Toronto’s top shops for pops this Christmas

Let’s face it: Dads are near impossible to buy gifts for. Here are some of the best places in city to make your Christmas shopping a less stressful and way more fun, whether your pop is into art or entertaining, hunting, fishing or listening to the music he loves. Don’t buy him the same pair of socks this year. Surprise him with something unique, like a custom t-shirt, a new album or a colourful box of fishing lures.

House Of Spice

1
190 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2L6

Spice up your dad’s Christmas with a handpicked collection special seasonings from this little spice house in Kensington and a copy of The Flavour Bible. Not only will the right spices make his typically bland dish worthy of seconds, but this shop also carries spices known to slow down aging, treat lung congestion and boost the immune system.

MenEssentials

2
412 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 1P3

From straight razors to beard wax to men’s manicure sets, this dude shop on Danforth store has everything he needs for a polished look. If you’re looking for something specific, MenEssentials is probably the spot to find it, but you can also just walk in and get inspired by popular items like the silver tip badger shaving brush, AHA enriched night cream and the beechwood-scented shaving soap.

Sonic Boom Music

3
215 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2C7

In case you haven’t noticed, vinyl records have made a huge return, and no one remembers the warm snap, crackle and pop sounds of a record player better than Dad. Instead of an iTunes card, why not hook him up with the real thing. This record shop carries oldies like Bob Dylan as well albums from today’s top 40 and indie recording artists.

Jays Shop

4
220 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5B 2H1

After its seriously uplifting winning streak in 2015, what dad wouldn’t love some sweet Toronto Blue Jays merch? Yup, blue is the new black for dads of all ages. Here you’ll find t-shirts, sweatshirts, ball caps, knit toques, jerseys and other fun collectibles, perfect for Christmas gift giving.

Drift Outfitters & Fly Shop

5
199 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M5A 1S2

The closest thing to fly fishing you’re going to get in the heart of downtown Toronto is at Drift Outfitters & Fly Shop, an oasis for city-dwelling anglers who love to be out on the water. Get Dad geared up this Christmas with colourful lures or an entry-level starter kit if he’s always wanted to try the sport.

Flaherty's Outdoor Store

6
2066 Dufferin St, York, ON M6E 3R6

An institution since the 1940s, this former army supply store has transformed into Toronto’s largest family-owned retailer specializing in outdoor adventures. You can Christmas shop till you drop for fishing tackle, camping gear and stocking-stuffer-sized hunting equipment like face paint in various shades of camouflage.

Toronto Tees

7
527 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4Y 1Y5

Tell Dad just how much you love him this Christmas with a custom t-shirt from Toronto Tees. T-shirts come in a rainbow of colours and are super soft. They’re also available in a slim, modern fit, similar to what you’ll find at The Gap or American Apparel. Blazon your pops’ favourite catch phrase or your decades-old inside joke on the tee (trust us, it’ll be good for a laugh on Christmas day), and if you’re looking to up the ante, hooded and zipper sweaters are also available.

ShopAGO

8
317 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G4

If you think Dad has it all, visit ShopAGO. This Art Gallery of Ontario souvenir shop carries stylish and affordable gifts inspired by the world greatest artists. How about a 1,000 piece Claud Monet puzzle, or a beautiful Group of Seven calendar? Plus, you can buy with good conscience, knowing that all proceeds from your purchase directly support arts and culture in Canada.

BYOB Cocktail Emporium

9
972 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1H1

Make him feel like he’s a master mixologist with a Christmas gift he can add to his growing collection of barware. At the Cocktail Emporium on Queen Street West, you’ll find cool glassware like the parrot tiki mugs and splashy gold pineapple shot glasses alongside syrups, floral waters and garnishes.

IQ Living

10
542 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 1P8

For kitchen gadgets that are both handy and stylish, head up to the Danforth where you’re sure to find something unique for the chef in your life, whether it’s a cheap can opener or a teak cutting board. Hot tip: the Amco Moo frother, aluminum hand juicer and mini storage jars will make excellent stocking stuffers.

Whether you’re looking for that perfect party-minded frock for a special occasion, or just some unique threads for day to day, the east end is Toronto’s undiscovered haven for sweet vintage finds. From deco to disco, Queen Street East is stacked with some of the best retro regalia in town. [Image credit: iStock.com/sergeyryzhov]
Yup, it’s true. Riverside is officially rocking the Ray Eames. Arne Jacobsen, Mies van der Rohe. Countless designers with a mid-century mindset adorn Toronto’s Queen Street East furniture shops. If you love home decor with a vintage twist, here are a few places to check out in Leslieville and Riverside. [Image credit: iStock.com/sergeyryzhov]
Some of Toronto's best baguettes, breads and butter tarts are baked in the east end, their heavenly aromas pouring out of the oven and onto the bustling Queen Street East strip. Other bakeries in Riverside and Leslieville feel like true hidden gems, tucked up side streets that only the locals frequent. Here are the spots to visit on the east side. [Feature image: Bobbette & Belle]
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