrangements from the blooms she grows at her home in Brant County.

Airpod case


The colour-blocked silicone wrapper is an adorable way to protect and preserve wireless earbuds.

Desi poster


Mindy Kaling loves the Toronto artist Babbu the Painter so much that she decorated The Mindy Project’s set with Babbu’s punky pieces.

Studio Ghibli postcards


This gorgeous set of 100 cards show the final frames from each of the Japanese studio’s feature films—a perfect choice for anime-niacs.

Feminist board books


This adorable box set instills girl-power thinking into baby brains with bios of icons like Malala Yousafzai and Ella Fitzgerald.

Footwear storage


Sneakerheads will love Looker’s clear shoebox, which both preserves and displays your precious Yeezys and Jordans.

Crystal kit


DIY arborists can cultivate their own crystallized Japanese cherry trees with a terraforming solution from Copernicus Toys.

OG My Little Pony


Kids and bronies alike will love the original toys from 1983. Each scented steed comes with a ribbon and comb for proper mane maintenance.

Drake General Store, 1151 Queen St. W., 416-538-2222,

Sheet mask


K-pop supergroup BTS teamed up with Mediheal to create hydrating sheet masks that will leave your face as fresh and dewy as a boy bander’s.

Kids’ Instapot


This mini pressure cooker is the 21st century’s answer to the Easy-Bake Oven.

Courtside hoodie


At the NBA playoffs, Drake trolled Kevin Durant with this Home Alone sweatshirt

Pennywise lamp


This replica of It’s iconic red balloon is whimsical decor by day, glowing portent of evil by night. (Scary clown sold separately.)

Majolica teapot


Imolarte’s cheerful piece is hand-painted in a 150-year-old studio near Bologna.

Baroque sweatshirt


Versace’s kids’ items are only slightly less bombas­tic than their adult counterparts.

Toni Morrison books


The beautifully designed box set is an elegant way to honour the late, great Nobel Prize winner.

Gaming gear


For players who are sick of basic black, Razer Quartz makes a headset and base station the colour of cotton candy.

Cruelty-free puffer


The Montreal brand Matt and Nat was vegan before it was cool. Their quilted parka, stuffed with recycled polyester, is designed to keep your body warm and your conscience clear.

Portable pizza oven


Ooni Koda’s miniature gas oven turns out blistered Neapolitan pies. Your picnics will never be the same.

Spruce, 455 Parliament St., 647-748-4060,

Shimmery bowl


This aluminum salad dish glitters with shades of purple, silver and champagne.

Black Rooster Decor, 1075 Queen St. E., 416-465-7778,

Designer dollhouse furniture


and up

If you don’t want to break the bank on a Saarinen womb chair, Vitra’s palm-size replicas are the next best thing.

Quasi Modo, 1079 Queen St. W., 416-703-8300,

Sequinned slacks


The cropped mom jeans from Toronto label Pretty Denim are business at the top, party at the hem.

Dog bed


This pooch perch from super-trendy Brooklyn brand Dusen Dusen will be the envy of the canine crowd.

Moto jacket


Toronto designer Lesley Hampton elevates the traditional silhouette with sci-fi reflective fabric.

Cell preservation


Acorn, a Toronto start-up, collects a batch of your cells and cryogenically freezes them for future cloning or 3-D-printed organs.

3-D family selfie


for four

At Sculptraits’ Etobicoke studio, customers are scanned by futuristic photo­gram­metry machines, then 3-D printed as figurines.

Sculptraits, 36 Fieldway Rd., 416-966-2539,

Weed subscription box


Discerning potheads can receive a monthly shipment of handsomely packaged, premium-grade kush in rotating flavours.

Bambi chair


No deer were harmed in the making of this adorable kids’ stool—it’s built from solid oak and dappled faux fur.

Ella and Elliot, 188 Strachan Ave., 416-850-7890.

Pop-art earrings


The Memphis Group was an ’80s Italian art collective devoted to kitschy geometry and mismatched prints. These Saved by the Bell–esque earrings were among their original designs.

Studio Brillantine, 1518 Queen St. W., 416-536-6521,

Audio sunglasses


Like something out of Mission: Impossible, the Bose Frames resemble regular shades but covertly play music directly into your ears.

Bay Bloor Radio, Manulife Centre, 416-967-1122,

Metalworking course


Millennial blacksmith (yup!) Mac Osborne teaches one-day workshops in the bygone medieval art.

Printed shirt


To replicate Harry Styles’s lounge-lizard chic, you’ll need a flamboyant printed button-down.

Kids’ bike


Fledgling cyclists are swapping out training wheels for pedal-free, ergonomically designed, retro-styled balance bikes.

Comic collection


Forget Endgame—the real Marvel Golden Age was in the 1940s. This gorgeously geeky compendium from the Folio Society gathers some of the rarest and most important comics from the era, with all the original art.

Grape earrings


A subtler take on Carmen Miranda’s fruit couture.

Weed humidor


This wooden chest is a Caboodle for cannabis, with humidity-controlled compartments, a removable grinding tray and glass storage jars.

Swan bowl


This graceful porcelain tureen is gilded with 14-karat liquid gold.

Colourful scarf


Architect and designer Yaw Tony makes Wakanda-worthy Afrofuturist silk scarves out of his studio in Markham.

Naughty necklace


This minimalist 24-karat-gold pendant doubles as a surreptitious vibrator. (If that’s not personal enough, it’s engravable.)

Serving board


and up

Cheffy superstars like Matty Matheson, Curtis Stone and Michael Smith swear by Rich Brackett’s charcuterie planks, hand-chiselled in Hamilton.

Floral dress


Marie-Chantal’s pretty pintucked frock is fit for a princess—Princess Charlotte, even, who recently wore it to a charity polo match.

Classy clutch


This trim, turquoise-topped evening bag is woven from buri palm husks by female artisans in Southeast Asia.

Pompom tuque


The Toronto brand Sentaler will donate the proceeds from their alpaca cap to SickKids.

Dog sculpture


and up

The Wasaga artist Sharon Holmes crafts eerily lifelike replicas of your favourite furball from wire, wool and felt.

Art bong


Just in time for the AGO’s massive Picasso exhibit next summer, the hand-thrown piscine piece is a smokable homage to the artist’s 1954 Sujet Poisson sculpture.

Moira Rose necklace


Catherine O’Hara’s bewigged, bejewelled, utterly deranged character on Schitt’s Creek has become a surprise fashion darling. This excessive vintage bib necklace is just her tempo.

Levitating bulb


We haven’t invented Marty McFly’s hoverboard yet, but we do have the Flyte Light, which floats above its base through the magic of induction.

Bergo Designs, 28 Tank House Ln., 416-861-1821,

Luxury timepiece


Charles Birchall and Brad Taylor, both originally from Toronto, met at a horological school in Switzerland and now build their meticulously engineered wristwatches in an old industrial warehouse near Parkdale.

Friends furniture


To celebrate Friends’ 25th birthday, Pottery Barn has reissued the titular piece from “The One With the Apothecary Table.”

End table speaker


This sleek piece of birch furniture hides a hi-fi, Bluetooth-enabled sound system.

Cheeky porcelain


Pop artist Cindy Sherman depicts herself as Madame de Pompadour on her vibrant rococo tea service.

Baller hat


Style icon Serge Ibaka (he moonlights as a Raptor) caps off his pre-game looks with supple beaver-felt fedoras from Venice Beach milliner Nick Fouquet.

Rainbow Louboutins


Taylor Swift wore these Spice Girls–tastic platforms in her Pride-themed video for “You Need to Calm Down.”

Dramatic coat


This crimson trench from the Montreal brand Mackage has appeared on such VIPs as Lupita Nyong’o, Nina Dobrev and noted Canadian coat hawker Meghan Markle.

Teddy bear


The wildly opulent, slightly ridiculous 24-karat-gold alligator-skin stuffie sets a new standard for child indulgence.

Pendant lamp


A floaty jellyfish light transforms any boring Toronto dining room into a shimmering undersea grotto.

Ear crescent


These conflict-free diamonds were lovingly grown in a California lab.

Ontario rocker


The slouchy seat from Toronto studio Objects and Ideas was inspired by the twisting curves of the Wye Marsh near Georgian Bay.

Lipstick case


Louis Vuitton’s tiny, gold-lined canister—a favourite of Rihanna—is a delightfully unnecessary extravagance.

Fuzzy jacket


Chiara Ferragni’s cheeky eye-embroidered kids’ bomber is a fun twist on the Pink Ladies uniform.

Alarm clock barista


The bedside Barisieur brews a perfect cup of coffee while you hit the snooze button.

Tiger pillow


Front-row regulars Elle Fanning and Alexa Chung sat on these velvet embroidered cushions at Gucci’s runway show in Westminster Abbey.

Plus-size blazer


The Toronto-born model Lauren Chan sells a line of beautifully tailored, figure-friendly workwear in sizes 12 through 24.

Statement chair

Rule the Seven Kingdoms—or your living room—in this life-sized replica of the Iron Throne, presumably made from the 1,000 swords surrendered to Aegon Targaryen during the War of Conquest.

Cowboy jacket


and up

Lil Nas X wore one of Union Western’s custom fringe jackets in the video for “Old Town Road.” They range from understated to more-rhinestones-than-Dollywood.

Neon cashmere


This oversized turtleneck is plush, toasty and infinitely more elegant than a fleece Snuggie.

Over the Rainbow, Manulife Centre, 416-967-7448,

Cellphone purse


Just like your ’90s Motorola, but bedazzled with thousands of crystals.

Glass vase


Artist Jeff Goodman makes his windswept, opalescent vases by hand in his East York studio.

Signet ring


Brad Pitt has been living his best life in 2019, and sporting David Yurman’s bumblebee ring while doing it.

Maisel-esque sofa


This shapely chaise from Toronto designer Paolo Ferrari would fit right in at Midge’s Upper West Side apartment.

South Hill Home, 146 Dupont St., 416-924-7224,

Cactus bookcase


These painted steel shelves add Santa Fe flair to a kid’s bedroom—and unlike real cacti, they’re fun and functional.

Ella and Elliot, 188 Strachan Ave., 416-850-7890,

Italian mirror


This neon-lit Florentine funhouse mirror is the selfie site of choice for Bella Hadid and Frank Ocean.

Kids’ bed


The camper bunk, which contains a bed, TV, desk, mini bar and sofa, encourages imaginative play of the #vanlife variety.

Shearling bag


The fluffy purse is the creation of Brother Vellies, the glam accessories brand founded by Toronto-born Aurora James and beloved by Beyoncé, Solange, Zendaya and other mononymous icons.

Floral chair


Seletti’s rose-patterned perch looks like it was plucked from the Golden Girls’ Miami lanai—and we mean that in the best possible way.

Silver fox coat


Hustlers fans who want to live their J. Lo fantasy should consider vintage fur—the most ethical way to achieve her stripper-glam look.

Weight machine


WaterRower’s wall-mounted cable machine, equipped with adjustable training weights and pulleys, is handsome enough for the living room.

Meryl McMaster print


The buzzy Cree-Canadian photographer layers shots of herself and her ancestors to create haunting, spectral collages.

Beaded tote


Ulla Johnson’s breezy, Coachella-friendly satchels are beloved by celebs like Emma Roberts and Kate Bosworth.

Goop-approved sneakers


Alexandre Birman’s ultra-feminine footwear—complete with a big suede bow—has Gwyneth’s thumbs-up.

Long Island mansion

$176 million

The 42-acre compound that plays the Roy family’s Summer Palace on Succession can be yours for the price of a small European country.

Kids’ slides


These furry Fendis have graced the feet of Kimye scion North West.

Retro boat


The stunning speedboat from Toronto brand Beau Lake is the ultimate in luxury (mahogany trim, Bluetooth speakers, built-in charcuterie board) and eco-friendliness (it’s powered by a lithium smart battery instead of fuel).

Fringe lamp


The silk-swathed ombré table light is one part ’20s flapper, one part Deadwood saloon.

Delft carpet


Moooi’s intricate area rug is copied from a design hand-painted on an antique ceramic plate.

Car club


Members of Toronto’s RClub get to borrow from a fleet of rare and vintage cars, including an Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, a Ford Mustang 289 Coupe and a Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Cabriolet.

Starter flute


Lizzo’s infectious hip-hop flutery has brought the ancient woodwind back into vogue. Jupiter’s student model is a great choice for beginners.

Long and McQuade, 925 Bloor St. W., 416-588-7886,

Feline jungle gym


For cat parents desperate to earn their pet’s elusive affection, Tuft and Paw’s kitty tree—with a hammock, ramp, pole and multiple perches—will endear you to Fluffy forever.



and up

The Mississauga company Adventure Canada whisks travellers through the Northwest Passage, which, after centuries of failed crossings, is all smooth sailing now (thanks, climate change).

Luxe loafers


Duke and Dexter’s suede slip-ons are hand-painted with mischievous cardiganed foxes.

Tie-dyed top


Topman’s ’90s-overload muscle tee is a paean to belter extraordinaire Whitney Houston.

Smart meat thermometer


The Bluetooth-enabled Meater allows lazy chefs to check if their pot roast is done from the comfort of their sofas.

Dickson BBQ, 2030 Avenue Rd., 416-487-4029,

3-D puzzle


The only thing more satisfying than finishing this 260-piece recreation of King’s Landing is pulling a Drogon and knocking the whole thing down again.

Penny studs


Toronto jeweller (and currency defacer) Micah Adams collects antique Canadian pennies and refashions them into patriotic jewellery.

Oracle set


For astrological bandwagon jumpers, the kaleidoscopic cards from Toronto illustrator and mystic Devany Amber Wolfe is a cheat sheet on signs, houses, planets and moons.

Belt bag


There’s no escaping it: the fanny pack is back. This Italian leather version
is a tasteful way to embrace the trend without losing your dignity.

Want Apothecary, 1070 Yonge St., 416-924-8080,

Kids’ wearable


The Octopus smartwatch helps precocious tots develop healthy habits, using quirky icons to remind them to brush their teeth and finish their homework.

Statement earrings


Warren Steven Scott, a Toronto-based designer and member of the Nlaka’pamux Nation, crafts neon jewellery inspired by Coast Salish totems.

Camping cookware


This four-piece cast-iron set from Barebones Living works as well on a portable induction stove as it does in a gourmet kitchen.

Robot mop


The company that created the Roomba has one-upped itself with the Braava, a brainy AI vacuum equipped with a jet spray to clean grime and grease.

Toronto gingerbread house


If you’re willing to throw down some coin for an epic centrepiece, the bonkers-talented bakers at Bobbette and Belle will make a gingerbread house that’s entirely edible but looks too good to eat.

Bobbette and Belle, 1121 Queen St. E., 3347 Yonge St., 416-466-8800,

Israeli halvah


for 100 grams

The colourful candied bricks are sold by weight in flavours such as chocolate-chili and almond-cardamom.

Parallel, 217 Geary Ave., 416-516-7765,

Cold brew


for 12

Hatch Roastery’s cute-as-a-button cans combine two of the trendiest potables du jour: creamy nitro cold brew and oat milk—the new thing in non-dairy alternatives—with a little cocoa added for that mocha hit.


Orange-cranberry bitters


Bartender Jeff Carroll’s bitters are used at the city’s top spots, including all the Drakes and Piano Piano. This recipe—made with orange oil essence, cranberry and Christmassy spices—adds a little extra to classic cocktails like Manhattans and negronis.

The Organic Boutique, 970 Queen St. W., 647-352-2585,



and up

Mattachioni’s kicky house-made spread improves everything it touches (except maybe your eyes).

Mattachioni, 1617 Dupont St., 416-519-1010,



for nine

Brigadeiros, Brazilian confections made using sweetened condensed milk, cocoa and butter, are like the love children of fudge and truffles. These gorgeous orbs come in flavours like crème brûlée and salted caramel.

Chocollata Gourmet, 986A Kingston Rd., 416-693-2448,

Fresh pasta


and up per piece

Pasta might seem like an unusual gift choice, but not when it’s the fresh ricotta-stuffed ravioli and mezzaluna from Famiglia Baldassarre, the 10-seat lunch counter.

Famiglia Baldassare, 122 Geary Ave., 647-293-5395,

Funky-flavoured chocolates


for nine

These glossy, small-batch bonbons wouldn’t be out of place in a jewellery box. Not for the plain-chocolate lover on your list, they come in far-out flavours like soy sauce kalamansi, tom yum caramel, Ovaltine and durian—the fruit so odorous it’s banned from Singapore’s public transit system.

Onyx, 617 Gerrard St. E., 647-948-9107,

Unconventional sufganiyot


and up

My Zaidy’s Bakery studs and stuffs their deep-fried dough rounds with all kinds of confections. We’re partial to the s’mores, Oreo and tiramisu varieties, though purists can still find classic rounds filled with jellies, creams and custards.

My Zaidy’s Bakery, 7241 Bathurst St., #4, Thornhill, 905-763-0373,

Pâté de campagne


per kilogram

Butcher Emily Tucker combines pork and chicken liver with all sorts of good stuff, including sour cherries and pistachios, then wraps it in house-cured bacon.

Chantecler Boucherie, 1318 Queen St. W., 416-628-3586,

Candy-filled cake


and up

Belgian chocolate shells are filled with mini chocolate bars and gummy candies that can only be accessed with a little help from a hammer. They’re basically edible pinatas, minus that whole blindfold business.

Celebreak, 647-383-7486,

Scandi sugar cookies


and up for a platter

These sugar cookies are pretty enough to decorate a tree, but even better paired with a mug of hot cocoa.

The Sweetest Thing, 282 Kerr St., Oakville, 905-582-0862,

Butter tarts


for six

The scratch-made tarts come in 20 rotating flavours, including plain (for the purists), chocolate-chip, coconut, chai, Skor, peanut butter and—the signature offering—raspberry, which is only available on Saturdays.

Sweet Oven, 1911 Queen St. E., 416-519-9559,

Pink gin


Aged in red-wine casks from Niagara and finished with wildflower honey, this rosy hooch goes down smoothly, with flavours of juniper, candied lemon and honeysuckle.

Look choup


for 32

These intricate and auspicious Thai delicacies are made of mung bean paste (it tastes better than it sounds) and coconut cream, then painted and dipped in agar for a glossy sheen.

Patchmon’s Thai Desserts, 258 Dupont St., 647-882-5250,

French cannelés


for six

At Little Pebbles, the cannelés feature Japanese ingredients, in flavours including chocolate, earl grey and vanilla-rhum. The volcanic treats have custardy innards with crackly outer shells made shiny with Ontario beeswax.

Little Pebbles, 160 Baldwin St., #8, 416-792-0404,

Shorty cans


per can

Head brewer Brandon Judd makes approachable, balanced beers—not the super-boozy, hella-hazy hop bombs that have been dominating the craft beer scene for so long—and uses at least 20 per cent Ontario grain in every brew.

Avling Kitchen and Brewery, 1042 Queen St. E., 416-469-1010,

Sourdough subscription


per delivery

Sourdough has a pretty cool superpower: it stays fresh for days—long enough for Dear Grain in Dundas to ship their breads to any address in the province. Pick two slow-fermented loaves and a delivery frequency, then break out the butter when the bread lands on your doorstep the day after it was baked.

Coffee tasting kit


The #MYJAVA tasting kit comes with a choice of four seasonally changing, fair-trade (and in some cases, organic) beans—like the Colombian Cosmic Goose—packaged in adorably arted 100-gram bags

Brunch bundle


This DIY care package from Toronto’s top sellers of smoked salmon includes 250 grams of lox, a container of fresh cream cheese from Monforte Dairy and four Gryfe’s bagels on which to pile it all. All that’s left to do is make some mimosas.

Kristapsons, 1095 Queen St. E., 416-466-5152,

Mead blanc


This mead-wine mash-up from Rosewood Estates Winery—which is run by a third-generation beekeeper—blends honey with gewürztraminer grapes for an off-dry sip, full of lychee and wildflower flavour.

Rosewood Estates Winery, 4352 Mountainview Rd., Beamsville, 905-563-4383,

Butcher family pack


The family pack of beef, pork and poultry products from Etobicoke-based West Side Beef Co. is the perfect “I’m coming in from out of town with my partner and two kids and we’re gonna need a place to crash for a few nights and we go through a lot of food” contribution gift.

Caviar gift set


This fancy caviar service for two from the Caviar Centre comes with a one-ounce tin of Russian osetra, eight French cocktail blinis and two mother-of-pearl spoons—because caviar can’t be eaten with just any old spoon.

Caviar Centre, 220 Duncan Mill Rd., suite A1, 416-441-9788,

Baklava box


and up

Brothers Rasoul and Ismail Alsalha make all kinds of sweet and savoury Middle Eastern goods at their bakery, but this baklava box is the best way to try a bit of everything. It comes packed with a choice of things like esh al ashfour (crunchy vermicelli bird’s nests filled with syrup-soaked pistachios) and swar (phyllo bracelets piped full of Nutella).

Crown Pastries, 2086 Lawrence Ave. E., Scarborough, 647-351-2015,

Organic cider


Southbrook’s wild-fermented golden elixir is bone dry and only mildly effervescent, so it drinks like a brut champagne, and it’s got a bit of barnyard funk to it (that’s a good thing!).

Southbrook, 581 Niagara Stone Rd., RR4, Niagara-on-the-Lake, 905-641-2548,