The first Union Station Holiday Market opened in Toronto and I attended the media preview on December 1, 2014. The market, which runs to December 7, 2014, features 25 vendors selling everything from fashionable socks to ethical jewelry to high-end gourmet chocolate. Situated in the Great Hall of Toronto’s Union Station, located on the main floor, the holiday market is the perfect stop to squeeze in some holiday shopping for commuters and office workers on their lunch breaks.
I stopped to chat with Zoltan Szabo, Director of Business Development and Marketing for chocoMe, an upscale artisan chocolate made with imported chocolate from Hungary. Zoltan offered me a sample of the white chocolate bar (yes, it’s okay to have chocolate this early in the morning), which was not as sweet as typical white chocolate, with dried cranberries and strawberries, which was a pleasing combination. Chocolate bars are $10 and $16.
Yo Sox is a one year old, Toronto-based company that makes wearing socks exciting. Their vibrant coloured and patterned socks are available for women, men and children and cost about $11-$13 per pair.
I love this bold necklace, $35, from Social Gem Ethical Jewelry, a company that donates 50% of its profits to pay for girls to attend school in Indonesia. The products are made in Indonesia and then shipped to Canada for sale. This necklace features wood pieces covered in metal, creating an eye-catching statement piece.
How about gourmet popcorn for a stocking stuffer? Yes! The Toronto Popcorn Co. offers a holiday mix of gourmet, handcrafted popcorn that will not only brighten up your holiday decor, but tastes great as well.
Don’t you just hate it when you are trying to find your luggage at the airport? Melissa Beth Designs has solved the problem for you. The company has created a luggage belt that will distinguish your suitcase from the many others crowding the baggage carousel. Melissa Beth Designs also makes weekend, cosmetics, lingerie and shoe bags to keep you organized while looking stylish.
The Honest Leaf offers organic and natural tea with a twist. Each blend, prepared by owner/nutritionist Shelby Kroach, offers a specific health benefit such as detoxing, relieving bloating, restoring your immune system, countering inflammation, improving digestion and reducing weight. Having requested a non-caffeinated tea, I tried a cup of the Fresh tea blend for the immune system and enjoyed the taste of the gentle blend made from organic green rooibos, organic ginger, lemon grass and lemon grass oil. Tea blends come in 100g packages for $12.
The Bath Bomb offers invigorating or soothing bath bombs, $7.95, for your bath. Bath bombs contain ingredients such as organic virgin coconut oil, cocoa butter, organic honey and high grade essential oils to calm muscles and detoxify skin. Bath bombs are large and can be cut in half for more than one use. I love the citrusy scent of the Morning, Sunshine bath bomb, which contains sweet orange, lemon oils, jojoba and mango butter.
Pick up some cute holiday cards at the Sea and Lake Paper Co. Cards are handcrafted in Toronto and packaged in boxes of 8 for $21.
These gourmet cookies from Riverside’s Desmond & Beatrice are great to bring to holiday parties. I particularly love the ginger snaps coated in white chocolate (pictured far right). Cookies are $2.50 each or 6 for $14.
These Love Notes Necklaces, $30, from Foxy Originals, are made from fine pewter and plated in gold or silver. Each necklace contains a love message. They would make a great holiday gift for teens or young women on your holiday gift list.
The Union Station Holiday Market is open Dec. 1 from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Dec. 2-5 from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.