Gift for new Torontonian?
February 1, 2021 9:15 AM   Subscribe

My BFF recently moved to Toronto from Texas and his birthday is coming up.

I've got a few weeks to find something cool to get my friend. He likes music (alternative, emo, 90s hip hop), fiction, small press comics, travel, boozy cocktails, meat-forward food. He's married to my other BFF and they have a 10-year-old. Can you recommend a Toronto-specific, pandemic okay gift? I'm hoping to find something that doesn't have to wait until things re-open to enjoy but maybe that's all there is.
posted by *s to Shopping (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Off the top of my head, Rhum Corner will deliver via Uber Eats. I also really like Richmond Station.

It might help to give a general idea of where your BFF is living? A neighbourhood, major intersection or subway stop will help with local recommendations.
posted by TORunner at 9:23 AM on February 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

Toronto | Not Amazon might be a good place to browse.
posted by scruss at 9:23 AM on February 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

Something to help with the soot sprites? I've never been to Canada but I saw My Neighbour Torontarian and there's a lot of cleaning up to do when you move in.
posted by k3ninho at 9:37 AM on February 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

Delivery cocktails from somewhere local and cool is a good idea. Rhum Corner, or the aptly-named Cocktail Bar both deliver on Uber Eats. A gift card to Silver Snail Comics might also work (they are delivering during the pandemic). Or a gift card to Sonic Boom or some other Toronto record store with a large collection (Sonic Boom does curbside pickup).
posted by hepta at 9:40 AM on February 1, 2021

Best answer: Peace Collective's Home is Toronto's collection.

Many picks at the Spacing Store - the Spacing store is a spinoff from Spacing which is a great magazine about Canadian Urbanism. I'd recommend a subscription and a raccoon mug. :)
posted by warriorqueen at 9:42 AM on February 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Due to pandemic, the few local distilleries we have are delivering. List
posted by dripdripdrop at 9:44 AM on February 1, 2021

maybe he's missing something from his home state? i always send my texas friends packs of spicy whataburger ketchup so they can get a little taste of home wherever they are. there are lots of whataburger sauces on amazon, if spicy ketchup is not their bag. :)
posted by kerning at 9:48 AM on February 1, 2021

Response by poster: To answer a question, they're in Seaton Village near Bloor Street.
posted by *s at 10:07 AM on February 1, 2021

Maybe a gift certificate for take out?

TorontoLife is a good place to find something
posted by Ftsqg at 10:11 AM on February 1, 2021

Ooh wonderful neighbourhood. The store at the Toronto Reference Library has a local section in their online shop.
posted by wellred at 10:18 AM on February 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

Sanagans Meat Locker on Baldwin St isn’t too far away. Healthy Butcher will deliver, too. It looks like Summerhill Market has a location in Seaton Village now. They have very yummy meat pies.

I have recently enjoyed a bottle of gin from Spirit of York distillery, so I’d recommend that distillery in particular.

I second the Spacing Store raccoon mug. I drink my coffee from one of these every morning.
posted by TORunner at 10:44 AM on February 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

I lived in Seaton Village for 13 years. A lot of the best stuff there is food from places that wouldn't have gift certificates (Korean holes in the wall, Tacos El Asador), but not too far away are some good things that I see are still open:

The Beguiling (comics)

Soundscapes (well-curated music store that also sells music books)

Cocktail Emporium (drinking supplies)

You could also get him a toboggan to sled down the giant hills in Christie Pits park.
posted by Beardman at 10:59 AM on February 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

Oh yeah, and TYPE books is the best indie bookstore.
posted by Beardman at 11:06 AM on February 1, 2021

A Toronto indoctrination kit needs some Scott Pilgrim. There’s a comic, movie, and video game.
posted by rodlymight at 12:08 PM on February 1, 2021 [5 favorites]

Seconding Sanagan's meat locker - they are the best. They do have gift cards. They do delivery and curbside pick up if they need contactless shopping, but also have up plexiglass barriers and take a lot of precautions if they want to shot in-store.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:27 PM on February 1, 2021

Thirding Sanagan's for meat.

Im not a torontonian nor a texan but i have strong and (to me) well sourced opinions about barbeque in general and the options in toronto more generally - although its now been a year since i was in town. My favorite is inconveniently located for your friend way out east at Beach Hill Smokehouse (i see they are on some delivery apps which i cannot endorse because theyre strangling the entire restaurant industry to death but i get why other people use hem). I ate Cherry St at a competiton/event and thought it was also quite good. Its been a while but i thought Barque was good but not amazing, but my family rave about The Stockyards on St Clair West which shouldnt be too far from your friends, if my bbq theme works for you.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:46 PM on February 1, 2021

Came here to recommend some Scott Pilgrim. So +1 for that suggestion.
posted by aclevername at 4:10 PM on February 1, 2021

Also here to recommend the Spacing store. In addition to the raccoon mug, I would also recommend this book bundle.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:35 PM on February 1, 2021

Socialised medicine?
...I’ll see myself out.
posted by Kreiger at 5:46 PM on February 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

Magic Pony is a cool Toronto shop with lots of neat comics / graphics / pop culture stuff.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 2:22 PM on February 2, 2021

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! I settled on a subscription to Spacing Magazine and a bottle of Reid's citrus gin, but I'll have some fun places to visit with them when I eventually go visit.
posted by *s at 11:37 AM on February 3, 2021

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