Little Italy shops geared to great gift-giving

Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations and promotions – for life’s biggest events, a gift is typically the means to show that we care. Skip the generic gift card and visit these College Street shops for something special and perhaps unique.

Red Pegasus Ltd

628 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B4

One of the biggest challenges when selecting gifts is knowing what someone loves or needs, doesn’t have or wouldn’t buy for themselves. This shop simplifies the task by offering what seems like everything from cards and calendars to knick-knacks and figurines. Another bonus is the store’s foot-friendly size. You’ll never feel overwhelmed by shelves and racks because most of the merch is within easy reach. Just remember to request a box for your gift.

Arts Market

846 College St, Toronto, ON M6H 1A2

This artisanal place all but guarantees that your lucky recipient will receive a one-of-a-kind gift, never to be duplicated. Different artists and vendors rent space from upwards of four weeks, providing customers with an incentive to visit often and see fresh inventory from new faces. Your biggest temptation will be to buy everything in sight; such is the appeal and originality of the goods.

Le Tablier Blanc

688 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1C1

Their unofficial motto is “fun, funky and functional” and it’s a sure bet you’ll find exactly what you never knew your gift recipient always needed. Online, they’ve sorted gifts into monetary categories of under $15, under $25, under $50 and under $150. In person, you can ask staff to do the same or you can just wander around, figuring out how to tell someone a set of stacking cups or a gnome stylus is just what they always wanted.

The Monocle Shop

776 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1C6

You know that feeling when you wander into a dusty attic and find something unexpectedly awesome? Monocle delivers the same feeling, but with every product. They deal in high-quality merchandise and brands that aren’t commonly found in Canada, so you can really impress your recipient by leaving the impression that you sourced their gift from abroad. The product range covers everything from clothing and fragrances to basic accessories.

Portugal Gift Centre

826 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1C8

The somewhat gritty exterior might give you pause but once you step inside and see the selection, the perfect gift will be the only thing on your mind. You’ll find a nice balance between Canadian and Portuguese-styled gifts. As a bonus, the shop also does watch and jewellery repairs if you’ve already bought a special gift or need to mend something.

Botany Floral Studio

626 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B4

Those in the know have nothing but superlatives and amazing things to say about the place. Why? The studio adheres to the basic tenets of excellent customer service: great products, reasonable prices and friendly, honest staff. Even if your gift recipient doesn’t usually go gaga over flowers, you can count on owner Rachelle to assemble something that will amaze. It’s hard not to fall in love with a shop that smells this darn good all the time.

Ziggy's At Home

794 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1C6

The original Ziggy (real name: Zelig) is gone after having run the store for more than 50 years, but the third generation is keeping his spirit alive. Store inventory has since expanded beyond Ziggy’s deep passion for luggage to include a range of other items, including furniture, dish sets and clothing. In case you’re short on ideas, Ziggy’s can help you out with their dedicated gift section online.

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