Thursday, November 10, 2016

It's Holiday Craft Market Season

Toys by RoRo Art; available at OOAK
I love the Christmas season for many reasons: The food, the parties, the cookies, the decorations, the snacks and because it gives me a valid reason to shop. And while I'm not averse to shopping in chain stores, my preferred place to look for the perfect gift is a holiday craft market. Besides supporting local talent, shopping at these markets is a great way to find unique products that are generally quite affordable. It's also a very efficient way to shop. There have been years when I've completed around 75 per cent of my non-gift card shopping at the One Of A Kind Show.
The popularity of these events has exploded over the past few years and there are now dozens of options. Below are five that have my attention and might get my money.

One Of A Kind Show
Nov 24-Dec 4, Enercare Centre, $13 Entry Free
Bréton Brut; available at
City of Craft
You can't have a list of holiday craft markets without naming this massive event. Yes, it's crowded; yes, it's mostly the same vendors year after year and yes, its location in a pain to get to but there is just so much high quality selection at this show. Also, there are lots of free food samples.

Holiday Fair In Nathan Philips Square
Dec 8-23, Nathan Philips Square, Free Entry
This new event promises to combine "...the charm and elegance of a traditional European Christmas market with the excitement and allure of a thriving winter carnival." There will be vendors, food and drink, a "holly jolly" midway and free visits with Santa.

City Of Craft
Dec 9-11, The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen St W), I Think Free
Now in its tenth year, this show is all about local makers. There will be 60 vendors selling everything from soap to preserves to aprons and half of them will be new to City of Craft, meaning more great products for you to discover.
HouseOfCat available at the
Toronto Green Market

Toronto Green Market Holiday Market
Dec 11, The Great Hall, Free Entry 
If you're looking for environmentally friendly gifts, you'll want to check out the holiday edition of the Toronto Green Market. Its offerings include wooden kids toys, cat-themed products and body care items. This event also has a large food component and will feature holiday music.

Toronto Etsy Christmas Market
Dec 17, Church of Saint Stephen-in-the-Fields (103 Bellevue Ave) Free Entry

Locally based Etsy vendors are the stars of this show. In addition to handmade and vintage items, food will also be for sale and there will be a kids' craft table. You'll want to get to this event early: The first 50 people get a free swag bag filled with goodies.

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