Story Ideas

No time like the present for unique Canadian holiday gifts.

Delight friends and family with locally made chocolate, jewellery, stationery, dolls and more this holiday season.

08 October 2014
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Suggested tweet: Delight friends and family with Canadian-made gifts this holiday season http://ow.ly/BBQDJ #explorecanada

’Tis (almost) the season for gift giving. To get you ready, these handy suggestions tick all the boxes for distinctive design, quality and creativity. Break out of your old gift-card rut and find items with great stories attached, from custom jewellery to beer soap.

What a doll: For the little ones on your list, Montréal-based boutique Raplapla offers adorable dolls that have ended up in the arms of babies and toddlers worldwide. Each plush playmate has its own special quirks and a name. Lison has bright purple hair, Océane is part mermaid and Tim always wears a cape.

Warming trend: Winnipeg-based artist Julie Pedersen makes contemporary mukluks that strike a perfect balance between fashion and function. They are hardy enough to withstand a winter on the Prairies or a trip to a night club. Celebrities such as Katy Perry and Britney Spears have been spotted wearing them on stage.

Well-seasoned: Infused salts are all the rage in kitchens around the world. Some rather special ones are coming from Saltwest Naturals, whose sea salts are extracted from the clear waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, not far from Victoria, BC. Jessica and Jeff Abel launched the company in March 2011 and quickly dazzled foodies with unique flavours such as sweet smokey maple and rosemary garlic.

For the love of chocolate: Stratford, ON, is downright famous these days—and not just as Justin Bieber’s hometown. Chocolate-maker Rhéo Thompson has created sweet treats and more than 150 candy types since 1969. Mint Smoothies—creamy, melt-in-your-mouth chocolates—are the stars, with oodles of repeat customers. Also try the Nutty Pop (popcorn covered in caramel with pecans and almonds).

Beauty queens: Quebec sisters Julia and Rebecca Sinclair Smith founded Smith Farms in 2009 with a goal to create all-natural skincare products good for body and soul. It has won loyal followers for items such as Marshmallow Face Cream, Shea Butter Lip Balm and Beer Soap (perfect for guys).

Paper chase: For the travellers in your life, pick up funky Canadian-made journals and sketchbooks from Ecojot. The Toronto company, founded by the brother-and-sister team of Mark and Carolyn Gavin, makes its products with recycled paper, vegetable inks and adhesives and biodegradable shrink wrap.

Rock stars: Artist Jane LaBatte designs and makes truly one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces from raw minerals, gemstones and rocks under the name Rare Specimens. She hand chisels each rock, from pyrite to quartz in her studio in Hamilton, ON.

Feeling blue: Canada rules in terms of maple-syrup production, but if you want something a bit different try Wild Blueberry Syrup from Nova Scotia’s Acadian Maple Products. Made from hand-pressed wild blueberry juice, it is the perfect accompaniment for pancakes and waffles or drizzling over ice cream. And it’s nutritious, to boot!

Tote makers: Candy wrappers, movie billboards, bicycle inner tubes, and soda pop tops are just a few of the recycled materials used by Quebec-based Eco Handbags. They’re turned into clutches, backpacks, computer bags and cellphone cases, which are big on style and whimsical touches.

Looking for more visual Canadian gift inspiration? Browse our Brand Canada Library for thousands of images and videos from all over Canada.

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