Locally-Sourced Gifts for Everyone on Your List
As we navigate the limitations set by quarantine and social distancing, it is clear that this holiday season will spark unprecedented ways of shifting into the holiday spirit while also crossing off our to-do lists to make sure everything is just right. However, there’s no need to fear—we’re here to share gift ideas with you that will hopefully inspire you and help cross off the names on your gifting list, all from makers and brands that are based in our local neighbourhoods here in Toronto.
Any other year, shopping locally is also a strategic way to avoid malls and shopping centres as they begin to crowd earlier than usual. This year, under the current constraints of COVID-induced closures, there is a greater importance in shopping locally if we want to sustain the neighbourhoods we love. Current closures have a direct impact on many smaller Toronto businesses, particularly during a time of the year when they usually see the support they need to stay open in the early months of the new year. Social media posts, word of mouth, and shopping locally if you’re able to all help to pull these businesses through what may be the toughest time many have ever faced.
At Scout, we hope to encourage you to make thoughtful purchases so that you can focus on staying safe, balanced and fulfilled this season as you hunt for tokens of appreciation that will warm the hearts of those who matter most to you, all the while helping your local business-owners do the same!
FOR A HEARTFELT SEASON’S GREETINGS
Depending on your situation, this season may be a difficult one if you aren’t near all of your loved ones. Now more than ever, words of appreciation and affirmation have a special impact on those of us who may be feeling isolated, anxious or in need of a little warmth as we get through our days. At Scout, we carry a variety of holiday cards that have the power to make you cry, laugh or anything in between! Two of our favourite local brands include Gotamago and JooJoo Paper, whose colourful and cozy designs are sure to warm the hearts of your loved ones, whether you hand them over directly or send them out in the mail!
A perfect and thoughtful choice for any of your Torontonian loved ones would be a card from Made in Brockton Village’s Toronto holiday cards collection! Featuring evocative illustrations of recognizable Toronto spots, you can buy these cards individually or in a boxed set of 8!
FOR THE PERFECT AT-HOME SPA DAY
Encourage the busy bees in your life to slow down by giving them goodies that will motivate and provide them with tools for a night of intentional pampering. At Scout, we are lucky to work with makers and brands who dedicate time and energy into researching and producing skin-care products that are gentle, natural and conducive to creating a luxurious at-home experience.
LEAVES OF TREES
One of our favourite ways to counteract the tedium of being stuck indoors during the colder seasons is introducing new smells into your environment, and Leaves of Trees’ products are perfect for helping you feel refreshed. This well-loved modern apothecary keeps us stocked with natural, organic skincare products that are handmade here in Toronto. We especially recommend their Calm Balm, which is specifically designed for promoting relaxation and is produced using organic lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint oils.
When we think of pampering during the holiday season, we’re thinking of the caregivers, the parents, the frontline workers and the neighbours who go the extra mile to offer you warmth on a difficult day. Remind them of your appreciation by gifting them a milk bath potion from cruelty-free brand, Sugi Tree. Shop Sugi Tree's nourishing, skin-softening bath potions or experiment with their epsom salt and essential oil bath soaks.
Complete any self-care bundle with hand-dyed lavender eye pillows from Samyoga, a favourite west-end yoga retailer. Thanks to the special hand dyeing process, each piece is beautifully unique. The scent of lavender holds beneficial properties as it can naturally relax users when it’s time to wind down and reconnect with the body. These pillows can be used at room temperature, heated in the microwave, cooled in the freezer and given new life with your favourite essential oils.
FOR A SPECIAL SOMEONE
Carrying brands that create intentionally means that each piece is charged with care, purpose and narrative. This truly comes through in our jewelry selection as we stock many pieces that are made eco-consciously and designed through a unique lens. This season, show your appreciation with jewelry for the one person who you’re struggling to shop for but want to show your care to.
We’re so excited to have recently welcomed Not Magic, a slow fashion jewelry line, into the store! Their mission is to help people feel confident in what they wear by creating jewelry that is “playful, yet timeless. Bold, yet minimal. Artistic, yet accessible.” It is clear that quality, originality, timelessness, and wearability are deeply important to their process. Not Magic's delicate and beautifully conceptual pieces would be great for the person in your life interested in experimenting with jewelry that is unique and thoughtfully designed and made by hand in Toronto.
Designed by Corrine Anestopoulos, each piece from Biko is lovingly hand-crafted in Toronto. This brand looks to global treasures and contemporary design as inspiration, producing jewelry that is as symbolic as it is breathtakingly beautiful. We especially love their recent necklaces that feature hand cast portraits of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty ($90) and her unique line of hoop earrings, including the Paradox hoops ($100) which draw on 80s hardware as inspiration. A perfect pick for someone in your life who enjoys intentionally accessorizing and expressing themselves boldly.
FOR THE ART LOVER
Bring art into the life of a friend by gifting them one of Stephanie Cheng’s incredible art prints. Designed and screen printed in Toronto, Cheng’s “Woman” pieces depict the beauty of the body’s curves using light and shadow. Each iteration of this design is thoughtfully made and looks absolutely gorgeous in a frame. For the sports lover in your life, Cheng has prints of Michael Jordan, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam and a print that commemorates the Raptor’s unforgettable 2019 win featuring Masai Ujiri, the 2018-19 Raptors main starting line, and the coveted Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy.
These equally gorgeous and informative art prints are perfect for the plant-lover in your life who may be looking for other ways to decorate their space! Printed in Montreal, Canada, and lovingly drawn by Baltic Club, these nature-centric prints are tributes to different parts of nature that are particularly special to the artists, from a print of the Baltic Club’s personal favourite houseplants, to a print outlining Canada’s official trees! Both are stylish and tasteful, and would make a wonderful addition to the home of any appreciator of nature!
If you’re interested in bringing some intention and consistency to your space, we can’t recommend Studio Indent’s series of elegantly crafted ceramics! Hand-carved, and hand-dipped in hand-mixed glazes, no two of their ceramics are exactly the same, so you’ll be able to revel in the pride of owning a completely unique product! We particularly recommend their ceramic tumblers, which are as perfect for food and drink use as they are to provide a lovely decoration for your loved one’s home.
FOR CREATING A COLOURFUL SPACE
TEN AND CO.
Shopping for someone who’s always in the kitchen cooking up a beautiful meal? Or, maybe you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone who’s moved into a new space and needs to brighten up the atmosphere as the days get longer and darker! Regardless of who is on the receiving end, we think that these kitchen accessories from Toronto brand Ten and Co. are certain to bring handmade joy into anyone’s life! In particular, the brand’s Arc Tea Towel will bring just as much vibrancy into your kitchen setup as it would guarantee the cleanliness of your dishes! Designed right here in Toronto and screen-printed all the way in Sweden, these mid-weight tea towels are a must-give gift for anyone looking to bring intentionality into their kitchen space.
It is impossible to talk about colour without mentioning Xenia Taler. Designed in Toronto, Xenia Taler is the perfect go-to for home and lifestyle goods such as housewares, bamboo tableware, ceramics, decorative objects and stationary. According to their website, their intention is to show that “what’s beautiful and chic is always accessible,” and it would only take one look at their vibrant products to see the care that was put into their take on these classic household items! The second your loved ones take these out of their wrapping paper, they are guaranteed to be taken with their unique designs.
There’s no aspect of our lives that doesn’t deserve to be injected with a little bit of color! With RCBoisjoli’s hand-made cotton handkerchiefs, you can keep yourself clean in style! Handmade in Toronto and highly durable, these handkerchiefs come in a variety of different patterns, each one brimming with color and personality. From horses to anchors, from cats to hands, you can’t go wrong choosing from these washable and fade-resistant hankies as a gift for your friends and family!
A Little Shopping Note
For those shopping with Scout online, we encourage anyone outside of Toronto to get your orders in as soon as possible. We are a small (but mighty!) team, so shopping early helps ensure that your order is packaged and sent out in a timely manner. This holiday season, we partnered with a local, carbon-neutral courier for Toronto orders so that packages are sent out faster and with care.
That being said, if you are eligible for free shipping and can comfortably access either of our locations in Leslieville and Roncesvalles, we encourage you to consider a pick-up instead to help us save on shipping supplies and costs!
Thank you for supporting our shops. Now more than ever, it means so much to feel your warmth, excitement and community care in every transaction. If you’re seeking more ideas, we encourage you to browse our Holiday section online or reach out by email with requests or concerns, and we’ll happily help you out as best as we can.
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This year has brought its own set of challenges on a universal scale, meaning that many of us have had to find new ways of embracing the holidays during the pandemic. Join us as we contemplate different ways of appreciating and enjoying the season with open arms and a sensitivity to these ever-changing times.