Last-Minute Gifts from the Danforth

[SlideDeck id=’1317′ width=’100%’ height=’300px’] Shopping for friends and family during the holidays can be a tough task, especially when you’re the type to leave things until the last minute. Fortunately for you, the perennial procrastinator, the Danforth has a wealth of unique or otherwise-overlooked gifts to show that special someone you’re more observant and thoughtful than you previously let on.

Here is a brief list of Danforth shops with some weird and wonderful gifts, meant to inspire your own treasure hunt.

1. The Twelfth Fret

For the music lovers among us, think outside the box; think ukulele. Even more fun to play than to pronounce, the ukulele represents a seamless transition for guitar players and its small size means portability. Kala and Mahalo brands come in a variety of prices—about $69 to over $300—and finishes. The Internet is abound with ‘uke’ wizards for your inspiration. Of course, The Twelfth Fret carries a huge array of more traditional instruments and accessories; but nothing emits that sweet tropical sound in the dead of winter like a ukulele.

2. Wag on the Danforth

Consider pawing through the goods at this shop where a gift for your pet can be as creative as you are. They offer a custom gift bag option, which can be filled with natural and eco-friendly items, including treats, biodegradable shoes, and an endless supply of toys. The Spotbrites Laser Pet Toy at $7.49 is one inexpensive way to keep your dog or cat entertained. After that invigorating exercise they might enjoy lounging in one of the many made-in-Toronto dog beds.

3. Ten Thousand Villages

Fair trade and ethical consumption are paramount here. Take pride in knowing that purchasing a gift at Ten Thousand Villages promotes better business practices in third world countries. You can’t turn around without encountering a unique item—bamboo xylophones, shesham wood puzzle boxes, a forty-year brass calendar wheel—but the Nepali Singing Bowls stand out as truly worthy gift candidates. Its hauntingly beautiful and relaxing sound has to be heard to be believed, perfect for yoga and meditation. You can get a medium-sized one for $66.

4. Fermentations

No one would ever miss a class again if it were part of Beer School. For the do-it-them-selfer on your list, consider a gift certificate for a beer or winemaking course. For $89 the beer pupil in your family or crowd of friends can learn about the drink in-depth and take part in the brewing process after selecting one of 14 delicious recipes.

5. Treasure Island Toys

Finding a gift for a child should be a relatively painless process because of the abundance of choices. As expectations rise, though, so too does the potential for disappointment. Treasure Island Toys is a trove of gifts for your child, featuring toys that promote learning, eco-consciousness, and physical activity. The Kickboard g-bike encourages all three, as your three-to-five-year-old learns to bike gradually by running along with the bike.

6. Red Smoke Tobacconist

This shop has everything for the person who likes to indulge in the finer things. If you’re shopping for a tweed-jacket-wearing academic, consider a classic wooden pipe—there’s no shortage of options here. For something with a wider application, a durable Zippo lighter with cool design is a good way to showcase individuality.

7. Mike’s Music

Trying to find something special for the person who has everything? Go retro to get a smile. Vinyl is making a comeback, so jump on the bandwagon with a gift of music the way it was meant to be heard. A vinyl edition of a Beatles classic is a safe choice, but if that’s too predictable, try a three-record collection of Superman radio theatre from the 1940s and 50s. Considering the awesomeness involved, $21.99 sounds like a steal.

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