The Perfect Gifts We’re Giving Our Dads This Father’s Day!

Scout store owner Leah as a baby with her father

Like most of us folks, dads aren't always perfect, even when they strive to exceed our expectations and provide us with everything we'll ever need. Life tosses us some real challenges, whether it's hanging a shelf in an old apartment that appears lopsided from the foundation up, a financially tough month when the dice just didn't roll our way, or an emotionally exhausting week when all we need is a tight hug and a good belly laugh. Like our recent Mother's Day gift guide, leading up to this Father's Day on Sunday, June 16th, we're honouring the amazing father figures in our lives who have helped guide us through it all.

To get started, the Scout team is sharing some reflections on little moments with our dads, the tough times and the good, and opening up about their big dreams, sacrifices, quirks, and ongoing support that make them so uniquely our dads—as well as some thoughtful Father's Day gift ideas we've curated to match. We hope these stories help you to get to know us a little better while inspiring you to seek out that thoughtful, unique gift idea for the fathers and father-like figures in your life.

The Inspiration Behind Our Father's Day Gift Ideas

"I always felt a closeness with my dad but it was when I decided to open my own business that I really felt a shift in our connection. My dad has been self-employed for as long as I can remember (until very recently as he reaches retirement). He owned his own accounting firm for many years, so you can understand why I felt the most nerves when I was ready to approach him about my idea to open my own business. He’s a numbers guy; me, not so much. His help with looking very practically at my business plan but also understanding the risk and vulnerability in starting your own business were so valuable to me. Once I knew he was on board and had trust in me and my idea, I felt more confidence in myself to go for it. We may often start our phone calls out chatting about business but it doesn’t take long to get into non business related chatter, catching up on life. I’m so grateful for those phone calls, and for Scout having such a positive impact on our relationship. 

My Dad is a creature of comfort, which makes him hard to shop for. He knows what he likes and often just buys it when he needs it. That being said, I think he’d be pretty happy to rotate between a Leslieville (available in store) and a Roncesvalles t-shirt from Tresnormale, to be able to proudly tell anyone he runs into the story of his daughter and the two businesses she opened in the east and west end of the city." ~Leah, Store Owner

Grey and blue t-shirts with screenprinted street scene of Leslieville, Toronto by tresnormale

"Always the first one up and the last to bed, my dad’s seemingly endless reserve of energy has always been a wonder to me. I have so many memories of him mowing lawns, shovelling driveways, working away in his basement workshop, cooking meals, running errands, picking my brother’s and I up from wherever we were...he did it all and never complained. While I knew he was a hard-working, kind-hearted, and endlessly patient man, it wasn’t until I moved out and visits became like mini-vacations for the both of us that I saw a different side to my father, and we developed a proper relationship. Now we chat idly about the world and ourselves over endless cups of coffee, go for car rides or fishing trips, scratch away at lottery tickets and over-buy baked goods (because I inherited his sweet tooth), and those moments together are so special to me.

Having said that, for Father’s Day I would gift him one of the puzzles we carry. Perhaps the Northern Cardinals puzzle from New York Puzzle Co. (available in our Leslieville shop), because he’s a nature lover, or one of the Gradient Puzzles from Areaware. Either way, we’d be spending time together working away on it, which I think he would feel was the greatest gift of all." ~Kayla, Manager

"I didn’t always have the best relationship with my dad. We’re both very stubborn and that led to some fights. I admittedly didn’t understand and appreciate his sacrifices, how he worked so hard to support such a large family—there were 7 of us in all—and how he still showed up to so many events, from hockey games to soccer matches, science and history fairs, jazz band performances, and more. Even with a three-hour commute (that he’d always delay for as long as he could) and shift work that kept him away from home for days, he made it all look so easy. I always expected him to be there. He made it all seem so simple.

Recently, while having a coffee on the veranda at my parents’ house and putting off my own long commute back to Toronto, my dad and I got talking about things we hadn’t talked about before, specifically, what you’re willing to do for the people you love. Way back, before I was born and they had just two daughters, my parents lived in Niagara Falls, far from home. He admitted that at that time, had he gone to Toronto, where his career was leading, life could’ve gone a very different way. But he knew it was important to my mom to be near her parents, to have that time with them. So he shifted his career path, packed up the car, and headed back home—because that was what was right for the family. If he had to do it again today, he says he’d do it all over again with no regrets. I hadn’t heard him speak so honestly before and it kind of broke through to me.

Up to that point, I was wracking my brain to find the perfect Father’s Day gift. My dad is somewhat difficult to buy for. He likes knick-knacks and collectibles, neat things, but I felt at a loss. Nothing jumped out at me. After that conversation, the perfect Father’s Day gift became much clearer.

I’m not great with vocalizing my feelings, but I’m a writer for a reason. This Father’s Day, I’ll be putting all my many, many thanks in the perfect Father’s Day card and instead of worrying about buying a gift, I’m going to carve out some time to head back to that veranda, coffee in hand, for another meaningful conversation, to better learn about who he was before he was a father of five and all the things I didn’t see when I was young." ~Erin, Sales Associate

Selection of hand-designed unique Father's Day cards from small Canadian and U.S. card brands

"My dad never fit the typical Hollywood depiction. He didn’t teach me how to throw a football, swim, or drive a car. He doesn’t like sports or barbecuing. Instead you can find him with his nose in a philosophy book, learning Ancient Greek, or working on his own books that would later be found in university libraries across North America.

I didn’t always understand him when I was young and I certainly didn’t appreciate the sacrifices he made or the hard work he put in dedicating himself to being a good dad. As a single dad since I was very young, he quickly came to fill the role of both mother and father and worked incredibly hard to always put us first and make us the best life possible. He was strict and stern but secretly goofy and sensitive. He was serious in moments and in the next, he could make you laugh until your stomach hurt.

Recently, we have connected in a way that is more special than ever and I am more grateful than I can explain to have him in my life as a role model. I still can’t throw a football and my swimming technique is questionable, but from my dad I have learned dedication to hard work, constant inquiry into my life purpose, and how to move through the world with kindness. My dad doesn’t like material things but leave it to Scout to still have the perfect gift for everyone. This year, I would choose the Malechemy Muskoka beard oil, since he has fully embraced the philosopher stereotype and grown a beard. Gotta fulfill my duty as a daughter and make sure he stays stylish!" ~Maria, Sales Associate

Three small bottles of Malechemy Muskoka beard oil and a brass safety razor

"A lot of the memories I have with my Dad are watching TV or movies with him. We would always be sure to catch the latest episode of Lost or CSI and go check out the newest Star Wars movie. He would also try and get me to watch older movies and I would reluctantly sit through them. He would always have facts and interesting information about all the things we watched. Like That guy that just got his head ripped off by the t-rex is one of the producers.” I think watching so many different movies and learning about them led me to want to pursue acting and become obsessed with the industry.

My Dad is very difficult to buy for because if he wants something he will buy it for himself, which I’m sure is the case with most Dads. But the Name This Movie trivia book (available at both the Leslieville and Roncesvalles locations) will be the perfect gift for him to keep his movie knowledge on point." ~Michelle, Sales Associate

Two Name That Movie trivia puzzle books featuring images from a well-known movie you have to guess (no movie stars included)

"Dads. Lots of people have them. Some people don’t. I’ve got one. He’s pretty cool. When I was six months old, my Dad decided to drag his sweet, small family from a little apartment on Howard Park to what I think was technically someone’s old fishing cottage in Consecon, the armpit of Prince Edward County, so he could pursue his dream of becoming a winemaker. It was 1995. There was literally only one other person making wine in the County at the time. My dad planted a small and meticulous organic Pinot Noir vineyard in Hillier. Everyone thought he was crazy. I don’t want to brag but I also absolutely do and I will. He started Prince Edward County as a wine region. You’re welcome? I grew up gay and weird in a tragic small town but Ontario got a sick new vacation spot, so I guess it’s all OK.

I love my Dad and his absolute commitment to his principles. He instilled in me a dedication to supporting local businesses and shopping ethically, and those principles are part of why I was drawn to Scout and why I’m here now! My dad is a total weirdo but I’m so proud of him. He has a very endearing love of graphic t-shirts, especially if they reference agriculture and I think the Drink Local shirt from BRFC is right up his alley." ~Jem, Sales Associate

Navy Drink Local t-shirt by Kitchener-based BRFC hanging between two Good Bears Grow in Ontario t-shirts

Didn’t See a Good Gift Idea?

Not all relationships with our dads are simple. There are ebbs and flows, falling outs and reunions, first meetings and those who step into the role when we need them the most. For all those relationships and more, browse through our Father’s Day gifts page or better yet, come in store and share a little information with us. We’re super friendly and always happy to help you find the perfect something, big or small, sentimental or just nice. Like Maria said, we’ve got something for everyone and if by chance we know of something even better that we don’t have in store, there are plenty of businesses we absolutely adore in both our Roncesvalles and Leslieville communities we can direct you to! We’re here for you.

Have a story about your dad you'd like to share? We'd love to hear it! Share it in our comments section below.

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