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?).

  •  70 Geary Avenue, Toronto, ON. Phone: 416-607-6384

Craft Ontario (formerly 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.

  • 1106 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON. Phone: 416-921-1721

One of a Kind Show: Twice a year artists and craftspeople come together to sell their wares at the One of a Kind Show. A great place for handmade gifts and to get to know artisans from across the country.

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.

Feature photo courtesy of One of a Kind Show

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