home for the holidays: larkspur in toronto
When Lauren approached us about doing a post on local holiday traditions in Toronto, we both thought we'd like to focus on independently owned businesses in our neighborhood, Parkdale - a sort of guide to finding the best holiday staples like baked goods, gift ideas, holiday dresses or spots to sneak away to and enjoy your favorite warm beverage. Toronto is a city which puts a lot of importance on locally owned business, and our neighborhood in particular is incredibly supportive of young entrepreneurs, so it was hard to narrow it down, but here is what we finally came up with.
Alex: If you are looking for some gift ideas, holiday decorations or just a cozy sweater, you can never go wrong with Public Butter. They carry a lot of wearable and affordable vintage clothing, housewares and furniture. It is always one of the first places we go if we are looking for a piece of furniture that our apartments are missing. During the holiday season they decorate the store adorably with ornaments hanging from the ceiling and you can even buy mason jars filled with those cute little ornaments to decorate your very own tree. It is a great place to find a present you may not otherwise think of like record players, vintage banners and old tea sets.
Meaghan: One of my guiltiest pleasures, sweets-wise, is donuts. This neighborhood is packed with great cafes that offer amazing baked treats, but nothing feels more like I'm treating myself, than a donut from Glory Hole. If you go, and you're having trouble choosing (there are so many kinds, and they all look so good), you can't go wrong with the Elvis With Marshmallow. Or, if you're vegetarian (the Elvis has bacon on it), the owner personally recommends the chocolate pistachio! I think anyone walking into any holiday party with a box of these would be a sure fire hit!
Coriander Girl is right next door to Glory Hole and is worth the stop, every time. Shop owner Alison Westlake not only makes the most beautiful floral arrangements, but has perfectly curated a collection of trinkets like vintage tea cups, painted mason jar vases and soaps and candles, all in the prettiest blush tones. In an effort to be festive while keeping with her favorite color palette, Alison is selling gorgeous pink poinsettias, which could brighten up any room. If you ever stop in, take the time to say hello, because she is the loveliest person and will make you feel like you're old friends right off the bat. And make sure to say hello to Harry, her handsome furry co-worker (Harry is a rabbit!).
Meaghan: The Mascot is one of many amazing cafes in Parkdale. I personally love them because of their endless tea list and delicious soy lattes, but it helps that they have a giant blue velvet couch, and that they sell magazines like Lula, Frankie and Russh (among others) which I could sit and spend hours browsing.
Toronto is a huge city and while we chose to focus on our one little corner of it, there are probably a hundred more places I can think of off the top of my head which are worth visiting. Each neighborhood has its very own flavor and is amazing in its own way, and it's always worth strolling for hours to take it all in.
Thanks ladies! Be sure to check out Alex and Meaghan's blog and soon-to-be-store Larkspur Shoppe. And as promised, the winner from last week's necklace giveaway is Katrina, congrats!