Time to start thinking about holiday shopping and Santa says look local!
Check out the treasures Ontario’s makers, creators, designers and innovators offer this season. Here’s a list of 12 hip, socially-conscious, eco-forward and most importantly, home grown design, fashion, art and lifestyle shopping ideas to get you started.
Wolf Den, Parry Sound
A fixture in Parry Sound for over 50 years, Wolf Den has an unbeatable selection of Indigenous arts, crafts and footwear including porcupine quill and birch bark baskets, potters, jewellery, carvings, leather goods and handmade moccasins (treat your toes, seriously, you don’t know what you’re missing until you sink your feet into a pair of authentic moccasins).
Photo credit: The Hamilton Store by Corey Martin
The Hamilton Store, Hamilton
This downtown James Street North gift shop features a curated collection of prints, postcards, art, gourmet foods, unique products and souvenirs that are made locally and celebrate the spirit of The Hammer. Just another example of Hamilton’s hip renaissance.
Stocking stuffer idea: the versatile vintage Hamilton map tea towel (use it or frame it).
Maker House Co., Ottawa
There’s a genuine, laid back vibe to Ottawans, and Maker House is the perfect case in point. Located in the vibrant Hintonburg neighbourhood, you’re invited to browse an eclectic assortment of art, furniture, lifestyle products and more that are hand made locally from recycled and sustainable materials honouring the Canadian traditions of woodworking and crafting. You’re also encouraged to #CraftChange, to ‘know the story of your stuff and meet the makers’. Workshops are designed to inspire creativity and collaboration. What an awesome activity-gift-for-two.
Photo credit: Illbury + Goose
Illbury + Goose, London
Love London? So does Illbury + Goose, a home-grown, lifestyle shop with trendy, locally-made tees, retro neighbourhood toques (because #loveyourcity), hoodies, accessories and apothecary products inspired by the Canadian experience. Brick and mortar is located in London’s Old East Village neighbourhood. Great gift idea for the hard-to-shop-for: a bottle of Mountain Man beard oil (not just for men or beards).
Too Good General Store, Markham
Check out this modern twist on the olde General Store in the heart of Unionville with its ever-changing inventory of goods and gifts sourced from across Canada. From charcoal winter ponchos to handmade charcuterie boards, it’s full of thoughtful treasures. Be the gift giving extraordinaire this year. Take a calligraphy workshop at Two Good community table and make your holiday cards extra.
Tin Barn Market, Almonte
Farmhouse. Shabby Chic. Rustic. Weathered. Industrial. If these design styles make you week in the knees, this place is for you. The Tin Barn gives found, vintage, handmade, up-cycled, salvaged and pre-loved objects a second chance to make a space magical again. Who doesn’t love a great comeback story gift?
Photo credit: Ungalli Clothing Co.
Ungalli Clothing Co, Thunder Bay
Co-founded by local Thunder Bay sisters, Ungalli is a versatile clothing line designed for the diversity of land and season in Northern Ontario. The brand is fiercely ethical, with garments produced from 100% recycled, repurposed and sustainable material (including cotton scraps from factory floors). Did we mention local? Ungalli says it best with “Founded in Canada. Designed in Canada. Manufactured in Canada. Seriously though, the world needs more Canada!” Agreed. Hint: Get the Rescued Is My Favourite Breed tee for the animal lover on your list.
Angela DeMontigny, Hamilton
Another James Street North gem, you’ll discover original, 100% Indigenous designs in leather, fashion, jewellery, accessories and art in this Hamilton boutique. Designer Angela DeMontigny is of Cree-Metis heritage, and her ‘casual glam’ style hit the runway during Fashion Week in South Africa in 2017, followed by the luxury collection ‘Of The Stars’ in London in 2018. So you’ll be in distinguished company wearing one of her pieces. Even her selection of hand bags, clutches and satchels are impossibly gorgeous.
Photo credit: Made Collective
Made Collective, Sarnia
We love this selection of thoughtfully made, eco-conscious home and lifestyle products, hand picked by two local women with a passion for all things slow-crafted and a focus on conserving the earth’s resources. Set the mood to ‘festive glow’ at your next holiday gathering with a set of hand-dipped beeswax party candles.
PTBO Northern Originals, Peterborough
A vintage inspired clothing brand with a laidback, outdoorsy vibe that was born from a love for the city of Peterborough. Sizes range from adorable baby onesies to game day tees to cozy oversized winter-ready hoodies. Are you West End or East City?
Photo credit: Janelle Wawia
Janelle Wawia, Thunder Bay
Based in Thunder Bay, Janelle Wawia is an Anishinaabe artists whose talent has been recognized by The Thunder Bay Art Gallery and with a Jurors Award, a Barbara Laronde Award, and she was featured in the 2018 Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto. She also creates stunning garments and jewellery out of fur, leather, beading and quills, harvested from her family’s own traplines. A custom order Janelle Wawia piece is the ultimate, one-of-a-kind gift to treasure for life.
Peace Collective, Toronto
Peace Collective is the brand that brought us Toronto vs Everyone, but what you might not know is this Canadian-proud company, in partnership with Breakfast Club of Canada, donates meals to Canadian children in need with each garment sold. This gift that keeps on giving justifies a little ‘treat yo’self’ this season, doncha think?
Without spoiling any surprises, we’d love to see what you found. Share your shopping discoveries with #DiscoverON.
Masthead photo credit: Peace Collective