East End Arts is encouraging you to shop and support local businesses and creators this holiday season in east Toronto and beyond!
It’s one of our favourite times of the year: the winter holidays are approaching and now is a great time to support local businesses, artists, and makers for all your gift-giving needs! From Leslieville to GreekTown, Riverside to The Danforth, we have so many amazing neighbourhoods in east Toronto to explore and support. Scroll down to read our 2023 Holiday Gift Guide, featuring 24 unique arts & culture gift ideas that you can find here in east Toronto and beyond! #EastEndLove #ShopLocal
Cynella’s Picks, our Program Manager:
- A Mystery Gift Basket from one of our favourite all-women owned store on the Danforth, Good Intentions! A simple + unique gift idea for someone extra special, or the perfect ‘pick me up’ from you to you.
- For the person who loves funky, colourful art, check out Art Pieces for sale from local east end artist, Kyla Yager! The touchable sensory art pieces are so enjoyable. Head to her website to order now!
- If you love lego and flowers as much as Cynella does, then you will LOVE the Botanical Collection – Wildflower LEGO Bouquet! You can purchase this unique gift that can be displayed forever from our friends at The Swag Sisters Toy Store (located at 1511 Gerrard St E).
- Like the sounds of gifting a fun experience and a new art-skill all in one? Buy a Workshop Gift Card from our friends at Verbeek Glass Studio (located 250 Carlaw Avenue) and the recipient can try their hand at one of several glass-making workshops, like making a glass bowl, a garden stake, wall art, and more!
- Gift the ultimate self-care gift bag with incredible products from Charlie Pickles (1040 Kingston Rd). Add in lots of Bath and Body products, like soaps, lotions, fizzies, bath bombs, face masks, etc, and then don’t forget to throw in some fun Candy items too (they have SO many to choose from)!
- Who doesn’t love chocolate? If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out Chachalate (located at 149 Main Street) where you can create the chocolate-y bundle of your dreams (or someone else’s dreams) with their delicious Locally made Chocolate Bars!
Chelsea’s Picks, our Communications Manager:
- We all need a good calendar for the new year, so why not go for the Cat Food 2024 Illustrated Calendar from Secret Planet Print Shop, or the Space Pals 2024 Illustrated Calendar (both are cool).
- Literary lovers! Thinking about that person in your life who loves a terrifying tale? Then grab a copy of, 𝘕𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘞𝘩𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘵 𝘕𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵: 𝘈𝘯 𝘐𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘋𝘢𝘳𝘬 𝘍𝘪𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘈𝘯𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘺 from Queen Books! This book asks readers, “Are you ready to be un-settled?”, and is the hottest horror release of the season according to our friends at Queen Books!
- There are so many fun and beautiful Porcelain Mugs to choose from at Clay Space Studio on Gerrard. Buy one, a pair, or a whole set for someone special (or yourself).
- The chocolate from Soul Chocolate in the east end is incredible and delectable. Give the gift of a delicious Dark Chocolate Advent Calendar to someone you love this holiday season!
- We heard that you might love raccoons as much as Chelsea does, and if this is the case then you should hop on over to Midoco Art Supplies on Danforth or Queen East and buy all the Raccoon-Themed Gifts (puzzles, cross stitch kits, finger puppets?!)
- This holiday season, give the gift of a special Custom Home Portrait from local east end artist, Natalie Czerwinski! Slots are filling up fast, so reach out to her sooner than later if you’re interested (email her at firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Tyler’s Picks, our Operations Coordinator:
- If you are someone who may lack a green thumb (like Tyler), or perhaps you just appreciate the beauty and benefits of all things green, you should consider buying an amazing little framed moss arrangement “Petite MossART” by WrappedinMoss located at Arts on Queen!
- Have an aspiring or hobby baker in your life? Give them the gift of learning a new (and delicious!) confectionery masterpiece! with a Madame Gateaux Workshop Gift Card!
- Be sure to head over to Mino Bimaadiziwin Indigenous Art Market (at 1107 Queen St E) and check out all the unique pieces of jewelry they have for sale. Buy someone a pair of deer hide earrings, beaded strawberry pins, porcupine quill and birch bark pieces and so many other things!
- Looking for something to do as a group? Give the gift of magical fun! Daydream Adventures has gift certificates for Escape Room experiences! It’s the perfect gift for an escape game enthusiast or a new player!
- Take the guesswork out of diving into a new skill and learn how to embroider with the Hedgehog – Embroidery Starter Kit from Gotomago! Great for adventurous beginners or seasoned stitchers (and very adorable).
- Gift an incredible Cocktail Kit from Reid’s Distillery, like Reid’s Martini, or the Bee’s Knees Cocktail kit. You could also add the “Ultimate Book of Cocktails” with this gift from Collected Joy, located at 1035 Kingston Road.
Shana’s Picks, our Executive Director:
- The Scribe Bookstore on the Danforth in GreekTown is a rare, vintage and used bookstore filled with treasures including a nice section on the performing arts and a huge selection of original coloured plates from Jardine’s Naturalist’s Library from the 1800’s that are under $20 each! It’s so much fun to spend time going through these postcard sized illustrations of animals, birds and fish to find a meaningful gift. You can use them to commemorate a favourite animal or bird or even area of the world or travel destination that holds significance.
- Douce France also on the Danforth is the answer to shopping for the foodie in your life – but be sure to snag a bag of the Churned Butter Fine Galettes Coated with Chocolate for yourself. You will not want to share them!
- Press Cafe & Vinyl at 2442 Danforth Ave. has a slew of new and used albums under $20 for the audiofile in your life. A gift of nostalgia might be perfect with a soundtrack to a holiday special, like the Chipmunks Christmas from 1980!
- The East End is a hotbed of great micro breweries but the crazy dog lady in Shana wants to recommend Black Lab Brewery as they are dog friendly (as are many – we’re also looking at you Left Field!). Sadly, their namesake, Snoopy the Black Lab passed away this year but you can pick up one of their Snoopy’s Legacy commemorative glasses for just $10.
- Don’t forget to show off your east end pride and support of East End Arts when you buy your very own #EastEndLove Merch (proceeds go towards supporting East End Arts’ youth programs) from local artists Trixie and Beever. Hats, bags, t-shirts, sweaters and more!
- Finally, the Charlie Brown Christmas Soundtrack is one of Shana’s favourite things, so why not gift the experience of live music this season with tickets to a Charlie Brown Christmas Show! Composed by Vince Guaraldi, and performed by local artists Sullivan-Parker-Kettlewell at Hugh’s Room on Broadview on December 17th, 2023. Family Pricing – (2 Adults + up to 2 children) can be purchased for only $50 in advance online.
P.S. Don’t forget to check out our previous Gift Guides below, to get even more great ideas for your Holiday shopping!