By Amy Sanderson
As a self-professed shopaholic, I am no stranger to women’s shows, the CNE and other events offered at the Enercare Centre so I was excited to be invited to review the One of a Kind Craft Show 2016, one of the most popular Christmas craft shows in Toronto.
I like to have the option to put my purchases in the car so I opted to park at the Enercare Centre indoor parking, located directly under the show, without having to leave the building. Parking is a reasonable $15 and I arrived early on Thursday, November 24, 2016, the opening day of the show, so there were lots of spaces. I noticed as I was leaving at 3:30 p.m. that the lot had filled up considerably, so keep that in mind.
I was lucky to be invited to the media breakfast prepared by Antler Restaurant Chef Michael Hunter. As his surname would suggest, his dishes had a ‘wild’ theme to them. The media breakfast menu included:
- Wild Mushroom Tarte Tatin with Sorrel, walnut, pesto (vegetarian)
- House Smoked Salmon on Challah (egg bread) with pickled onion, herring roe
- Soft Quail Egg Vol au Vent with roasted eggplant and basil (vegetarian)
- House Smoked Pork Belly and Cheddar Frittata
- Wild Blueberry Chia Seed Granola Parfait (vegan, gluten free)
All the dishes were delicious, but my personal favourite was the parfait. I had never experienced a Chia Seed Parfait before. I thought it was a smaller seed tapioca, but nuttier. I admit I indulged in two of these! (after everyone had already had one of course).
With a full belly, I opted to start on the fashion-themed opposite end of the hall at aisle Y and worked my way back to aisle A where there were more flavours to savour after I’d worked up my shopping appetite.
I purchased a beautiful silver chain, $45, from Tricia McMaster of Green Bijou at Booth W04.
This hat, $45, made its way home with me from Mad Cap Hats at Booth Y32. Warm and wild – just like me!
I purchased this dried sausage from Les Cochons Tout Ronds, QC: spicy, but tasty!
I purchased several bamboo pajamas sets from the gals at This Is J at Booth T04. The long sleeve nightie (shown) is $85 and comes with a matching headband.
Slightly dark, sarcastic cards – my favourite!
Super fun “Who hats” with a fun, baggy look from Cindy Goble Luxury Hand Knits at Booth O24.
I purchased some tasty chocolates for stocking stuffers from Mary’s Gourmet at Booth H43.
What a wonderful show! The One of a Kind Craft Show 2016 is a true Toronto Christmas tradition where you can not only support local artisans, but also get some creative gifts that are truly unique. I’ve crossed off nearly everyone on my Christmas list, and got a few items for myself. I arrived at 9 a.m. for the breakfast, went down every aisle and left at around 3:30 p.m. My feet were killing me despite wearing comfy walking moccasins. I advise wearing a light shirt and comfy pants to stay cool, and don’t forget to bring a bottle of water to stay hydrated. You may need two days to see it all. I am thinking of going back for a couple of things.
The One of a Kind Christmas Show is on from November 24 until December 4, 2016 at the Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place. The hours are 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays; Sundays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Late night shopping is on Thursday, December 1, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. Admission prices are: Adult $15 ($13 online), Seniors (65+) $7.50, Youth (13-17) $7.50, University Student (with valid student ID) $10 and Children 12 and under are free! If you forgot your own, reusable shopping bags are available for $2.