Now that the much-debated streetcar is up and running, St. Clair West Village has become a thriving, family-centred community, and the strip from Rushton to Bathurst is booming with shops, bakeries, cafes and toy stores. Check off all the items on your must-do holiday shopping list while also taking a relaxing break in the newly rejuvenated St.Clair West neighbourhood.
Noir Coffee and Tea
701 St.Clair Avenue West│noircoffeeandtea.com
This low key café with upscale decor is a wonderful spot to kick back and relax during the holidays. The gorgeous Japanese-inspired decor makes you want to buy everything in sight. An entire wall of teas from green to the uber-exclusive Darjeeling, low lighting and comfortable seating will keep you at Noir Coffee and Tea for awhile. Free WIFI and a plethora of gift basket choices make this a favoured café.
Clay by Cocoalatte Toronto
659 St.Clair Avenue West│clayhouse.ca
Need to cook? Of course you do. Focused on helping both wannabe cooks and masterful chefs make magic in the kitchen, clay offers ethnic cookbooks, exotic spices and oils, and a huge range of kitchen supplies. If you’d like to get your kids in the kitchen, clay’s front section is devoted to kids and cooking: aprons, whisks and spoons for little hands. A fabulous holiday gift idea: all Creuset cookware is 20% off until the end of the year.
657 St.Clair Avenue West│playfulminds.ca
Whenever I visit Playful Minds, I always walk out with way more than I intended to buy. And it’s because they have the most interesting and fun toys for kids of all ages — intricate Lego sets, jewellery making and baking kits, science experiments, magic, and a whole wall of baby toys. If carting your kids with you, there’s a big Thomas train set right at the front door so the kids can be occupied for a moment while you browse the fantastic selection.
La Boutique Parpar
649 St.Clair Avenue West│parparboutique.com
This lovely boutique has it all: gorgeous Missoni impression scarves, funky costume jewellery from sparkly bracelets to fun hair accessories, fabulous women’s clothing, trendy hats, and the sweetest tutus, blankets, backpacks and lunchboxes for kids of all ages. Pink, frothy and frilly, La Boutique Parpar makes you feel like a woman. Buy a little something for yourself while shopping for family and friends.
621 St. Clair Avenue West│leahs.ca
This intimate corner bakery, owned by renowned biscotti baker Leah Kalish, is just steps away from the Wychwood Art Barns. Leah’s biscotti, an untraditional mix of Italian biscotti and Jewish mundelbread, is so scrumptious that even Mick Jagger once insisted on having it. Kids will love her candy clusters: chunks of chocolate smothered in colourful M&M’s, and moms will swoon over the homemade oreos, rugelach and kitchen sink cookies: a crunchy mix of salt and sweet that has potato chips and pretzels baked in with butterscotch and M&M’s. Holiday goodies range from gift cards to gift boxes, and Leah’s also provides parve baking and custom made treats for your holiday parties.
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