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East End Arts is encouraging you to shop and support local businesses and creators this holiday season in east Toronto and beyond!

You’ve likely read the statistics: giant corporations like Amazon have seen their profits grow more than 200% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, while small local businesses continue to struggle. As we approach our second pandemic holiday season, the team at East End Arts is again encouraging our communities to support local and support small! 

Shopping small is big for the community, as it helps to create local jobs, and it supports the local economy of the neighbourhoods we live in and love! From Leslieville to GreekTown, Riverside to The Danforth, we have so many amazing neighbourhoods in east Toronto, all with a plethora of local businesses, creators, makers and artists to support.

And so without further delay, find below our 2021 Local Holiday Gift Guide! We hope you love it as much as we do; it’s bigger and better than ever before, complete with nearly 100 local gift ideas to help you give some #EastEndLove and #SupportLocal this December!

-MERCH TO SUPPORT EAST END ARTS-

Image of #EastEndLove Merch.

  1. Buy your very own #EastEndLove Merch (proceeds go towards supporting East End Arts’ youthprograms) from local artists Trixie and Beever (BBJ Pop Merch). Hats, bags, t-shirts and BRAND NEW SWEATERS and more. Buy them for you and your east end pals HERE. P.S. Sweaters can be ordered online starting Saturday November 27th!
  2. Buy 1 or all 3 of our Custom-illustrated maps for our Local Discoveries Tours! Illustrated by Urban Geographer Daniel Rostsztain, and printed by local east end business, Secret Planet Print Shop, the sale of each map helps to support our public art programs. Buy them HERE.


-HOLIDAY MARKETS & CRAFT FAIRS-

  1. Support diverse Indigenous artists by visiting the Indigenous Art Market at 1107 Queen Street East, on until December 24th. Follow on Instagram for updates HERE
  2. T&M Sidewalk Cafe is holding an Inaugural Christmas Market December 4th & 5th. Proceeds support the Red Door Family Shelter. See the listing HERE.
  3. The Leslieville Flea is holding their Holiday Market at the Jimmie Simpson Rec Centre (870 Queen Street East) December 11th and 12th. The Leslieville Flea is a curated crafts & vintage market. Find out more HERE.
  4. Join the Toronto East End (virtual) Christmas Market! From Dec. 3-5 you can get all of your Christmas shopping done through local small businesses from the comfort and safety of your own living room. Learn more HERE.
  5. East Side Events are hosting two holiday pop-up markets for you this season: The Leslieville Christmas Pop-Up Market on Dec 4th and 5th (learn more HERE), and the Tiny Pop-Up Shop in the front of the Vandenberg House Event Venue throughout December (learn more HERE).
  6. Join UK Designer Sales for their magical two day pop up marketplace Nov 25 and 26 featuring lots of lovely locally made goodies from independent artisans, and more! Learn more HERE.

-LOCAL GIFT BASKETS & COLLECTIONS-

  1. Be sure to grab your “Riverside Edition” of Bag of Toronto. Each Bag of Riverside will have an assortment of five to seven products from a selection of Riverside BIA businesses. Learn more HERE.
  2. Toronto Market Company offers gift sets made up of the best local gems. Make sure to check out their Leslieville Gift Set to support east end favourites HERE.
  3. Shop the “Let’s AvoCuddle” Collection from Queenie’s Cards, a unique trademark design belonging to this east end business and artist. Browse HERE.
  4. Curated Care Packages from Silver Antelope (Gotamago), which can be sent directly to the recipient with a gift message! Order online HERE.
  5. Build a Gift Box (including the Candyland Box – yum!) from The Penny Paper Co! Visit and order online HERE.
  6. Get your Holiday Care packages for wellness and comfort from local east end business, Crying Out Loud! Shop all the package options HERE.
  7. Check out the personalized Christmas box and stocking stuffers from east end maker, SayItWithCrayons. View gift options HERE.

-LOCAL ART PRINTS & PAINTINGS-

  1. Check out a very cool lineup of Art Prints from Secret Planet Print Shop (among other cool items including apparel and stationery. Shop HERE.
  2. Grab a unique new piece of wall art (or gift it to someone you love) from Atto Gift in East York. Browse the selection HERE.
  3. You can shop Authentic Indigenous Art Prints, and other incredible art prints and collections from incurable collector. Shop online HERE.
  4. The Big Holiday Smalls Show is back at the Leslie Grove Gallery, just in time for holiday gift-giving. Over a hundred 12″ x 12″ original artworks will be showcased starting Dec 1. Find out more HERE.
  5. You can find LocalesDesign.com prints (of iconic east Toronto neighbourhoods like Riverdale and The Danforth) at Treasure Island Toys, or online HERE.
  6. Check out the unique lineup of art prints from Overlay Art (by artist Steve Socha) on Queen East. Browse prints to purchase online HERE.
  7. Browse Art Prints and Frames from Workshop Gallery! If you can imagine it, they can print it and frame it, plus they’ve got a great selection of prints art pieces to browse. See HERE.
  8. Find the perfect new art print or painting from Blue Crow Gallery (plus so much more)! To see available inventory, connect with them HERE.

-BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS-

  1. Grab the best books for young ones from the Ella Minnow Bookstore. Check out their 2021 Holiday top picks HERE.
  2. Fulfill all your comics needs and wants at Sidekick Comics, a fully integrated Comic Book Store!! Browse their graphic novels, and stop by the store for a good coffee too. Learn more here.
  3. Shop books from local, independent publisher, ECW Press, who have published close to 1,000 books. Browse their collection HERE.
  4. Check out an awesome lineup of books from local, independent book store, Queen Books! *Note that their online shop is closed until the new year, but their brick and mortar shop is open for in-store shopping! Browse books HERE.
  5. Books Galore from Book City (with two locations to choose from in east Toronto – Danforth Avenue & in the Beaches)! Visit online and order HERE
  6. Go see an impressive selection of books at Mabel’s Fables! They’ve got books for kids and adults alike, and have an awesome “Give a Book Subscription” that would make a cool gift! Learn more HERE.
  7. Find an assortment of used books, vinyl, CD’s and DVD’s at Circus Books and Music. Browse HERE.
  8. Enjoy a variety of French books for young children from Children’s French Book Corner! Visit and order online HERE.

-MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC- 

  1. This year you can gift a ticket or two to an upcoming show at the Danforth Music Hall (yes, we can finally go enjoy live music again!). Check out upcoming shows and buy tickets HERE.
  2. Grab all the vinyl records that you’ll ever need for you and someone special from Press Vinyl Cafe! To check out the vinyl collection and order online, visit HERE.
  3. For all the metal heads, check out Futhark Records, a specialty Metal Record Store located in East York that carries vinyl, cassettes, & more. Learn more HERE.
  4. Buy some tickets for an upcoming show at HISTORY, the newest live music venue in east Toronto. Learn more HERE.
  5. Gift a very cool turntable or gift card from Pop Music. Visit them in person on Gerrard St. East, or browse online HERE.
  6. Shop vinyl and merchandise from Tiny Record Shop! Visit online to see all their awesome options HERE.
  7. Check out Kops Records, Toronto’s oldest indie record store that specializes in second-hand vinyl. Learn more HERE.

-LOCAL THEATRE & SHOWS-

  1. Why not purchase the “There Will Be Drama” Holiday Gift Card from Crow’s Theatre? This is a flexible four-ticket pass for the 2021.22 season! Learn more and purchase HERE.
  2. Treat someone you love to a Fox Theatre membership so that they can enjoy movies all year long! Visit HERE.
  3. Why not purchase some tickets for an upcoming comedy show at the Social Capital on Danforth? Browse upcoming events and tickets HERE.
  4. Buy your Season 7 Tickets and Passes from Coal Mine Theatre! Learn more about their 2022 lineup of shows HERE.
  5. Grab some tickets for Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at Red Sandcastle Theatre this month! Experience the magic of Christmas past HERE.
  6. Give the gift of theatre to someone you love. You can purchase tickets to the 2022 show, Is God Is with Obsidian Theatre. Learn more HERE.

-LOCAL MAKER/ARTISAN SHOPS-

  1. Art pieces from local artists and artisans from Riverdale Hub’s Art and Artisan Shop! From ceramics, to jewelry, to textiles, browse more HERE.
  2. Be sure to check out an impressive selection of items from local makers and artists at THE CURATED MARKET Co. in the heart of the Beaches. Browse their listing of makers HERE.
  3. Beautiful handwoven Moroccan baskets from Mashi Moosh, Moroccan Artisanal treasures. Browse the selection HERE.
  4. Be sure to shop and browse the Arts Market (located in Riverside). Here you’ll find tons of options from local artists and artisans in the shop. Stop in at 790 Queen St. or learn more HERE.
  5. A large variety of handmade, Canadian and/or independent maker gifts from Scout (Leslieville location)! To view and order online, visit HERE.
  6. Good Intentions offers a home to women-run businesses and makers! You can visit their retail location on the Danforth or shop online HERE.
  7. Stationary, Apothecary, and other Pretty Things from Collected Joy! Shop their winter holiday items and collections HERE
  8. Shop art pieces from local artists and artisans from Arts on Queen! To view photos of available pieces of art, visit online HERE.

-LOCAL KITS & SUBSCRIPTIONS-

  1. Get inspired by Pigeon Coop Design’s nature-inspired cross-stitch kits. They offer a variety of holiday craft kits and patterns. Check them out online HERE.
  2. Gift the writer in your family or friend group the monthly Snail Mail Subscription from Firefly Creative Writing. Learn more about this HERE.
  3. Grab a Creative Painting Kit from The Clay Room! Order some ceramics and paints from their website, and have some fun at home. Order HERE.
  4. Buy an adorable little felting kit for you and your friends from Snug on the Danforth (and you can also buy some new comfy pjs). Check them out HERE.
  5. At-home art kits from The Make Station, or check out their subscription art box program! Great for kids – make your own clay characters, homemade arts and crafts and more. Learn more HERE.
  6. Art Kits, Activity Books are more from Create Art Studio on the Danforth! Visit online and order HERE.
  7. Electronic and Robot Kits for kids from Little Robots Friends! Visit online to order cool options for kids HERE.
  8. Check out the experience kits and bundles from Embiria. Manis, pedis, face care and wellness, browse these at-home kits HERE.

-LOCAL EXPERIENCES-

  1. Learn how to make your first piece of FUSED GLASS in one workshop from Verbeek Studios! Book and gift a workshop now HERE
  2. Dickie’s Cooking School has in-person, virtual, and on-demand classes for kids and adults. Gift the love of cooking to your friends and family. Learn more HERE.
  3. Looking for a way to support local businesses while saving the world (and yourself) from boredom? You need to check out the Local Adventure Club’s Adventure Kits! Inside find puzzles, riddles, treats, and adventure while supporting local East End businesses. Need we say more? Order now HERE.
  4. Book your own private events for painting or pottery with your family and friends at the Riverdale Hive! No experience needed, and all materials included. Learn more HERE.
  5. Sign up for an art workshop with local business, Fresh Paint Studio! For kids and adults, from acrylic painting to watercolour, visit online to browse your options HERE.

-GAMES, PUZZLES, TOYS & MORE-

  1. Check out a great lineup of puzzles (including a very cool one of the moon), games, books and more from Old’s Cool General Store! Visit at 250 Westlake Ave or online HERE.
  2. Grab some beautiful puzzles (and don’t forget to grab some new slippers and a blanket to accompany it too) from The Sweetest Things. Shop online HERE.
  3. Game Collectibles & more from Face to Face Games! Shop all Magic, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh and more in the store or online HERE.
  4. Browse an impressive selection of games, puzzles, toys and so much more at The Swag Sisters Toy Store! Visit them or order online HERE
  5. A beautiful selection of puzzles (and toys, journals, jewlry, etc) at El Pipil. Shop the puzzle collection HERE.
  6. Arts & Crafts, games, toys, collectibles, and more from Treasure Island Toys! Check out their full collection of options HERE.

-CREATIONS FROM SOME OF OUR PAST “EAST END SPOTLIGHTS”-

  1. For colourful, impactful prints and tee-shirts shop online from artist, Back To Punjab HERE.
  2. Libs Elliot sells beautiful fabrics, antique linens, enamel pins and quilting patterns online HERE.
  3. Beautiful ethereal watercolour originals by Mayra Majano can be bought online HERE.
  4. Hand-crafted ceramics can be purchased from east end artist Chiedza Pasipanodya online at HERE
  5. Apanaki Temitayo Minerve sells incredible, colourful original art and prints online HERE.
  6. Prolific muralist Kizmet sells prints, masks and t-shirts with his iconic triple-faced woman HERE.
  7. Allison Palmer’s bakery business, Be Eat Full, sells delicious and beautiful cupcakes, cookies and cakes HERE.
  8. Purchase beautiful holiday cards hand lettered by talented Julia Prajza on her website HERE.
  9. You can buy local musician Yiannis Kapoulas’s physical and digital albums from his website HERE.
  10. Natalie Very B sells iconic feminist prints, stickers and zines HERE.
  11. Women Paint Riverside muralist Wandy Cheng sells hand-craft ceramics and greenware HERE.
  12. Purchase Kendra Thompson-Phillips’s delicate watercolour botanicals and animal prints online HERE.
  13. Find Njacko Backo’s original songs as digital downloads as well as a selection of instruments for sale HERE.
  14. Dairy Sam sells a variety of small prints and whimsical ceramic figures online HERE.
  15. Find a variety of prints of painting and digital illustrations from local artist Rose Trinh. Shop online HERE.
  16. Nishnaabe contemporary artist Melanie Bartel sells abstract original paintings online HERE.
  17. Purchase Charlie Petch’s LGBTQ+ poetry collection from Glad Day Bookshop HERE
  18. Find gorgeous resin charcuterie boards, holiday ornaments and other beautiful, ocean-inspired odds and ends at Resin Blondie‘s site HERE.
  19. Stevie Driscoll sells illustrated cards, calendars and wall art online HERE. 
  20. Portrait artist Gordon Shadrach sells iconic oil paintings and prints on his website HERE.
  21. Find hand-crafted jewelry, accessories and prints by Blessyl Buan can be found HERE.
  22. One of a kind watercolour sports paintings from local East Toronto artist Mike Nguyen! Visit HERE.
  23. Buy some cool custom holiday ornaments, clothing and more from our favourites, BBJ Pop Merch. Visit HERE.

-ART SUPPLIES STORES-

  1. Get some great art supplies and stocking stuffers from Midoco Art & Office Supplies! Browse & online HERE.
  2. Explore unique art supplies and gift ideas from Above Ground Art Supplies! Browse online HERE.
  3. Order all your Beads for Jewelry Making from BeadFX! Browse online HERE.
  4. Find great deals on supplies that every artist will need and want from DeSerres on the Danforth. Browse and order online HERE.

-VINTAGE & THRIFTING-

  1. Find some unique vintage clothing from East Toronto’s Coffee & Clothing! Visit and browse online HERE.
  2. Find vintage furniture, lighting, accessories and more at Ethel – 20th Century Living. Learn more HERE.
  3. Be sure to visit the Common Sort Thrift & Consignment Store in Riverside. Learn more HERE.
  4. A great selection of used books can be found at Re: Reading on the Danforth. Learn more HERE.
  5. The Pegasus Shoppe is a thrift and consignment store where all proceeds go to a day program for adults with developmental disabilities. More HERE.
  6. Browse through an awesome selection of vintage home decor and more with Second Voyage. Browse the Etsy shop HERE.
  7. Check out GUFF in east Toronto, a store that specializes in vintage furniture & home decor. Learn more HERE.

-FOOD & BEVERAGE BASKETS & GIFTS-

  1. Gift Baskets, Gift Boxes and Bottle Shop from our favourite east end business, Good Cheese! They offer delivery throughout the GTA. Visit and order HERE.
  2. Send someone special a holiday gift box from Mary’s Brigadeiro Handcrafted Chocolate! Order online HERE.
  3. Reid’s Distillery is located right in the east end, so why not check out their Cocktail Kits and subscription packs as unique gift ideas? Browse HERE.
  4. Pies are a work of art, right? Be sure to order and grab your savoury and sweet pies from local east end business, Sherman’s Proper Pies. Browse online HERE.
  5. Check out the Holiday Grazing Boxes from East York business and maker, The Graze Anatomy! These boxes may look too pretty to eat. View HERE.
  6. Check out the Chocolate Discovery Gift Box from Soul Chocolate featuring 15 unique, handcrafted chocolate bars! Order online HERE.
  7. Grab your pints of ice cream for holiday treats (and survival) from our favourite, Wong’s Ice Cream! Browse the menu HERE.
  8. Order your very own Luxury Charcuterie Boutique from The Crave 6ix located down in the Beaches. Makes for a unique holiday gift item. Learn more HERE.

-MORE GIFT SHOPS IN THE EAST END-

  1. Find some beautiful pottery, art, throws and knits from The Irish Design House! Visit and order online HERE.
  2. Unique gift items from La Di Da Boutique. Free local delivery for orders of $50 or more. Visit and order online HERE.
  3. Find unique lifestyle fashion items from Good Neighbour on Queen East! Visit online HERE.
  4. Buy some beautiful pillows featuring Art by Indigenous Canadian Artists from Inspire Gifts & Home Decor on the Danforth. See them HERE.
  5. Shop unique minerals, fossils, jewelry options and more at Gifts from the Earth! Browse the full selection HERE.
  6. Grab some new socks and bath salts to keep those winter blues at bay from the Orangefish gift shop. Shop online HERE.
  7. Find unique gifts for the home from Moss Garden & Home! Shop ornaments, cards and more HERE.

*Banner image by Erik Mclean

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