City Living: Outdoor Shopping

There’s nothing worse than being holed up in a shopping mall during the summer. The freezing air conditioning, coupled with the hordes of teenagers roaming around makes the entire experience feel like one of Dante‘s levels of purgatory. The solution? Not shopping less (heck no), but to take your shopping outdoors.

Here are some of our favourite spots to for a little retail therapy en plein air

St. Lawrence Antique Market

An antiquing staple in Toronto, the St. Lawrence Antique Market runs every Sunday from dawn to 5 p.m. Stalls are both indoors and outdoors, with a variety of vendors guaranteeing hours of browsing fun. Like most antique markets, going early promises great finds but end-of-day is when vendors are willing to haggle over price.

Made You Look Vendors Market

The amazing Sarah Hamel, owner of Made You Look

Parkdale pioneer Made You Look launched their Vendors Market on June 4 in collaboration with several other local businesses, including ShopGirls Gallery Boutique, The Well of Alternative Medicine, and Rustic Cosmo Cafe, as well as residents of the ‘hood. Running every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., this quirky market offers everything from handmade jewellery and vintage clothing to homemade jam and $1-per-minute massages. 

Check out the eclectic Parkdale ‘hood  this summer – you just might be surprised at the cool pieces you can pick up.

Bay Adelaide Farmer’s Market

The Bay Adelaide Centre is generally known for being part of the concrete jungle, not for fresh, local produce. All that has changed with the introduction of a lunchtime farmer’s market in Arnell Plaza (just outside of the Bay Adelaide Centre). 

Running every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. until September 15, this market offers local produce, great lunches and garden plants. Stop by this market and brighten up your day with some colourful fresh fruits and veggies.


Wax On! Vinyl Record Sale

The fourth floor’s own Natalie and her boyfriend recently inherited nearly 4,000 records (exact number is still unknown) through a Storage Wars-type acquisition. With a teeny outdoor space (and similarly small apartment), they need to unload these quickly; hence, the Wax On! Vinyl Record Sale

This Sunday, July 10 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., stop by the front yard at 1045 College Street and browse through hundreds of records for about $5-10 each. Offerings focus mainly on hip hop and R&B, with a few random gems mixed in for good luck.

What are your favourite outdoor shopping spots in Toronto? Tweet us @rockitpromo.





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A visit from…Shopgirls Gallery Boutique

Even though we’ve already posted our holiday gift ideas (part 1 and part 2) with gift ideas from our fab clients, we still wanted some more for our best girlfriends, moms and sisters. We invited clients Michelle and Ashley from Shopgirls Gallery Boutique up to the fourth floor to give us some more great ideas for our holiday gifts. You can never give too much! 
 
We came to visit the rock-it promotions ladies up on the fourth floor, and brought some of our favourite things from our shop with us. We take great pride in our collection of cute clothing, fun home items and gorgeous little decor pieces. Plus, we only feature Canadian artists and designers. 

Toronto Buildings Napkin Set by Avril Loreti, $16 each

The holidays can sometimes drive people to drink (or eat too many cookies, cakes, slices of mincemeat pie…you know). Not just for celebratory reasons, but often as an escape from the over-crowded shopping malls, where you manage only to pick up impersonal gifts that leave you and your wallet feeling empty.

These gifts show you’ve put a little thought into someone’s personality and will make giving more fun than receiving. Everything at Shopgirls has an interesting back story. Come in and ask us to share them with you! An interesting story is so important when purchasing something one-of-a-kind.


Tansy & Co.‘s desk clocks are a much cooler way to count down the minutes to 5 p.m. than your digital computer clock.

 Desk Clocks featuring original photography from Tansy & Co., $55

We love how fuzzy and warm Rachel F.’s recycled fur hats and earmuffs are. Plus, you can feel good about wearing them (or giving them).

 Recycled fur accessories by Rachel F., from $65 

This glass decanter is a visually interesting way to serve wine, and is a good idea for the hard-to-shop-for person (like the in-laws that literally have everything). 

Balance Glassworks Decanter, $180

This key necklace is handmade and one-of-a-kind. Perfect for your best friend or sister.  

Multi-key Necklace by Ashley Winnington-Ball, $240

And, to wrap up your visit (pun intended), we carry lovely hand-crafted stationary and will wrap your purchase for free. If you can’t make it to the store, shame on you. (just kidding.) You can shop online to find exactly what you’re looking for.  
We have so much fun picking and choosing the items for our store, and sharing them with rock-it was even more fun. Who doesn’t love giving a gift that will elicit gasps of appreciation?  Happy shopping!
Shopgirls Gallery Boutique
1342 Queen Street West, Toronto
416-534-7467

Rave: On The Fourth Floor Holiday Gift Guide – Part 2

Last week, we made your holiday shopping easy with our festive gift guide. Today, we’re about to make it even easier, with a second edition of the best gift ideas from our clients. 

For the Eco-Conscious Fashionista: Neko Shoulder Bag by Matt & Nat, $150 at Shopgirls Gallery Boutique

Made from blue vegan leather with purple lining, this Neko Shoulder Bag by Matt & Nat is the right statement piece for the eco-conscious fashion devotee’s wardrobe. Each bag is made in a socially responsible way, and uses an average of 21 bottles for its lining. For the chicest in eco-fashion gifts, buy this tone-on-tone stitched Neko bag at Shopgirls Gallery Boutique (1342 Queen Street West) or online.
For the Jewellery Buff who Loves to Shine: Tiddlers, $835 to $1,065 at Made You Look Jewellery Studio and Gallery

Based off a doodle from the designer’s high school days, jewellery wearers won’t be able to resist Made You Look’s Tiddler collection by Lara H.I. Created as a figure without gender or religion, each Tiddler can be customized to your accessory lover’s taste. For a special touch, the pendant can hold a personalized symbol, such as a horoscope sign, a musical note or individual initials. The Tiddler collection is available at Made You Look Jewellery Studio and Gallery (1338 Queen Street West) and online

For the Bride-To-Be: The Wedding Show, $20 from The Wedding Co.

Say “I do” to tickets to The Wedding Show. From Friday, January 14 to Sunday, January 16 at The Carlu (444 Yonge Street), The Wedding Show offers newly engaged couples access to 125 hand-selected exhibitors representing the most original and elite vendors. Purchase tickets to this one-stop-shop for the latest in wedding trends online for your bride-to-be.

For the Wine Connoisseur: Under-Counter Wine Cooler, $1,699 from Electrolux

Looking to make a splash with a gift this season? This high-end wine cooler will dazzle that special someone, and make it onto their “best gifts ever” list. It comes loaded with innovative features, like LED lighting to let them view their lovely bottles, a UV-filtered glass door to protect wines from harmful rays, and even Perfect Set temperature control – set a temperature anywhere between 45°F and 65°F, and the wine cooler will hold the temperature to keep wine perfectly chilled. It’s sleek and simple design will look great. Available at Sears, The Brick, Leon’s, The Bay and additional select major appliance locations. 

For the Spa Girl: Body Blitz Argan Oil Face Serum, $65 from Body Blitz Spa

Let the luxury lover experience the spa in the comfort of her own bathroom. From the most tranquil spa in town comes a new line of Body Blitz natural products. Made of more than 75 per cent organic, extra virgin, cold-pressed argan oil, organic aloe vera, rose damask and organic lavender, the Argan Oil Face Serum naturally hydrates skin. Like she could really say no to the world’s richest natural source of vitamin E. Available at Body Blitz Spa (471 Adelaide Street West) or online.
For the Handsome Man in Your Life: Lookout Coat in Otter Charcoal, $670 from Oliver Spencer

Keep him warm and dashing in this lovely coat by top British menswear designer, Oliver Spencer. He’ll be as dapper as Don Draper in the classic, yet stylish coat, which features dark brown football buttons, clean lines and a cozy black cotton lining. Bonus? There are “lovers pockets” in the back for you to slip your hands in on a cold day. Brilliant! Toronto is the third retail location, joining London and New York. Drop in at 962 Queen Street West. 

For the Fitness Buff Who Needs More: Pilates membership at Body Harmonics Pilates, various prices

Have a loved one who’s seen and done it all when it comes to fitness? Test their stamina with Body Harmonics. These renowned Pilates studios in Toronto (at 672 Dupont Street and 488 Eglinton Avenue West) are known for their tough and effective classes. And it’s not just about building muscle or gentle stretches. The studios aim to teach all participants about why they’re doing the movements, leading to a true understanding of Pilates, their bodies and a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle. That’s a gift that keeps on giving. Please find more information here

For the Irish Pub Lover: Gift Certificate to Quinn’s Steakhouse and Irish Bar, various prices

There are Irish pubs all over the world and with good reason; they’re always fun, cheery and cozy, with great beer and good food. Quinn’s Steakhouse & Irish Bar is no exception. Owned by Ireland native Gavin Quinn, the pub boasts delicious steaks, excellent service and a wicked whiskey collection. Executive chef Paul Pisa regularly creates tempting special menus, full of unique and delicious items (like the wild mushroom and Irish whiskey on Brie, only until tomorrow!). Give your mates a cool pint this holiday season, or really spoil them and treat them to a whole evening out. Gift certificates available at 96 Richmond Street West in the Sheraton Centre.
For Someone Who Wants to Look 10 Years Younger in 40 Seconds: Nanoblur Correction Cream, $19 at Shopper’s Drug Mart, Rexall and PharmaPlus 
Seriously. This topical correction cream will create the appearance of poreless skin, while reducing lines, textural damage and even unwanted pigmentation. It was originally developed to address the concern of high-definition cameras showing skin imperfections of Hollywood’s brightest stars. The photos above are NOT retouched. It even comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee. Also available online.
For Everyone: Amazing Products and Services for Less on TeamBuy.ca 
The holiday season ain’t cheap, and sometimes, you just need to buy a gift that costs less, but doesn’t seem like it cost less. Enter TeamBuy.ca. This amazing website harnesses the power of buying in teams, and offers fantastic products and services for less. Recent offers have included spa treatments, yummy restaurants, homemade soup delivery, and even a cute, customizable diaper service. There really is something for everyone, and you can save anywhere from 50 to 90 per cent. With sites featuring local businesses in 12 cities across Canada, you’re also helping support your community. Buyers unite!