By Lori Bosworth
Torontonicity was invited to preview the One of a Kind Christmas Show and Sale 2017 at the Enercare Centre in Toronto just before the doors opened on Thursday, November 23, 2017. The show is until until December 3, 2017 and is a great place to shop for holiday gifts. We were treated to a gourmet breakfast prepared by Executive Chef Matt Simpson of Montecito Restaurant. It’s important to fuel up because you’ll be covering a lot of real estate up and down the aisles of the show.
There are over 800 vendors and artisans selling handcrafted gifts at the show so you really will need to allocate several hours if you want to visit many booths. I have highlighted some of my favourite finds from the show this year:
Balsam Fir Pillows from Balsamea
These Balsam Fir Pillows from Balsamea at Booth A43 caught my eyes and nose’s attention, not only for their festive designs, but for their holiday scent of balsam fir. Maxime Bouchard of Montreal stuffs these pillows with wild-harvested balsam fir for a mild, but pleasing aroma. The pillows feature screen-prints on 100% cotton. Small pillows are $47; large pillows are $80.
Jewellery from Shi Studio
I stopped to talk to jewellery designer Cory Judge at Shi Studio at Booth K53. Cory fuses silks with glass to create her unique pieces of jewellery. Cory was honoured by being commissioned to create the official Canadian parting gift for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their 2016 Royal visit to Canada. You can purchase items from the Royal Collection and her other jewellery collections at the show.
SOHOT Sauces at the One of a Kind Christmas Show 2017
The One of a Kind Christmas Show is a great place to discover new food products. I headed to the Flavours section and had to stop by SOHOT Sauces at Booth H55. I love using marinades for chicken and seafood so I sampled a few of their sauces. I requested a mild sauce and was steered towards Sweet Surrender Sauce, a spicy mango sauce that would taste great on chicken, fish, spring rolls or grilled vegetables. I loved this sauce, but I wouldn’t exactly classify it as “mild.” You initially taste the sweet mango flavour, but within a second or two, the hotter chili spices emerge. This is about as hot as I like a sauce so it was perfect for me. Sauces sell for $15.
Women’s Jacket from Vespertine
This Aster jacket, $248, from Vespertine caught my eye. I love the bold contrast between the burgundy-and-pink-striped-material with the solid black. Designer Melanie Ferrara informed me that she scored the striped material for the jacket when Toronto designer Lida Baday closed her business. Check out Vespertine’s clothing at Booth P44.
Birdhouses by Don
Nature lovers including me will love these whimsical Birdhouses by Don, which are, you guessed it, handcrafted by Don and handpainted by his wife in their home in Dorval, QC. The birdhouses feature different-sized holes to accommodate different-sized birds. Apparently, birds will make their nests in these houses. You have to check out the outhouse birdhouse, complete with a toilet paper roll! These birdhouses are reasonably priced from $40-$55. Find Birdhouses by Don at Booth A39.
Christmas Ornaments from Muskoka Pewter
I had to stop and admire these gorgeous Christmas ornaments from Muskoka Pewter at Booth A55. I love the angel, Christmas tree and Inukshuk ornaments in particular. They would give a nostalgic look to any Christmas tree. Pewter Christmas ornaments are $12 each or 3 for $30.
Lynn’s Lids Hats
These colourful hats from Lynn’s Lids are a lot more stylish than your typical toque. If you purchase any of Lynn’s Lids’ hats with the Maple Leaf logo as seen in the centre of photo, Lynn will donate 25% of the proceeds to The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund. Find Lynn’s Lids at Booth J45.
Jewellery by Julie Bessette
I really love jewellery so I had to stop by several jewellery booths at the show, including Julie Bessette’s Booth I-49. Julie incorporates quartz pieces and beads into her necklaces for an original look. Her necklaces are adjustable so you can wear them short or long and they are affordable at under $100.
The One of a Kind Christmas Show and Sale 2017 takes place November 23, 2017 to December 3, 2017 at the Enercare Centre in Toronto.
Tickets are Adults $15, Seniors (65+) $7.50, Youth (13-17) $7.50 and 12 and under Free.