As a maker, I’m always looking for ways to support the handmade community in Canada, especially right here in Toronto. There are a ton of amazing makers and craftspeople making things locally, and we’re seeing a trend towards people purchasing from small business owners. We all know and love the variety of community markets for local makers to sell their products, but those are often one-off markets. What about the rest of the year? Luckily for us makers, there are a variety of stores around Toronto that sell locally and handmade products. These stores span across the city, so there’s something for everyone regardless of where you live. Get ready to start your Christmas shopping early, you’re not going to want to miss these hidden gems.
Keep reading for 7 hidden gem spots to shop local and handmade goods!
The Nooks is located on the Danforth and sells a variety of handmade goods with a second location in Port Hope. What’s great about The Nooks is that the store doesn’t only sell items from local makers, but there’s also a program to help them succeed in entrepreneurship. The shop hosts workshops and is having it’s very own community festival this fall called Nookfest. Check it out September 7th from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
I randomly stumbled into Beadle one afternoon a few weeks ago. It’s not hard to be attracted to the variety of plants in the windows, and the fun bright colours inside the store. The store is located on Dundas West, just west of Dufferin. Beadle sells all sorts of Canadian handmade goods, and the stores owner, Cherie, helps organize the Etsy Made In Canada show, too.
The Arts Market has something for everyone, and a location for everyone too! With four locations across the city (The Junction, College & Ossington, Leslieville, and Riverside), you’ll have your fill of handmade and vintage items no matter which side of the city you reside in. The stores roster includes Toronto fave Homebody Collective with unique plants, as well as candle and soap maker Sara’s Soaps and Candles.
An all year indoor market located in Parkdale, Toronto Designers Market has a variety of handmade artists selling their work. From clothing to home goods, you’ll find your next unique piece of clothing, or a statement piece for your home with ease. Toronto Designers Market offers long term booth spaces, as well as host weekend pop-ups throughout the summer.
One of my favourite items to buy handmade is greeting cards, and The Likely General has a great selection amongst other items such as ceramics, jewellery, pins, and patches. The Roncesvalles shop also sells online, so you’ll have a selection at your fingertips if you can’t get out to the west end any time soon.
You may remember that I had my engagement ring custom designed by a local Canadian designer here in Toronto through Made You Look. But don’t think you can only get engagement rings here, and don’t think they store only does custom work. You can browse Made You Look for a variety of beautiful and unique pieces, all at great prices!
The adorable store, Rose City Goods is located on Dundas West near Dufferin and has been on my radar for the last few weeks. It’s new to the area, but it’s already gaining a lot of buzz online. The shop itself reminds me of my days in Palm Springs, and a lot of the curated designs and products are reminiscent of the desert. I’m excited to stop by and see all this new shop has to offer!
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