It’s the most stressful time of the year — shopping for your loved ones, friends, teachers, and others you may want to thank for all their efforts throughout the year. We’re lucky to live in a city with such diverse shopping. In addition to the chain stores, there are so many artisans, galleries, and craft shops that promote talented individuals’ work, whether made locally or abroad. Here are a few of my favourites. This list doesn’t even scratch the surface of amazing local shops, but it’s a start…
MADE: This is a unique store and art gallery that sells hand-crafted furniture, light fixtures and decor exclusively made by Canadian artisans. Best of all, if there’s a piece of furniture that you like but maybe it needs to be sized differently, Julie Nicholson and Shawn Moore (the owners), will have it made to your dimensions. The work in here is eclectic, gorgeous and well worth a visit. Furniture designers include the Brothers Dressler, vases and lighting from ceramic artist Katherine Graham, and of course, a lamp made entirely from hockey sticks by Barr Gilmore (there had to be something quintessentially Canadian in the mix, eh?).
- 867 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON. Phone: 416-607-6384
The Zero Point: Located in the Beach at Coxwell and Queen, this is a lovely little store that houses both green building materials and green products for the entire family. Kay, the owner, used to specialize in green cleaning products until she had the idea to expand her wares to include more green living/low impact products. In addition to green building materials such as IceStone and PaperStone, and reclaimed wood for flooring, The Zero Point offers baby products such as organic clothing, air purifiers, furniture made from reclaimed wood, and more. This is a wonderful shop to browse for picking up treasures for your family (and getting some great green building knowledge too).
- 1590 Queen Street East, Toronto, ON. Phone: 416 602 6586
Grass Roots: An institution on The Danforth, Grass Roots offers a wide variety of home decor and natural items. There are stainless steel storage containers, organic cotton towels, bulk household cleaners (all natural), and lots of ethical gifts. Have a look online, and then pop by the store to have a poke around.
- 372 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON. Phone: 416-466-2841
- 408 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON. Phone: 416-944-1993
Ardith One: This wonderful store is great for finding one of a kind pieces of pottery including decorative serving trays and dishes. (A great place to shop for wedding gifts too.)
- 3311 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON. Phone: 416-487-7766
The Guild Shop: An excellent display gallery and shop for Canadian artists who work in a variety of media from glass to wood to metals. You can shop by artist as well if you become a fan of one artist in particular.
- 118 Cumberland Street, Toronto, ON. Phone: 416-921-1721
Use your Live Green Toronto card for extra savings at shops around Toronto. Apply for the card online, and show it at participating stores to receive a small gift or discount. Stores participating in Live Green Toronto program are those that are committed to a greener way of doing business whether it be greening their operations or the items they sell. Both Homestead House Paint Company and Greening Homes General Contracting Services have 15% discounts if you use your Live Green Toronto card.