You’ve only just sorted out your Father’s Day presents and now here comes a new gifting challenge: What are you going get your kid’s teacher? Thoughtful teacher gifts are not really that easy to come up with.
Not a mug; they do not want another mug.
How do I know this? Because my own mother worked for decades as a teacher and recently shared some insights with me on gifts for your kids’ educators. She stated that a beautiful card with a note, maybe accompanied by a piece of art created by her student, is the best kind of gift to get. So that’s one approach to take.
However, if you’re not up for arts and crafts with your kids but still want to give something a bit more personalized than a gift card to Dollarama or another chain store (which I’m told is a completely acceptable idea and something that will be put to good use), explore our roundup below of 10 ideas for Toronto-based teacher’s gift.
Ideas for Teacher Gifts from Toronto Businesses
For years, plates of homemade goodies were a common — and according to my mother greatly appreciated — teacher’s gift. The homemade angle is less common nowadays, but many teachers will still appreciate a tasty, edible gift, especially if you can glean some insight into any dietary restrictions or preferences your kid’s teacher may have. The tremendously popular
Craig’s Cookies offers cookies in classic and more creative flavours (chili chocolate anyone?) that are gorgeously packaged. Order them online or pick them up from one of Craig’s four locations. If you think your kid’s teacher might prefer a savory item (or maybe a mix of savory and sweet), head to one of Forno Cultura’s six locations, where you’ll find freshly made Italian breads, buns, baked goods and more.
If your kid’s teacher is gluten-free and/or vegan, browse the options at Bunners’, one of the city’s top choices for yummy baked goods that also meet certain dietary restrictions.
Bookshop Gift Certificate
Any teacher will tell you that you can’t go wrong with a gift card to a good bookstore. And while Chapters certainly has a fantastic selection, it’s always nice to support a small, local book shop. A Different Booklist features books from the African/Caribbean diaspora and the Global South and is a great choice for teachers who are trying to diversify their bookshelves. Other strong choices include Moonbeam Books in Bloor West Village, Ella Minnow in the Beach and Mabel’s Fables in Midtown.
If your kid’s teacher is adamant that they don’t need anything, but you still want to do something to thank them, consider making a charitable donation in the teacher’s name. The Children’s Book Bank, which supplies local kids with books, is a great choice, as is Variety, which offers programming for kids with disabilities. And you can’t go wrong with United Way Greater Toronto, which provides funds to a wide range of local causes.
Crying Out Loud
2055 Danforth Ave., Toronto
This unique east-end boutique is filled with beautiful and heartfelt items that are sure to leave an impression. Explore the shop’s well-curated selection of gift boxes or build your own. Some possible ideas include essential oils, gorgeous notebooks, and reflection cards. Not sure what to buy? The store’s skilled staff will happily assist you with finding the ideal gift.
Flowers & Plants
A beautiful arrangement of flowers or potted plant is sure to put a smile on the face of your kid’s teacher. A few options to consider include Flowers of the World on Eglinton East, Bellwood Blooms in the Junction, and Beachwood Flower Shop in the Beach, all of which can put together a teacher-appropriate bouquet or plant. If you suspect a gift card would be a better option, consider one from Sheridan Nurseries, which has eight locations and just a wide selection of indoor and outdoor plants, as well as tons of gardening décor and accessories.
Leslieville Flea Market
The next edition of this popular market takes place downtown and is a great source for gifts from Toronto. In addition to activities for the kids and a DJ, curated vendors will be, “selling vintage, handcrafted goods other cool finds.” In other words, this hip spot is great spot to find the perfect teacher’s gift. Expect to find jewellery, household goods and décor, and an assortment of edible items.
Lovefresh Hand Lotion
Teachers go through a lot of hand sanitizer so it’s no surprise that many of them would appreciate a rich, moisturizing hand cream. Toronto luxury beauty brand Lovefresh offers a few products that fit that bill, including its Lavender Lotion and its Rosewood Hand Cream. Besides being packed with moisture, both products also smell amazing. Lovefresh also offers several other high-quality items that pair nicely with its lotion, such as its body butters and water lily hand wash. Items can be ordered online with quick shipping to local addresses.
Macedo Winery/Downtown Winery
1381 Dufferin St. & 30 Ossington Ave., Toronto
Alcohol as a teacher’s gift is a bit of a cliché but if you know for sure that your child’s teacher does consume booze, it can also be a well-received choice. And while of course the LCBO has tons of choice, if you’d like to do something a little different, as well as support local, check out the wine selection at Macedo Winery, a family-run spot that sells both international and Canadian-made wine. Product can be ordered online at purchased in person at Macedo Winery’s main spot or at Downtown Winery, its wine bar and bottle shop. Not sure what to pick? Grab a gift card and let your kid’s teacher decide.
Mani/Pedi Gift Card
A gift card to her preferred nail salon was one of my mother’s favourite end-of-year gifts as it gave her an excuse to sit, relax and indulge in a bit of well-deserved pampering. Since not everyone is into manicures and pedicures, this gift does take a bit of investigation. Do her nails usually look amazing? Maybe ask her where she gets them done. If you can’t figure out a preferred salon, but you know she’d appreciate a mani/pedi gift card, there’s always The Ten Spot, which is known for its immaculate, high-quality salons. With over a dozen locations across Canada, there’s likely a Ten Spot near-ish where the teacher lives. Gift cards are also useable at any of The Ten Spot’s Canadian locations.
405 Roncesvalles Ave. & 1140 Queen St. E
This adorable shop is located in two of Toronto’s cutest neighbourhoods: Roncesvalles and Leslieville. It’s packed with amazing ideas for gifts from Toronto, most of which you can browse through online, to make shopping a little easier. Is your child’s teacher especially eco-conscious? Grab them something from the waste-free living category. Are they always spotting eye-catching earrings and necklaces? Scout has an extensive (yet affordable) jewelry section. Did they recently move? Make new place feel a little warmer with a new candle or diffuser. Scout also features a category that is near and dear to many teachers’ heart (including my mother’s): Paper goods.
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