The holiday season is in full swing, which means the streets and shopping centres are packed with shoppers searching for the perfect gifts. Our favourite gifts are those that you can eat or experience—that way, you don’t have to worry that your present is sitting unused and collecting dust in someone’s basement. If you haven’t even started thinking about tackling the hard-to-shop-for folks on your list, don’t fret. We’ve got you covered!
For lovers of all things local:
Montreal plays host to a number of lovely holiday pop-up markets around this time of the year. Our favourites are the ones that feature goods crafted by local artisans, like the Salon des métiers d’art du Québec craft fair, which features over 400 craftspeople from across the province (and wraps up this weekend!) or the Marché Artisanal Montréal, which takes place in Rosemont on December 20 and 21. Check out mtl.org for an exhaustive list of the markets being held this year.
For the foodies:
Who doesn’t love receiving “experiences” rather than material goods as gifts? We can’t imagine a better experience than one that lets you appreciate the unique beauty of Montreal while also filling your stomach. Local Food Tours offers year-round food and drink walking tours of various neighbourhoods, including Mile End, the Plateau and Old Montreal. Their tours sample some of the best eats in the city and their guides’ enthusiasm is like the cherry on top. The company offers gift certificates on their website in the exact values of the available tours.
For the world traveller:
Did you know that CLC offers gift certificates? Language classes are a perfect gift idea for avid travellers, as well as those who tend to make big resolutions (and stick to them). Classes and private lessons are available in French, English, Spanish and Japanese, so shoot us an email if there’s someone on your list with a trip to Central or South America planned this winter, someone with dreams of visiting Japan or someone who wants to finally perfect their English or French and finally claim true bilingualism.
For visiting family and friends:
In my experience, there’s one foolproof way to impress far-flung friends every single time: maple, and lots of it. People around the world associate Canada with maple syrup, and for good reason: we produce and consume lots of the stuff (Quebec especially), and it’s generally available for much cheaper here than you’ll find overseas. Pick up a classic red, white and pale blue can of Pure Canadian Maple Syrup or a box of maple cookies and give the gift of Canadiana. Or, if maple syrup isn’t your jam, grab a bottle of iced wine or cider for another perfectly Quebecois offering.
For the Montreal-obsessed:
Want to treat your loved ones with some unique Montreal swag but weary of tacky tourist wares? Montreal-based Main and Local sells a wide selection of clever Montreal-themed products; “souvenirs that don’t suck,” according to their website. Items include poutine-adorned socks (and keychains, notebooks, pencil cases… you name it, they’ve probably covered it in a poutine design), traffic cone salt and pepper shakers and a range of tongue-in-cheek greeting cards. Their products are stocked in a number of Montreal retailers, and you can also order items online for delivery.