2016 Toronto Entertainment District Holiday Gift Guide

POSTED ON January 6, 2017 BY Justine Smith

In case you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have noticed the usual shimmering lights, brisk wind, and spicy smells of the upcoming holiday season. We can’t wait! And we’re excited to bring you ten great gift ideas that the Toronto Entertainment District has to offer, featuring the fabulous and one-of-a-kind experiences for everyone that can be found under the tree this season!

Spacingtoronto entertainment district gift guideIf there’s one word to describe this 401 Richmond storefront staple, it’s STUFF. But not just stuff – good stuff – stuff you’d be happy to shove into your Dad’s stocking, but quickly take back for yourself. If you’re looking to please the proud Torontonian, then this is your stop – streetcar mugs, subway station pillows, and cozy wool socks that sport the names of our major highways. There’s even Union Station-inspired pomade! No shortage of city pride here so spread the love this holiday season.

Our Gift Pick:
The adorable yet accurate 1:87 Scale TTC Toronto Streetcar Toy (without the production delays of the real thing!)

CN Tower
toronto entertainment district gift guideNo iconic Toronto gift list could be complete without the Toronto icon itself, the CN Tower. Homed right here in the Entertainment District, you can treat your loved one to a day inside this architectural feat with their holiday lunch menu running all through December, a quick look around the glass floor observation deck, and even an afternoon stroll atop the tower with Edge Walk! Finish off this epic tour with one of Toronto’s most unique shopping experiences at the gift shop!

Our Gift Pick:
EdgeWalk Gift Card – includes access to LookOut, Glass Floor, SkyPod, and more!

Open Studio Artist Proof Sale
toronto entertainment district gift guideWant to make sure your gift is unique and one of a kind? Trying to impress a budding art collector? Stick to a holiday budget and while getting exclusive screen prints, etchings, lithographs and relief prints by established and emerging Canadian artists —priced between $50-$400. The sale runs through Dec 23rd, but get to the opening night Dec 1st for the best picks!

Our Gift Pick:
Dave Dyment has commission a piece specially for this event – check out Substitute City, which depicts fictional subway stops erected by film & television crews around the city, and pick up a limited edition print at the sale!

The Second City
toronto entertainment district gift guideA night out makes a great gift, but it doesn’t always mean your budget has to take a hit. The Second City is known for its budget-friendly, laugh out loud entertainment, with everything from family friendly to down right filthy in the mix. December shows include holidays favourites like What The Elf?!, Eat, Buy, Repeat, and Come What Mayhem, including a special New Year’s Eve Show!

Our Gift Pick:
Come What Mayhem runs through January and features the hilarious, legendary mainstage ensemble that you know and love.

Nicholby’s Gift Baskets
toronto entertainment district gift guideWho knows gifts better than a dedicated gift shop? Your tourist favourite has skipped the fruit baskets and gone straight for the good stuff – sports memorabilia! Smack dab in the middle of the Entertainment District’s legendary sports venues, it’s only fitting that this gift shop sports a gift basket for your favourite team, no matter the sport. Check them out at 123 Front Street W, on your way to the CN Tower!

Our Gift Pick:
Please a Raps fan with an official hat, beer stein, and travel mug to keep warm this winter; or keep the Jays spirit alive this winter with a hat, coffee mug, key chain, and more!

Steam Whistle
toronto entertainment district gift guideDrink in your favourite bevvy while browsing their gift shop for items to showcase your buddy’s love for the flagship brew. If you like their tours, consider getting a group together for their new group tours, a new 2-3 hour experience with local meats, cheeses, and baked pretzels to pair with samples of their signature pilsner, as well as a taste of their unfiltered version!
For an extra special stocking stuffer, grab a pair of tickets to the Winter Craft Beer Festival outside the Steam Whistle Roundhouse this February – it always sells out, and you’ll be the wise gifter!

Our Gift Pick:
A pair of tickets to the Winter Craft Beer Festival + Steam Whistle Toque, Scarf, & Mittens combo to keep warm while sipping on this city’s best brews.

Canadian Opera Company
toronto entertainment district gift guideThe Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and is well known for their artistic excellence in bringing classic and modern shows to life. Don your best frock with a friend and treat them to a night of exuberant arts and elegance they won’t soon forget. They offer anything from single tickets to packaged tickets, so you can gift your loved ones with the gift of opera for months to come.

Our Gift Pick:
In January, Mozart’s The Magic Flute will be brought to life by the Canadian Opera Company

The National Ballettoronto entertainment district gift guide nutcrackerWhen the COC isn’t performing, you can bet the National Ballet is, and they’re probably doing one of your classic favourites, from Cinderella to Swan Lake. Pick up a 3-show subscription to catch your favourites on the best live stage for ballet in Canada.

Our Gift Pick:
The classic holiday favourite The Nutcracker will once again be revived by The National Ballet, and makes a perfect holiday treat.

TIFF GiftsFilm festival season may have passed, but let’s keep the spirit alive with TIFF’s one of a kind gift shop right along King Street at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Not only can you find obscure and amazing memorabilia from your favourite films – indie and Oscar-winners alike – but artistic staples like the Andy Warhol collection are available regularly.
This winter, TIFF is determined to keep your extra cozy (and extra Canadian) with plaid, fleece scarves, camping blankets, and tote bags. Sporting leather accents and the embossed TIFF logo, this is part of the #SeeTheNorth collection, with Canadian influence tying into both film and fashion alike.

Our Gift Pick:
Any of their plaid outdoor gear is on point, or keep ultra warm with a tan shearling trapper hat that will protect you from that long, bitter wait for the streetcar.

Ripley’s Aquariumtoronto entertainment district gift guide aquariumIt doesn’t matter how young or old you are, looking at schools of fish and strange sea creatures is just something you don’t outgrow. Walking through the tunnel of sea life and being literally surrounded by thousands of fish and sharks is something that a lucky gift recipient won’t soon forget, and they won’t forget that you’re the one who made it happen.

Our Gift Pick:
It’s fun for the whole family, but if you want to have a grown up night out, grab tickets for you and your beau on Jazz Fridays. Live jazz music is heard all throughout the aquarium with licensed bars conveniently located along every path.

Make sure to follow the Toronto Entertainment District on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more great gift ideas and holiday favourites.