Shop local: The best holiday gifts in Toronto under $50

Hot Docs Curious Minds

For that person who needs to know everything. The documentary cinema’s lecture series featuring professors, authors and cultural commentators is returning with in-person events in 2022, but makes its courses streamable year-round as well. $49,

Cheekbone Beauty Sustain Lipstick in Makoc

Indigenous-owned, Ontario-based Cheekbone Beauty has gone from cult favourite to Sephora supplier. Their moisturizing-yet-buildable Sustain lipstick is available in a tight roster of shades, including Makoc, a rich oxblood red perfect for the holidays. Bonus: Cheekbone puts proceeds towards a variety of initiatives supporting Indigenous women and youth. $32,

The Double Happiness Cookbook: 88 Feel-good Recipes & Food Stories by Trevor Lui 

The Toronto chef shares his culinary life story and what he’s learned about food along the way. From leaving his corporate job to working in the food industry and learning about the food scenes in Toronto, Los Angeles, New York and Taiwan, Lui’s book is packed with vibrant and visual stories. It also includes 88 Asian fusion and comfort food recipes, from BBQ pork on rice to bulgogi beef tostadas. $37.99,

The Flyer Vault: 150 Years Of Toronto Concert History

Started as an Instagram feed collecting classic Toronto gig posters and flyers (and NOW Magazine ads), The Flyer Vault is now a book, complete with a foreword by Rush main man Geddy Lee. $35,

Love & Basketball (Criterion)

Twenty years after its initial release, Gina Prince-Bythewood’s romantic drama about aspiring pro-basketball players (Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps) still resonates on a number of levels – it’s a seminal rom-com about Black love, and its finely observed view of the sports world that avoids the usual clichés. Now it’s getting the Criterion Collection treatment, packed with new documentaries and features.  $29.95 (DVD), $41.95 (Blu-ray),

Indigenous-themed Three Sisters Four-Course Dinner Package 

Chef Charles Catchpole promotes Indigenous food sovereignty through his cooking. This four-course dining experience is based around corn, squash and beans. Catchpole calls the Bison Shepherd’s Pie with 3 Sisters Vegetable Layer entree the star of the dinner package. The finisher is brewed cedar tea that’s sweetened with honey. $48,

Tashi earrings

Jewellery can be one of the toughest, most personal things to gift – but this simple sterling stud set from BC brand Tashi should please hypebeasts, hippies and anyone who has ever asked you for your date, time and place of birth so they can do your astrological chart. $45,

Purple Punch Mints 

JOI Botanicals gets high marks for THC content and its grape juice and blueberry muffin flavour. $48.99,

Bodum Bistro Electric Milk Frother

If you have someone on your list who loves coffee but hasn’t used the pandemic to save $6 on oat milk lattes, this is the right gift. This electric milk frother is optimized for non-fat or low-fat milk, including alternative milks, and makes you a perfect single-serving latte, cappuccino or flat white – no barista necessary. Play some Feist in the background for that coffee shop feel. $49.99,

Multi-purpose headlamp

Whether you’re a night-time jogger, a camper or even a pedestrian braving a dangerous intersection after sundown, this versatile headlamp could be a lifesaver. If you’re not using it as a headlamp, you can simply detach the lamp and use it as a flashlight. Plus it’s waterproof up to 3 feet. $49.99 at Canadian Tire,

– by Enzo DiMatteo, Ramona Leitao, Natalia Manzocco, Kevin Ritchie, Glenn Sumi and Richard Trapunski


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