Friday, 14 December 2018
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The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide 2018

The year’s best loot, from bargain-basement stocking stuffers to big-ticket splurges

Bottled negroni


Dillon’s blends its own small-batch gin, vermouth and aperitivo into a bright, bracing twist on the classic cocktail.

Chantecler chicken


per chick After years of prohibition, it’s finally legal to raise backyard birds in some neighbourhoods. This heritage breed is known for its handsome plumage and prodigious egg production.

Cellar consult


and up. Sommelier Krysta Oben and wine importer Nicole Campbell—also known as the Grape Witches—equip aspiring oenophiles with a bespoke collection of natural wines.

Gut-busting cookbook


Matty Matheson’s new recipe collection features crave-worthy, caloric takes on comfort- food classics like gumbo, seafood chowder and Parts and Labour’s iconic burger.

Handmade truffles


for nine. Kata Ambrus’s exquisite chocolate domes are filled with intriguing flavours like yuzu-caramel and wild strawberry Lion Coffee, 881 St. Clair Ave. W.,

Japanese candy


Kasugai’s cult-favourite gummies look and taste eerily like real grapes. Sukoshi Mart, 160 Baldwin St., 647-358-4040,

Designer kettle


Dolce and Gabbana teamed up with SMEG to create a line of radiant kitchen appliances inspired by Sicilian iconography. William Ashley, 131 Bloor St. W., 416-964-2900,

Breakfast station


The adorably retro toaster, griddle and coffee maker in one is ideal for cramped condo kitchens.

Booze infuser


Home bartenders can flavour their hooch with herbs, fruits and botanicals using Alkemista’s gorgeous glass vessel, equipped with a removable stainless steel filter ShopAGO, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6610,

Pizza cufflinks


These kitschy enamel studs are topped with hyper-realistic cheese and properly curled 3-D pepperoni rounds.

Cheffy textbook


Toronto ex-pat David Zilber and Noma superchef René Redzepi teach culinary thrillseekers to ferment everything from sauerkraut to shoyu.

Absinthe fountain


Fans of the green fairy can prepare their own absinthe in Putti’s art nouveau apparatus. Putti Fine Furnishings, 1104 Yonge St., 416-972-7652,

Pizza cutter


A marbled fixie pie slicer is a fun choice for the die-hard cyclist on your list. Drake General Store, 1151 Queen St. W., 416-538-2222,

Mocktail mixer


Seedlip’s distilled spirits have the same aromatic bite as gin or vermouth—but without the booze. Their Spice 94, made with Jamaican allspice berries and cardamom, is ready-made for fireplace sipping. Average, 1081 Queen St. W., 1-855-439-4881,

Crazy straw


Tiffany’s twisty tube, forged in silver and plated in rose gold vermeil, makes an eco-friendly alternative to disposable straws. Tiffany and Co., 150 Bloor St. W., 416-921-3900,

Aged mead


For a medieval buzz, the fermented brew from Quebec’s Miels d’Anicet is made of buckwheat honey and funkified for 20 years in oak barrels.

Mortar and pestle


Jadeite, the milky green glass ubiquitous in ’50s kitchens, is back in a big way, and Mosser Glass’s sleek grinder is the perfect way to get on trend. Easy Tiger, 1447 Dundas St. W., 647-748-6161,

Sake jug


A hidden ice reservoir in this handmade Japanese crystal decanter keeps rice wine frosty. Cocktail Emporium, 972 Queen St. W., 647-727-3804,

Kusama pumpkin


The MoMA’s porcelain pumpkins offer art geeks a pop of Kusama-inspired Japanese whimsy—without the eight-hour AGO lineups.

Glass gummies


Toronto artisan Emma Gerard’s hand-blown frosted glass bears and worms look equally cute on a chain or in a candy dish.

Painted plate


New Brunswick artist Stephanie Linnard scours thrift shops and flea markets for discarded bone china and repaints it with regal fauna.

Royal luggage


The leather Quartermaster suitcase from Toronto brand Ebby Rane is Meghan Markle’s favourite carry-on.

Gold bust


A wax statue of Marie Antoinette will transform a bland Toronto living room into a Versailles-calibre rococo salon.

Pop art ashtray


Equal parts Jolie and Jagger, these glossy lips make a perfect receptacle for (legal!) cannabis debris.

Gradient puzzle


Areaware makes a 500-piece ombré jigsaw for hardcore puzzlers who are sick of Thomas Kinkade.

Dog bed


Casper conducted 11 months’ worth of dog sleep studies to create the optimal memory foam mattress for your pooch.

Travel light


The warm glow of Lumio’s portable book lamp offers a welcome reprieve from your iPhone flashlight. Take Note, 2993 Dundas St. W., 416-766-1235,

Museum-worthy chair


Alessandro Mendini’s pointillist Proust chair—on display at London’s V&A museum and the MoMA—is as cozy as it is opulent. Quasi Modo, 1079 Queen St. W., 416-703-8300,

Retro poster


Illustrator Raymond Biesinger commemorates 18 bulldozed Toronto landmarks, including Sam the Record Man, the Temple Building, the Toronto Star building and—sniff—Honest Ed’s. Labour of Love, 223 Carlton St., 416-923-8988,

Dachshund planter


This foot-long brass weiner dog has room for four succulents.

Astronaut vase


This spacesuited homage to First Man doubles as a quirky flower holder. Bergo Designs, 28 Tank House Ln., 416-861-1821,

Wall hanging


Textile artist Fanny Algaalaga Avatituq of Qamani’tuaq, Nunavut, creates trippy tapestries in neon hues. Craft Ontario, 1106 Queen St. W., 416-921-1721,

Desk duster


A shaggy pink llama is the cutest possible way to keep a desk dirt-free.

Banana light


Seletti’s gold-lacquered lamp is pure Warholian weirdness. Bergo Designs, 28  Tank House Ln., 416-861-1821,

Mod lamp


and up Spanish designer Jordi Canudas repeatedly dips lightbulbs into buckets of paint, creating increasingly vivid layers of colour.

Sleep wrap


Elizabeth Taylor would covet this silk turban, which protects delicate tresses from abrasive bed linens and pairs perfectly with a printed caftan. 6 By Gee Beauty, 6 Roxborough St. W., 416-960-8080,

Dino earrings


Coach’s dainty T-rex studs have rose gold skeletons and tiny Swarovski crystals for eyes. Coach, Eaton Centre,

Wakanda scarf


Chadwick Boseman wore one of Ikiré Jones’s vivid Afro-futurist scarves in Black Panther. Mere mortals can buy the silk creations online.

Boob jewellery


Wolf Circus’s elegantly busty necklace is made in Vancouver from 14-karat gold. Loversland, 215 Ossington Ave., 416-551-3321,

Art deco ring


For fans of Crazy Rich Asians (as well as actual crazy rich people), this antique emerald and diamond bauble is a doppelganger of the one Michelle Yeoh wields in the movie.

Westeros cufflinks


A Lannister always pays his debts—and wears his golden lion cufflinks.

Girl power sweatshirt


This Canadian-designed, raised-fist crewneck is the must-have uniform for the 2019 Women’s March.

Sparkly skirt


Gucci’s Lurex kids’ skirt is a shimmering candy-cane twist on the classic schoolgirl uniform.

Houndstooth coat

Toronto designer Sid Neigum’s majestic coat is woven from alpaca, mohair and virgin lambswool.

Statement bathrobe


The one thing Drake and Kanye can agree on is their shared love of Versace’s iconic baroque bathrobe. The silk version sets a new standard for ’80s opulence. Versace, Yorkdale Shopping Centre, 416-551-6065,

GOOP kit

Gwyneth Paltrow’s eponymous brand now ships to Canada. We like the GOOP glow kit, packed with fragrant, luxurious facial schmears.

Kids’ puffer


and up Discerning toddlers will appreciate Marc Jacobs’s reversible parka, with fluffy faux-leopard on one side and quilted navy on the other.

It bag


Staud’s bucket bag, encased in a fisherman’s net, is the season’s ultimate Instagram status purse. Holt Renfrew, 50 Bloor St. W., 416-922-2333,

Raptors sweater


A cozy Christmas pullover is a subtle yet striking choice for the guy who won’t take off his Kawhi Leonard jersey.

Gold sneakers


Drake might own a pair of solid-gold Air Jordans, but Nike’s metallic retro kicks are the next best thing.

Trillium earrings


The enamel porcelain earrings, hand-painted by Toronto artist Julie Moon, are a charming way to show provincial pride. Shopgirls, 1342 Queen St. W., 416-534-7467,

XO sunglasses


Sons and Daughters’ frames have graced the face of tiny style icon Blue Ivy Carter (unfortunately, they don’t come in adult sizes).

Celebrity stroller


New moms Cardi B., Kylie Jenner and Mindy Kaling parade their babies around in Jeremy Scott’s kitschy pram, festooned with cherubs and gold angel wings.

Tennis racquet


Serena Williams has slammed her way to 72 titles using Wilson’s Blade 104 racquets, made with powerful shock-absorbing technology. Merchant of Tennis, 1621 Bayview Ave., 416-932-2396,

Ice skates


Aspiring Tessa Virtues will be pretty in pink in Moxi’s stylish suede blades.

Raptors print


Basketball BFFs DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry now play for different teams, but they’ll be together forever in Toronto artist LeeAndra Cianci’s wistful print.



The chirpy digital pet—and bane of ’90s parents everywhere—has been re­-released for its 20th anniversary, ready to be loved, fed and inevitably killed all over again. Mastermind Toys, 1133 Yonge St., 416-922-2872,

Mushroom lamp


Nostalgic Nintendo gamers will appreciate this glowing Super Mario night light as much as their kids do.

Snow globe


Forget Ace the Blue Jay—the trash raccoon is Toronto’s undisputed mascot. Spacing Store, 401 Richmond St. W., 416-644-1017,



Between Sharp Objects and Hereditary, 2018 was the year of the dollhouse. Petit Pet House’s diorama lacks the fear factor but features just as much detail: you can outfit it with tiny iPads and peewee Perrier bottles.

Fancy rolling papers


for two Handcrafted from edible 24-karat gold, Shine’s weed wrappers are worthy of Snoop Dogg himself.

Duchess doll


Meghan Markle’s royal wedding look is meticulously reconstructed in miniature: the Givenchy gown in satin with scalloped lace, jewellery, and a tiara encrusted with Swarovski crystals.

Ethical tote


You’d never guess that Toronto company Brave Soles constructs its gorgeous shoulder bags from recycled inner tubes.

Service dog sponsorship


A contribution to the Lions Foundation of Canada will offset a cuddly canine’s vet costs during his first year of service training.

Feel-good booties


Textile artists in rural Kyrgyzstan make their toasty pachydermal footwear
in small batches. Aga Khan Museum Shop, 77 Wynford Dr., 416-646-4677,

Feminist sweater


Meryl Streep and Reese Witherspoon have shown their support for
the Time’s Up movement by sporting Lingua Franca’s plush yet political handstitched cashmere pullover. Proceeds go to Time’s Up legal defence fund.

Bee earrings


Holt Renfrew’s H Project collaborates with ethical designers like Mercedes Salazar, who works with Indigenous Colombian artisans to create her whimsical, nature-inspired pieces. Holt Renfrew, 50 Bloor St. W., 416-922-2333,