The holidays are fast approaching, and if you (like me) haven’t checked everyone off that gift list yet, do not panic! More than ever this year, the idea of sticking close to home (or better yet, staying inside) has never been so appealing, or so important. So, if you (like me) still need a few choice presents for your loved ones, here are a few perfect places to #shoplocal. Instead of praying for that box to be delivered on time, try a curbside pick-up at a shop nearby. Make supporting your community a priority this year (and every year for that matter).
Oh, mon dieu! Montreal is so chock full of local artisans there is an embarrassment of choice. At Général 54, you’ll find a plethora of modern, sustainable Canadian designed fashion and accessories. Their brick-and-mortar shop is like a Christmas wish list come to life, and luckily their online shop is also quite delightful.
Montreal’s well-known SOUK market has been reimagined for 2020. Though you can visit the SOUK HABITAT – 9,300 square feet featuring close to 70 local top-notch designers – there is also a beautiful online shop with a pick up option.
Prince Edward County, ON
Prince Edward County is its own little ecosystem and a perfect escape from bustling urban life in normal times. During these quiet days just before the arrival of winter, the local artisans are still at it, toiling away in their creative workshops. You can order and grab original finds like shmancy candles from the newly opened The County Candle Co. If you missed your annual camping trip, you can at least fill your home with the nature smells of Sandbanks along with bespoke smells to represent each county in PEC.
For a wide selection of local loot, visit The Local Store’s online shop, featuring hundreds of products from PEC makers and artisans. Their physical location is closed, but their online store is always open and offers curbside pickup.
Port Hope, ON
The Nooks can best be described as a home-grown version of uber-popular Etsy. With a physical location in Port Hope and three others in Vancouver, Kingston and Oshawa, this startup is already much more than what it started off as. Yes, in normal times, you can stop into one of their super cute shops, but it’s primarily an online marketplace, centralizing products from hundreds of Canadian artisans and craftspeople in one convenient spot. Also available as an app, they ship all across the country and also offer pick up.
Port Hope-based Northumberland Farms, named after the county in which the town finds itself, is an online one-stop-shop for goods produced by local artisans, with home delivery to boot! Featuring a carefully curated catalogue with items ranging from local cheeses to baked goods, it’s a great way to create a locally sourced, sustainable menu this holiday season, and any other time of the year.
The Limestone City has a rich past as a hub for commerce and trade going back hundreds of years, and let’s just say it hasn’t lost that knack for crafts, enterprise and creativity. Carolyn Butts’ Begin Again Group is a Kingston-based social enterprise merging sustainability, women’s empowerment and artisanry. Their bags, made from recycled rubber, are created by its small community of new Canadians—mostly women—who are learning new skills in artisanry, marketing and business all while building their new lives in the city. These creations make the perfect Christmas gift for your loved one with an appreciation for all things sustainable.
Visit Kingston has some great holiday-themed to-dos thanks to the contributions of some of its local business owners, from a class on making spiced ginger cookies to the trick to a celebration-worthy holiday dip.