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events

Craft City: The Best Places to Buy Handmade Gifts this Weekend

If malls make you crazy and you'd like to support local vendors while you shop, we have some suggestions.

The Christmas Market at the Distillery District. Photo by {a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ashleytuck/6494191961/"}tuck_ashley{/a} from the {a href="http://www.flickr.com/groups/torontoist"}Torontoist Flickr Pool{/a}.

The One of a Kind Show has already passed, but that doesn’t mean you’ve lost out on your chance to support artists and makers while doing your holiday shopping. It seems like all the makers of Toronto entered into some kind of deal to make the second weekend of December the weekend to sell their wares to the gift-seeking public. Here are your best bets for craft shows this weekend…

Frost Fair
Why: The Fort York’s market is inspired by those held 200 years ago, and features a bonfire and merchants in period clothing selling goods inspired by the 18th and 19th centuries.
When: December 8 and 9 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Where: Fort York (100 Garrison Road)
How much: Included with regular site admission fee of $8.99

Nacho Mama’s Craft Show
Why: A new entry to Toronto’s busy craft-show schedule, Nacho Mama’s is taking donations at the door to support Sketch, a community arts initiative for homeless and vulnerable youth.
When: December 8 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Where: Sneaky Dee’s (431 College Street)
How much: Free admission

401 Artisans Marketplace
Why: This sale is smaller, with 20 vendors, but it’s celebrating its 20th anniversary for a reason: you’ll find a quality selection of goods from local artisans here.
When: December 8 (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and 9 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Where: 401 Richmond Street West
How much: Free admission

City of Craft
Why: This show, run by the collective of the same name, is Toronto’s largest independently run juried craft sale, with more than 70 participants.
When: December 8 (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and 9 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Where: The Theatre Centre (1087, 1093, and 1095 Queen Street West)
How much: $2 admission, children under 12 free

Shop Cats Wandering Winter Craft Show
Why: This is the last of Shop Cats’ four pop-up holiday markets, where you can shop for locally produced goods from more than 30 vendors while also enjoying a flute duo. (Yes, really.)
When: December 9 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Where: Gladstone Hotel, Ballroom (1214 Queen Street West)
How much: Free admission

Artscape’s Holiday Art Market
Why: Held annually at the covered street barn, this market features open studios where you can watch its local artisans at work.
When: December 9 and 16 (12 to 5 p.m.)
Where: Wychwood Barns (601 Christie Street)
How much: Free admission

Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery District
Why: The Distillery District’s annual holiday market is more than just a craft sale. You get the full holiday experience with carolers, a huge Christmas tree, and beer and mulled wine gardens.
When: December 9 to 16 (Monday to Friday 12 to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
Where: The Distillery District
How much: Free admission

Artisans’ Gift Fair
Why: This annual fair runs well into December, making it great for procrastinators, but you won’t want to hold off because it offers everything from clothing to gluten-free treats. Free live music while you shop.
When: December 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23 (12 to 6 p.m.)
Where: The Tranzac (292 Brunswick Avenue)
How much: Free admission

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