‘Tis the season – for shopping. Yes, the leaves may have barely fallen from the trees but the jack-o-lanterns will shortly be switched out for ornaments and holly and the days are numbered before the holidays are here live and in person.
This year when planning your shopping to-do list, we have two words for you: Go local. If ever there was a year to transition to local shopping, this is it, and the best part is you can still shop online to find the best and most meaningful gifts without leaving your comfy chair.
A gift that’s sourced from within your community says so much about both the gifter and has more meaning than something you may find in a box store or an outlet mall. A locally sourced gift says: “You are awesome, our community is awesome, and you won’t believe what I found right around the corner from us!”
Local gifts are a reflection of your community’s values and culture,
where the makers and sellers are your neighbours, friends, and family.
Unique, artisanal, and one-of-a-kind products are all around you – this year, steer away from the box stores and find the coolest local products in Ontario’s Highlands.
*These shops all take online orders and offer local or province-wide delivery or curbside pick-up.
We all want to smell nice around the holidays (and maybe even all year long). Rawdon Creek Soap Co. in Stirling makes body care products using water buffalo milk locally sourced from the Ontario Water Buffalo Company. Give buffalo milk soap a try and you may never go back. If you like pretty things you’ll be reluctant to lather up and ruin the fun shapes and colours from Renfrew’s Carrot Top Soap Shop . If there’s a way to make soap Treehouse Soaps in Haliburton has thought of it. They make felted soaps, unscented, beeswax, cider, and yes even beer soap.
Ontario’s Highlands’ artisans create beautiful and useful products that mirror the stunning natural world around us. Purchase a Silver Shingle greeting card and send something uniquely beautiful out into the world, and all made of metal. See what the beautify of Haliburton Highlands’ Lake Kashagawigamog can inspire with a purchase of one of Paradigm Design’s creations, including their “Band of Leaves” rings, inspired by the boreal landscape. In Almonte, Cheerfully Made is like an Etsy store where all the best handmade goods are gathered into one magical space. Their jewellery collection is full of fun artisanal products you won’t find anyone else wearing. *These locations all sell online or in-store.
This Brew’s for You
Anyone can buy a generic can of beer, but why not crack open a brew that was made with love by an Ontarian just like you? Square Timber Brewing Company makes beer with heart, and they heart their beer, too. Try their Bunny Hug IPA or their 1881 Lager – chances are there is a story behind the names that will make your brew taste all the sweeter. Pour your brew into something swanky with one of Artech Glass Blowing Studios’ creations.
Discover Local Leather
You won’t find anyone else with one of these local leather products. There’s leather and then there’s leather that’s so buttery soft you long to touch it, and this is the kind of leather made by Enright Cattle Co. Browse their selection of beautifully designed leather products, from wallets to purchases to overnight satchel. Willa Murray Design takes locally sourced leather and transforms it into rugged belts, bags, and other useful items for home and office.
What happened to the days when a stylish hat was a fashion staple? Have fun with a hip fedora from Anupaya, a small company located in Deep River, Ontario. You can find Anupaya’s products at various local stores but you can also order through their website to have it delivered straight to your door. Of course you’ll want to accessorize with a unique bag made from repurposed vintage car interiors and aviation materials from Mariclaro Designs.
Get Cozy with Tea
It may be possible that cradling a cup of warm tea in your hands will cure the ills of the world. Try one of Algonquin Tea Company’s wild teas made from medicinal, wild, and sacred plants of the Canadian wilderness. Some longstanding favourites are their Awakening Tea, their Homestead Blend, or their Lucid Dream.
From Ground to Glass
Wine doesn’t need to come from Italy, France, or California; purchase wine that’s made close to home from Tweed’s Potter Settlement Winery. Try their award-winning 2016 Marquette and see for yourself why this grape has been making headlines and winning awards. Cider is also a great local gift, and you have two award-winning cideries to choose from in Ontario’s Highlands: Kings Mill Cider and Ugly Apple, both offering multiple options for true cider lovers, with free local delivery or pick-up (Kings Mill Cider also ships across Ontario).
See how good freshly roasted coffee can taste – Madawaska Coffee Co. has 10 complex roasts for you to try only 48 hours from roasting to shipping for ultimate flavour and freshness. Nearby, Fluid Solar Roasted Coffee has added an environmental twist to your morning brew. Their Twisted Sisters coffee could quite be the best coffee you’ve ever had.
Feel the Beat
The gift of music is one that just keeps on giving. If you’ve been missing your vinyl you can purchase a phonograph or record player from Backbeat Books and Music in Perth and then order the latest vinyl releases from their online shop. You may not expect to find ukuleles in a brewery, but that’s the case with Haliburton Highlands Brewing. Self-termed as an “accidental ukulele shop” you can shop online for a Canadian made ukulele and order a six-pack at the same time.