The holidays are quickly approaching, and if you’re anything like me, the crowds and hustle and bustle aren’t your favourite things about this joyous season. Luckily we live in a vibrant community that offers a lot of fantastic choices when it comes to shopping for our friends and loved ones. So instead of taking the car to the mall, why not take a stroll in Leaside and start your shopping in our charming neighbourhood.
GIFTS FOR HER
Get your holiday glow on with a luxurious Dermalogica Gift Set from Glow Spa. Sets range in price from $80-$109. Include a gift certificate for spa services for the ultimate luxury gift. Glow Spa, 1675 Bayview Ave. 416-483-GLOW.
In business for 20 years on Bayview, Liz at Cornflower Blue knows exactly how to keep Leaside ladies cozy this winter. Start with her gorgeous selection of angora blend socks from Bleuforet $29-$35 or wrap her in a luxe blanket scarf from Moment By Moment $89-$125. Cornflower Blue, 1606 Bayview Ave. 416-489-4167.
For the yoga-loving lady, Leaside is a wonderful place to practise. Yopila Yoga will once again melt away the holiday stress with their very popular Yearly Unlimited Pass for $999 or take advantage of a five-class card for $75, which is good for one month. Yopila Yoga, 889 Millwood Rd. 416-901-9002.
GIFTS FOR HIM
What man doesn’t like to have a boys’ night every now and again? A set of Bavarian crystal glasses from Nachtmann will help do the trick. Pick up a set of four $29.95 from Academy of Culinary Arts, or if he prefers a trendy Moscow Mule, they have the perfect copper cups for only $19.95. These would surely make your man and his pals very merry this Christmas. Academy of Culinary Arts 1703 Bayview Ave. 416-486-1859.
After his delicious beverages it’s time for dinner! A gift certificate from Grilltime is the perfect place to start. Maybe he’ll choose some delicious sirloins or a melt-in-your-mouth marinated flank steak, my personal favourite. Grilltime, 62 Laird Ave. 416-467-4745.
To ensure the dinner is absolutely perfect, include a set of Laguiole Steak Knives crafted in France from Academy of Culinary Arts. A six-piece set in a wooden block is only $49.94.
Men’s novelty socks are all the rage. Pick up a pair of HotSox cotton socks in fun patterns including golf, hockey and holiday. $12/pair at Scholar’s Choice, 1599 Bayview Ave. 416-485-8697.
GIFTS FOR THE GRANDPARENTS
With over 25 years in business on Bayview, an arrangement from Horticultural Design is the perfect gift. My favourite is the seasonal potted amaryllis. These holiday plants can be made to order and range in price depending on size and design. Drop by or call and Michael will be happy to help you find the perfect gift. Horticultural Design, 1610 Bayview Ave. 416-488-7716.
Tucked away on Millwood Avenue, Churchill’s Fine Gourmet Gifts provides delicious gift boxes of their Signature Shortbread, dipped in chocolate, and Heavenly Pecan Bars. Gift Boxes range in price from $11-$120. Please call to pre-order. Cross-Canada delivery available. Churchill’s Fine Gourmet Gifts, 882 Millwood Rd. 416-422-3353.
Scholar’s Choice offers a fine selection of puzzles from Ravensburger and Cobble Hill that are sure to keep grandparents (and their grandchildren) busy for the winter. Prices range from $19.99 to $21.99.
Stay warm this winter with a cozy throw from Kennebunkport Throws. They come in a great selection of colours and are perfect for cuddling on the couch. $100 from Write Impressions, 1515 Bayview Ave., 416-322-5834.
GIFTS FOR KIDS
Educational and delightful toys abound at Scholar’s Choice. The wee hockey players in your life will love the Playmobile NHL Arena for endless fun, $84.99. Also available is the Playmobile NHL Zamboni, $22.99, and Referee Kit, $12.99.
One of the best games of the year available at Scholar’s Choice is Mobi Math. This simple and quick game of numbers will keep the kids both educated and entertained over the holidays. $24.99.
Getting creative has never been easier with a set of Faber-Castell Special Edition Coloured Pencils from Write Impressions. The 60-piece set includes metallic, neon and pastel colours
for $34, while a 48-piece classic set is $28.
Also from Write Impressions are the most adorable, super soft stuffed animals from Jelly Cat. Bears, kittens, puppies and teddies are just waiting for your little one to love them. Prices range from $16 to $120.
FOR THE HOLIDAY HOSTESS
Take a little piece of Leaside’s independent coffee shop Lit Espresso Bar with you for your holiday hostess. They have the greatest coffee mugs with their slogan “Get Lit” on them. For only $10, they’ll help your hostess hold her caffeine through the holidays. Lit Espresso Bar, 1517 Bayview Ave.
A gift from The Olive Oil Emporium is sure to please. They offer an outstanding selection of the world’s finest extra virgin olive oils and artisanal vinegars from around the world. Be prepared for an education when you enter this shop and enjoy its wide range of gift sets (oil & vinegar) ranging in price from $39 to $79. Or you may choose a 12- or 24-sample gift set. $80-$159. If you’re looking for a small gift, try a single bottle starting at $15.95.The Olive Oil Emporium, 1707 Bayview Ave., 416-902-9060.
Everyone needs to drink more water. Treat your hostess to the finest water bottle to stay hydrated. The S’well stainless steel bottle keeps drinks cold for 24 hours and keep plastic bottles out of our landfills. An amazing selection of colours and designs. $44.99 at Peaches and Green, 1561 Bayview Ave., 416-488-6321.
GIFTS FOR ALL
Most restaurants in Leaside offer gift certificates. A few of my personal favourites are listed below:
Local Public Eatery, 416-696-6226
The Leaside Pub, 416-467-8682
Riz Pan Asian, 416-487-8388
Against The Grain, 647-748-2840
This gift guide is just a small sampling of all the wonderful things available from the many shops in Leaside.
When you head out to do your holiday shopping I?encourage you to consider supporting your local Leaside retailers.
Throughout the month of December, you will also find lots of additional gift ideas featured on the Leaside Life Facebook and Instagram pages. Happy holiday!