DailyXY’s 2011 Gift Guide: Toronto

You can sift through catalogues and search online for the right gift, but often the perfect item is sitting right under your nose. We’ve searched through the city and found a few local gems perfect for the people on your list who are from Toronto and aren’t afraid to admit it.

Piquadro Pearson Collection
There’s little that feeds a Torontonian ego more than something that carries the weight and cache of a world-class international brand, more so if it manages to remain unique to our own metropolis. When 25-year-old, 50-country-deep Italian leather purveyor Piquadro decided to open its first North American store in Yorkville (1286 Bay Street, 416-928-6662), and launched it with an exclusively tailored “Pearson Collection” (named after our main airport), our Gift Guide antennae shot to alert. There’s little about the line of embossed brown Tuscan leather accessories, bags, computer briefcases and wallets that evokes Hogtown, but it’s fancy and exclusive and undeniably good looking, which should be good enough for the globetrotter on your list. Accessories and wallets from $50, bags and briefcases from $150

Toronto Indie Coffee Passport
If Tim Hortons equals Canadian patriotism (and for many it does), then Toronto’s booming independent coffee scene is the same thing on a local scale. In the past few years, Toronto’s indie café boom has created its own trendy little culture, and the Toronto Indie Coffee Passport lets your caffeine-junkie explore as much of it as possible in a short period of time. Swiping the card at any of the 30 participating shops all over the city (Moonbeam, i deal, The Green Grind, to name a few) between now and the end of March entitles your recipient to any beverage up to $4. That’s a lot of fancy ’spros ($120 worth if they’re doing it right) and a good excuse to travel around the city at the time of year it’s needed most. $25

Mill Street Growler
For a long time, alcohol was considered a suitable gift only if it was wine or Scotch, but with the Craft Beer movement heating up in Toronto, the rules are changing. For a certain clientele, beer is as much a connoisseur’s game as any of the “refined” spirits, and for them you should consider a Growler from Mill Street’s Brew Pub in the Distillery District (55 Mill Street, Building 63, 416-681-0338). Just under 2 litres and filled fresh from the brewery, Growlers are a common hophead’s treat in the U.S. and the east coast of Canada, but still relatively rare here. Mill Street is one of the few, if only, spots in Toronto to offer them, and only at the one location. Fill it up with some seasonal beer and when it’s all done, take it back for a $4 refund. $11.50 for the bottle, plus price of beer

GOOD Toronto Maple Leafs Tickets
There’s a maxim that the best gifts are the ones you wouldn’t buy for yourself. Chances are most people don’t have the money to justify good tickets for a regular Leafs game. That’s doubly true this year as the hometown hockey team is actually winning games and currently looks like a lock for the playoffs. Grab a pair of the best seats and you’ll look like a hero, whether your recipient is a hardcore follower or just a casual fan. But maybe leave the facepaint at home. $235, or, priceless?

Image courtesy of wvs.

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