gift guide toronto

Here's Google's Canadian small business gift guide for your last-minute holiday shopping

While the last few years have been difficult for us all, we're finally in the first holiday season that feels somewhat normal, allowing us to look back on a few of the good things that happened, and all the reflection and learning that it prompted.

One of those positives that sprang out of the last several months was a better appreciation for our favourite small businesses, whether it be the new restaurant that's opened up on the corner or your favourite shop for quality goods.

To help show some love to mom-and-pop shops in Canada that were hit hard by the pandemic, Google Canada took the opportunity of Toronto's most popular holiday event, the Distillery Winter Village, to surprise vendors with $10,000 each to go towards operating costs this season as they continue to recover.

Google Canada also picked some of the top last-minute gift ideas from the Canadian small businesses they gave a "little help" — which you can still pick up in the Distillery District right now.

Urban Island

This Toronto-based retailer showcases handcrafted products made by women and families in Sri Lanka. With sustainability for the planet top of mind, as well as helping Sri Lankan artisans earn a decent living, the brand sells giftables for everyone on your list, from handwoven clothing items and accessories to home goods, toys, soaps, art and more.

gift guide torontoThere are notebooks, handloom wine bottle holders and incense stands, while ideal gifts include a wellness gift basket (ranging from $59 to $175); multi-craft combo including a teddy bear, hand-woven basket and hand-woven throw ($255), and other gift sets of kitchenware and textiles.

Aunt Beth's Whisky Cookies

Owner Beth Havers combined her two decades of working in the spirits industry and her lifelong love of baking into a new business in 2020, with the aim of making whisky specifically — which can be intimidating to some — more approachable and beloved.

Her gourmet treats have flavour profiles that perfectly complement the complex flavours of different whiskies from all over the world.

gift guide torontoShe not only sells an assortment of delicious whisky-infused cookies, but also whisky BBQ sauce ($15.95), whisky caramel ($12.95) and whisky subscription boxes ($149.95 for three months).

Cookies come in a six-pack ($12.95) and a 12-packs($23.95), with flavours like Jameson Irish double double, bourbon barrel chocolate chip, and Canadian Club rye and ginger, which are also vegan.

Chippi & Co.

This brand's unique handcrafted toys are ideal for any family with young ones, with the softest, most cuddly toys made from only the best materials.

gift guide torontoTheir adorable stuffed animals include sheep, unicorn, tigers, lions, bears, buffalo, rabbits, dinos and more in an array of colours (ranging from $52 to $119), while they also specialize in a line of stuffed dolls ($52 to $75), rattles ($26 to $36), and gorgeous one-of-a-kind mobiles ($175).

Their Christmas collection is also perfect for the season!

SowSweet Greetings

This small business takes greeting cards to the next level by turning them into living gifts that you can keep and nurture for months, or even years!

Cards for all occasions are not only hilarious, cute and sentimental (depending on what you're looking for), but completely plantable. Each comes secretly full of seeds and has instructions for how the recipient can turn their card into beautiful wildflowers with some soil, water, sunlight, and tender love and care.

gift guide torontoThe cards are also super green, made from recycled paper and contained in packaging made of 100 per cent compostable plant-based material. The company also uses all Canadian suppliers and certified eco-friendly components for all product materials.

The holiday cards for the season are only $7.99.

Head to Google Canada's blog to check out the full gift guide and support small businesses this Christmas. And, you can shop these small businesses and many more at the Distillery Winter Village in Toronto, until December 31, 2022!

Photos by

Google Canada

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