Vintage, Flea & MoreYou don’t have to go big-box this holiday season. There’s a quirky gift store, a treasure-packed vintage shop, or an enchanting holiday market filled with gift-able goods near you. Natalia Manzocco, former food and lifestyle editor at the old NOW Magazine, shares some notable spots.
By Natalia Manzocco
Nov. 17, 2023
Rose Ceremony Geary Ave.
Located in a tiny corner of an even tinier variety store off Geary, this gift shop is tiny but mighty. ’90s glam-trash is the name of the game, from art to tchotchkes to vintage clothing, with a nicely plus-size-friendly selection.
340 Westmoreland Ave N, roseceremonyshop.com
Second Voyage Riverside
Well-priced gems abound at this boutique off Broadview, whether you’re shopping for someone’s closet, kitchen, bar cart, or anywhere in between. Choose your vibe: ’70s cowboy, ’60s flower power and ’80s pastel-chic.
734 Queen St E, secondvoyage.ca
Mrs. Huizenga The Junction
At twice the size of this long-running shop’s previous location on Roncy, this sprawling boutique is packed with vintage treasures. Mugs, pennants, clothing, dishware and art can be tucked around every corner — often for an extremely fair price.
2906 Dundas St W, mrs_huizenga on Instagram
Arts Market The Junction, Riverside, and the Danforth
Artists, crafters and vintage dealers rent display spaces in each location of this family of stores. Each offers a different slice of the city’s art scene, from Toronto-themed swag to jewellery, body products and prints. Vintage hounds will particularly dig the basement of the Junction location.
2978 Dundas St W, 1856 Danforth Ave, 790 Queen St E, artsmarket.ca
Vintage handbags? Military ephemera? Disposable paper dresses from the ’60s? Whatever your gift-ee is into, this two-floor cabinet of curiosities will have something their collection is missing. For best results, give yourself plenty of time to dig.
1300 Queen St W, gadaboutvintage.com
Secret Planet The Danforth
This indie print shop is a magnet for anyone who enjoys cute stuff, retro stuff, gay stuff, space, cats, or any combo of the above. Jackie Lee’s Toronto neighbourhood tees and intergalactic-themed space posters are surefire hits, but pieces from countless other indie brands and artists bulk out the selection for maximum gift potential.
918 Danforth Ave, secretplanet.ca
Easy Tiger Dundas West
The prices trend higher at this Dundas gift shop, but if your loved one has a fave indie brand of choice (e.g. Baggu, Areaware), it’s likely here. You’ll also find ceramics, candles and body care from local makers. Head to sister store Ease across the street for slow fashion pieces, including a selection of under-$50 accessories.
1447 Dundas St W, easytigergoods.com
I Have A Crush On You Liberty Village
Bringing a much-needed dose of colour and chaos to Liberty Village is this spangled-out gift shop tucked away off Jefferson. This is a go-to spot for greeting cards, which is fitting, since founder Amy Kwong also runs card brand Smitten Kitten. It’s also a go-to spot for gold leaf rolling papers and giant prints of tarot cards featuring sexy drawings of Simpsons characters.
51 Jefferson Ave, ihaveacrushonyou.ca
Old’s Cool General Store, East York, 250 Westlake Ave, oldscoolgeneralstore.com
Tokki Junction, 1570 Dupont St, tokki.ca
Once Upon A Child Etobicoke (1020 Islington Ave), Scarborough (1001 Sandhurst Cir) and Leaside (45 Overlea Blvd), onceuponachild.com
Paris Calling Etobicoke, 3043 Lake Shore Blvd W, pariscalling.ca
Vintage Vendors, Ajax, 19 Notion Rd, vintagevendors.ca
EVENTSWelcome Market’s “Tis The Szn” Queen West
The city plays host to countless holiday markets, but this relative newcomer is notable for its colourful pop-up experience and a product slate that runs from the relentlessly adorable to the reliably on-trend.
Weekends Nov 18-Dec 23, 938 Queen St West, @the.welcome.market
One Of A Kind Show Exhibition Place
The Lollapalooza of local craft shows likely needs no introduction, but this massive biannual event features vendors you won’t see anywhere else during the holidays. The selection of clothing, handmade housewares and artisanal snacks is big enough to crush most of your gift list. Bring water and walking shoes.
Nov 23-Dec 3. Enercare Centre, 100 Princes’ Blvd #1, oneofakindshow.com
Sunday Variety St. Lawrence Market
The years-old Sunday flea market tradition at St. Lawrence was revived this year by Kealan Sullivan, longtime doyenne of Toronto vintage and the founder of popular pop-up Hippie Market. The market now features a lively mix of clothing, art, decor, handmade items and snacks, with the all-vintage New Old Antique Market taking over on occasional weekends.
Sundays, 125 The Esplanade, sundayvariety.com
Hogtown Flea Riverside, Nov 19, Dec 3 & Dec 17, 24 McGee St, hogtownflea on Instagram
Canada Black Owned Marketplace Christmas Market Scarborough, Dec 10, 1081 Progress Ave, canadablackownedmarketplace.ca
Mississauga Festival of Trees Artisan Market Mississauga, Dec 8, 1352 Lakeshore Rd E, creativehub1352.ca
Holiday Fair In The Square North York, Dec 1-23, Mel Lastman Square, fairinthesquare.ca
This article appears in the Nov/Dec 2023 issue.