Oh Canada: 10 Gift Picks Made In Canada
| December 20th, 2016
As the countdown continues to Christmas and you start ticking off items on your gift-giving list, you might want to check to see if you have any truly Canadian brands on that list.
Despite fierce competition from global retailers who have set up shop here and the allure of inexpensive manufacturing facilities offshore, there are still Canadian companies that choose to make their goods here at home.
And once you start looking, it’s astonishing the diversity of goods that bear the Made-In-Canada label. Who knew there was a company in Nova Scotia that still practices the centuries old tradition of mouth-blown and hand-cut crystal making – the only one in Canada and one of few left in the world? Or there was a century-old chocolatier still operating in Vancouver?
So diversify that shopping list and make sure you give a Made-in-Canada gift – especially if it’s a present for someone abroad. What better way to show the world the diverse talent of Canada?
Scroll through our slide show of gift giving ideas that bear the Made-in-Canada label.
BRAVE Lalassa Shearling handbag, $165, braveleather.com
Designer Scott Irvine started the BRAVE Leather Company by selling his hand-crafted leather belts as a street vendor in Toronto almost 25 years ago. Today, the company has expanded its range to include not just belts, but bags and bracelets and an array of small leather accessories – all of which is manufactured in Toronto. The company employs local artisans who handcrafts each BRAVE piece, adheres to strict ethical sourcing of their leathers and the label is now sold in 14 countries.
Purdys Happy Holidays Bar, $5, purdys.com
This chocolate bar comes in a box that doubles as a holiday card – a perfect little thank-you gift when you inscribe a thoughtful message inside. It’s a charming idea from Purdys, a Canadian chocolatier that started in Vancouver in 1907. Today, the company still makes their chocolates in small batches – there is no added preservatives, they use local ingredients whenever they can – like dairy and cream from BC farms. Check out the website for other sweet gift ideas, store locations or to order and ship around the world.
Men’s Chukka boot in Africa Tribe Leather, $178, Roots.
Roots continues to manufacture most of their leather products – from bags, jackets and footwear – at their Toronto factory. This provides an opportunity for several generations of artisans to pass through the company. These Chukka boots are a perfect example – first made in 1973, it has seen three generations of shoemakers produce them over the years. Today, the boot is a beloved classic that looks even better as the leather ages. It features a comfortable all-rubber sole and a moisture-wicking removable and washable insole.
The Julie, tulip arrangement wrapped in denim fabric, $44, tonicblooms.com
Don’t forget that fresh flowers also makes for a great and chic gift during the holidays. Whether as a hostess gift or simply a thank-you, an arrangement of blooms can brighten anyone’s day. Tonic Blooms in Toronto is one of the city’s newer floral boutiques in Toronto that is rethinking floral gifting. Besides some innovative and hip arrangements – bouquets wrapped in denim or an arrangement that comes accompanied with a gourmet chocolate bar or gummies – there is also their on-demand delivery service. They can get your gift to someone in two hours within a certain area downtown Toronto (same day service for outlying areas) and orders can easily be made on their site.
HBC Collection Hand Knit Wool Zip Sweater, $400, Hudson’s Bay, thebay.com
The colourful Hudson’s Bay Blanket stripes are a Canadian icon and the retailer has savvily expanded the motif to cover more than blankets over the recent years. Whilst the woolen blankets are still made in the original factories in the UK, these hand knitted sweaters are made by an individual craftsperson in British Columbia. And like the famous blankets, these 100 percent wool sweaters are a classic and has the potential to be passed down as family heirlooms.
Wayne Gretzky No. 99 Red Cask Whiskey, $35.
Niagara might be known for their wines but now comes a whiskey out of the region with a famous pedigree. After his successful business foray into wines, Canada’s favourite sports figure, Wayne Gretzky, recently added a distillery to his Niagara-on-the-Lake winery and launched his first spirit this fall; the No.99 Red Cask Canadian Whiskey. Made from locally sourced grains (rye, malted rye and corn) after aging, the whiskey is then finished with the premium red wine casks from the winery which gives it a rich smooth taste.
Spirit Decanter, $359, novascotiancrystal.com
The craftmanship of making mouth-blown, hand-cut crystal is becoming a rarity as there are very few places left in the world that still practices this art of making crystal objects. Which makes it all the more astonishing that one of those places that produces this centuries old tradition of making crystal is in Nova Scotia. The NovaScotian Crystal company was started by a group of Irish immigrants and today they are the only company of its kind in Canada.
Moon Fairies Chalcedony Star Earrings, $6100, mindham.com
Myles Mindham jewelry creations have won him many prestigious awards. Inspired by the wonders of nature, the Toronto designer and his team creates wearable works of art, brimming with whimsy and sophistication. Celebrating his 25th anniversary in business this year, it’s a testament to his talent and the loyalty of discerning patrons. His retail store in the quiet enclaves of a discreet townhouse in the tony area of Yorkville is the place to go if you’re looking for something truly special – for a special someone. The benefits of visiting such a jeweler is the chance to collaborate and witness the various stages of the creation of your special piece.
Canada Goose Aviator Hat, $225, holtrenfrew.com
Canada Goose is one of Canada’s most successful outerwear brands. Their down-filled coats are not just worn by scientists working at the polar caps but those chic men navigating the gondolas in the canals of Venice during the winter months have been seen sporting Canada Goose coats. Despite the global success, the company still manufactures all their products in Canada. This fall, they finally opened their first retail store at Yorkdale – and it’s a perfect showcase for the brand to show all the other practical accessories they make – like gloves, vests and hats.
Miracle 10 Rich Moisture, $85, miracle10.com
The hip and edgy makeup brand, M.A.C, originally founded in Canada in the 1980s, showed the world we could do innovative beauty products. Miracle 10 is a skincare company founded in 2010, that develops and makes their anti-aging products here in Canada and formulated by The Plastic Surgery Skincare Clinic, a non-surgical skincare practice. Fragrance-free. paraben-free and not tested on animals, their extensive range of skincare products – including M10 for Men – is available for sale on their website.