SUPER SHOPPER: Embrace the art of gift-giving! Ottawa Magazine’s art director Jane Corbett shares her holiday finds

Ottawa Magazine art director Jane Corbett offers her holiday finds, along with gift ideas to impress even the pickiest hosts and hostesses

Photography by Marc Fowler/Metropolis Studio

Host and hostess gifts (shown in the suitcase above):

For the armchair hunter: This cast-iron elk can be put to good use as a doorstop or paperweight. $29.99. Domus, 85 Murray St., 613-241-6410.

For the artsy diarist: This lined journal from Paperblanks features a silver filigree cover. $29.95. Paper Papier, 18 Clarence St., 613-241-1212.

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6 Great Canadian Christmas Gift Guides

Canadian Christmas Gift Guides

6 great Canadian Christmas gift guides

Ottawa Magazine has its own gift list, but the festive fun doesn’t end there. Five other publications in our family of magazines are offering great Christmas gift guides. In them, you will find ideas for book lovers (from Quill & Quire), fashion obsessives (from FASHION), kids (from Canadian Family) and even Torontonians (from Toronto Life).

100 perfect presents »

175 amazing gifts for moms, dads and kids »

500+ holiday gift ideas »

50 gift ideas from our editors »

The perfect gift for every book lover »

WHERE MAGAZINE90 gifts for your and yours »

Christmas Gift Ideas: 50 Items Our Editors Love

Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas gift ideas from the editors of Ottawa Magazine

This year, Ottawa Magazine‘s editors got together to share their Christmas gift ideas with each other—and with readers. These highly discerning picks deliver 50 Christmas gift ideas from around Ottawa and across the internet. Here, you can find something for everyone on your list: hosts and hostesses, nieces and nephews, moms and dads, brothers and sisters, boys and girls.

See the lists of 50 top Christmas gift ideas from the editors of Ottawa Magazine »

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SUPER SHOPPER: From a candy gift box to a modern turntable, acting senior editor Misa Kobayashi shares her holiday finds

Ottawa Magazine‘s acting senior editor offers her holiday finds, along with gift ideas to impress even the pickiest hosts and hostesses


Photography by Marc Fowler/Metropolis Studio

Host and hostess gifts (shown in the suitcase above):

For the think-outside-the-box cook: Salad for Dinner by Jeanne Kelley ($35) and Put ‘Em Up!, a guide to drying, freezing, canning, and pickling by Sherri Brooks Vinton ($24.95) are cookbooks for the chef who wants to try something new. The Great Glebe Emporium, 724 Bank St., 613-233-3474.

For the Ottawa expat who’s feeling nostalgic: VersaTile travertine coasters are handcrafted by a husband-and-wife team in Almonte and feature vintage-style maps of various neighbourhood streets. $34.95 for four. The Village Quire, 312 Richmond Rd., 613-695-2287.

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SUPER SHOPPER: Editor Sarah Brown offers up 12 holiday gift ideas

Ottawa Magazine editor Sarah Brown shows off her holiday finds, along with gift ideas to impress even the pickiest hosts and hostesses

Photography by Marc Fowler/Metropolis Studio.

Hostess gifts (shown in the suitcase above):

For the gourmet camper who craves the amenities of home: This rugged mini stovetop espresso maker brews a double shot over the camp stove. $37. Double-walled espresso cups $5 each. Mountain Equipment Co-Op, 366 Richmond Rd., 613-729-2700.

For the punk-rocker-turned-hipster with the fixer-upper in Hintonburg: Sud Green is part of a line of green kitchen tools made from a recycled wood and plastic blend. $12. Terra20, 2685 Iris St., 613-837-7220.

For the French-cooking devotee and inveterate reader: Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child is a meticulously researched doorstop of a bio (500+ pages of swooning detail). $33. Available at bookstores around town.

For the graphic designer with a tea fetish: Clipper Teas are natural, fair-trade, and gorgeously packaged. $5-$5.95. Available at Rainbow Natural Foods, 1487 Richmond Rd., 613-726-9200, and Red Apron, 564 Gladstone Ave., 613-695-0417.

For the left-wing crusader with a sweet tooth: Camino’s fair-trade chili and spice hot chocolate makes a tongue-tingling thank-you gift. $7.  Ten Thousand Villages, 371 Richmond Rd., 613-759-4701, and 1174 Bank St., 613-736-0401.

For the germaphobe cubicle dweller: A mug adorned with their initial means they’ll never have to share again. $8. Available at Chapters locations around town. 

Ornaments: Origami porcelain reindeer. $19.95. The Papery, 850 Bank St., 613-230-1313. Snowman garland. $18.50. Tinseltown Christmas Emporium, 1096 Somerset St. W., 613-680-7557.

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SUPER SHOPPER: Ottawa Magazine food editor Shawna Wagman kick-starts your holiday shopping with her wishlist

It’s one of the perks of the job. Lots of time spent out and about seeing what’s new and neat at the city’s shops. Ottawa Magazine’s editors bring you their gift picks for family and friends, hoping the suggestions will jump-start your holiday shopping list. Last week, editor Sarah Brown highlighted her picks and senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne showed off her picks. Today, food editor Shawna Wagman weighs in with her holiday wishlist.

Photo credits: Editor’s photo and product photography by Marc Fowler.

Food Editor, Shawna Wagman

It’s one of the

hazards of my job — food is the default lens through which I see the world. So when it comes time to buy gifts, it’s not surprising that I tend to revert to food-related loot. My parents are often the recipients of my

latest pantry obsessions: my favourite new olive oil, salt, or vanilla extract.

I can gauge the success of my choices

by how much they’ve consumed

between visits.

For my foodie friend Anie
Anie is a passionate home cook, and I think she’d get a kick out of experimenting with Taste #5 Umami Paste, the latest “it” ingredient designed to boost umami, the so-called fifth taste after sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Made with pulped anchovy, porcini mushrooms, and other umami-rich foods, the squeezable purée is supposed to boost the yum factor of many dishes. Not that she needs the help. $4.99. Cedars & Co. Food Market, 1255 Bank St., 613-288-2797.

For my husband

My husband is all about the slow, studied ritual of coffee making at home, but he will love this sleek, speedy little machine for the office. The fun colour and eye-catching design of the Nespresso Pixie make it a conversation piece. I’m sure his academic colleagues and grad students will find more excuses to pop by to discuss the fine points of coffee culture over a shot of espresso. $269.95. C.A. Paradis, 1314 Bank St., 613-731-2866.

For my daughter

Chefs are the new rock stars, right? That’s what my daughter will grow up believing. How else to explain why Mommy is always writing about them? I love the idea behind The Recipe Project, a quirky CD-book combo that explores the relationship between music and food. I look forward to popping the CD in while my daughter and I whip up Mario Batali’s spaghetti with sweet 100 tomatoes recipe as sung by the “lit rock” band One Ring Zero. I’ll tell her it’s the sequel to the Barenaked Ladies CD Snacktime. $29. Available at Chapters, 47 Rideau St., and four other locations.

For my father

My Dad laps up every health article about the benefits of eating foods he already loves (though no amount of omega-3 endorsement can get him to eat salmon). But he obediently consumes oatmeal — and now green tea — daily. Too bad the latter is the stale, bitter supermarket stuff. I can’t wait to introduce him to the delicious world of pure-leaf artisan varieties with Cha Yi’s premium discovery kit featuring six white, yellow, black, and pur-eh teas that share green tea’s medicinal properties. $25. Cha Yi, 61, rue Eddy, Gatineau, 819-205-1830.

For Ottawa Magazine staff
Judging by the sugar-buzzed frenzy I’ve witnessed at the magazine’s last few launch parties, I’m convinced a “subscription” to the Cupcake of the Month Club would be a hit with staffers. A dozen cupcakes, baked from scratch, will be delivered on the second Monday of each month (three-, six-, or 12-month subscriptions are available), always a different theme. Think: maple syrup and bacon, eggnog rum, and Guinness cupcakes. Starting from $30. Ottawa’s Cupcake Fairy.

For my family

After falling in love at first sight with the fun but sophisticated retro-modern design of Guzzini tableware at the company’s flagship store in Milan, I settled on a set of lime green steak knives to bring home. I was thrilled when I spotted them again at Ma Cuisine, along with the rest of the collection in red, white, yellow, orange, and grey, and I vowed to piece together the rest of the set. $7.95 per piece. Ma Cuisine, 269 Dalhousie St., 613-789-9225.

For my brother

It’s always tricky to think of something to get the gourmet cook who has everything. That’s why I made a mental note when I saw this molecular gastronomy kit. It comes with a syringe, silicone tubes, pipettes, sachets of food additives, and a 50-recipe DVD. Everyone can blame me when future family gatherings feature edible foams and caviar beads. $59.95. C.A. Paradis, 1314 Bank St., 613-731-2866.

For my mom

My mom loves stinky cheeses. Whenever she visits, funky wedges from France and Quebec fill my refrigerator, which takes on a dangerous odour. Instead of the usual jar of fig preserves, I think she’ll adore a selection of Michaelsdolce gourmet jams ($6/190mL or $3.50/60mL) in flavours such as spiced cherry, blueberry and lavender, and orange and ginger. She can even find cheese and jam pairing suggestions on the website. Available at fine food stores around town, including Red Apron (564 Gladstone Ave., 613-695-0417), which stocks both sizes and will be creating gift baskets for the holidays.

SUPER SHOPPER: Ottawa Magazine senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne kick-starts your holiday shopping with her wishlist

It’s one of the perks of the job. Lots of time spent out and about seeing what’s new and neat at the city’s shops. Ottawa Magazine’s editors bring you their gift picks for family and friends, hoping the suggestions will jump-start your holiday shopping list. On Monday, editor Sarah Brown highlighted her picks. Today, senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne highlights her picks. Stay tuned  next week for food editor Shawna Wagman’s holiday wishlist.

Photo credits: Editor’s photo by Dwayne Brown; product photography by Marc Fowler.

Senior Editor, Dayanti Karunaratne
We usually keep the presents pretty low-key — it’s more a time to eat and be merry! But I do love a wintery shopping expedition: it’s fun to laugh with other last-minute types and a great excuse to reward yourself with a warm, decadent drink. Now that I live pretty far away from family — I have relatives from Gaspé to Courtenay, Connecticut to California — I am learning the finer points of shopping for lightweight gifts.

For me
This JMB bag is unique and sturdy, and I love the fact that it’s handmade in Chelsea. I’ve been lugging around a ratty bag for too long, unable to find one that suits me. I love the funky clasp! I used to eschew leather products, but now I look for quality items that were made with love. Plus, I appreciate that this one doesn’t hide the fact that the leather was once the skin of an animal. $238. Glebe Trotters, 860 Bank St., 613-231-6331.

For my niece
I had a Swatch when I was a kid — I actually felt naked without a watch when I was in first grade! My niece is a pretty cool kid and has lots of extracurricular activities like swimming and cheerleading. This will keep her on time and in style. $65. The Watch Store, 91 Sparks St., 613-236-1787.

For my sister-in-law
A former model, party planner extraordinaire, and couture designer, my sister-in-law wears things that I could never pull off. Her fashion line reflects a love of vintage style and is very feminine and flirty, just like these earrings. $20. The Bay, 73 Rideau St., 613-241-7511, plus three other locations.

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SUPER SHOPPER: Ottawa Magazine’s editors kick-start your holiday shopping with their wishlists

It’s one of the perks of the job. Lots of time spent out and about seeing what’s new and neat at the city’s shops. Ottawa Magazine’s editors bring you their gift picks for family and friends, hoping the suggestions will jump-start your holiday shopping list. Today, editor Sarah Brown highlights her picks. Stay tuned in the days ahead for senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne’s picks and, for the foodies, food editor Shawna Wagman’s holiday wishlist.

Photo credits: Editor’s photo by Dwayne Brown; product photography by Marc Fowler.

Editor, Sarah Brown
I’m a pretty efficient shopper. I scout local stores all year — looking for props for magazine shoots, checking out trends, and doing research for the Shopping Guide. So I mentally catalogue — and sometimes buy — cool stuff as I discover it. When Christmas comes around, I don’t waste time browsing — I know exactly what I’m getting for each person and where to find it. One or two power shopping trips and I’m done.

For my sister
Actually, I want these Victorian Flowers Doc Martens for me, but I think I’m too old. So I’d like my sister to have a pair while she’s still in her 30s. $169.99. Neon Clothing, 60 George St., 613-789-4479.

For my mum
We have a tradition of giving each other a new tree ornament each Christmas. This series of Canadian icons also includes a snowmobile, float plane, goalie, Mountie, and polar bear. They’re made in Canada of powder-coated steel. $16.95 each. Paper/Papier, 18 Clarence St., 613-241-1212.

For my sister
She’s a big environmentalist and commutes to work on her bike through most of the winter. (She lives in Kingston, so it’s a little warmer than here.) This Cannondale cycling jacket is really cool. It’s super lightweight and morphs between a vest (shown) and a jacket. The separate sleeves and back are attached with magnets, making it really easy to start with sleeves in the morning and take them off if the day warms up. $119.
Bushtukah, 203 Richmond Rd., 613-792-1170, and 5607 Hazeldean Rd., 613-831-3604.


For my kids
I would love to get a couple of massive beanbag chairs by Yak Pak for the playroom in the basement. They come in tons of fun colours and patterns and are great for lounging in to watch TV. Last year I borrowed two from my neighbour and used them as beds for a couple of kids when we hosted a birthday party sleepover. $149.99. Neon Clothing, 60 George St., 613-789-4479.













For my nephew
He’s seven years old and loves facts — one of those kids who reads the Guinness World Records cover to cover. This Dino-opoly game is all about knowing your dino info. You choose your token (I think I’d go with the raptor claw), then start buying up your favourite dinosaurs. Sounds easy enough — but pay hatching fees, develop prehistoric breath, and become nearly extinct, and it gets a bit trickier. $32.95
. Nature Boutique at the Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St., 613-566-4727.

For my son
We do a lot of canoeing, but my son really wants his own kayak. This Jackson Mini Tripper is designed for distance paddling but also comes with a built-in tow rope just in case he gets tired. On a three- or four-day canoe trip, it might be nice to have one fewer kid in our canoe! Bonus: it weighs just 27 pounds, which is key for portaging. $399.99. Ottawa Paddleshack, 1960 Scott St., 613-725-5259.


For my husband
This is what I’m filling his stocking with. He slathers this smoked tomato jam on everything. It’s especially good on slices of Art-is-in Dynamite white topped with goat cheese. It’s made by Just Wing’it out of Merrickville. $8.50 for 250 mL. Available at The Piggy Market (400 Winston Ave., 613-371-6124) and about 10 more fine food stores around town. For a full list of vendors, visit

For me
I work with photographers every day and am constantly awed by their creativity. That’s why I like to collect their personal work. Basically, all the artwork on my walls at home is by local photographers whose work I admire. I love Triplicity, a recent self-portrait by Jamie Kronick — first, because One Hundred Foot Line (a.k.a. the big twig) is a gorgeous sculpture that I check out every time I cross the Alexandra Bridge from the Hull side, and second, because of the  shadowy ghosts of Kronick in the foreground. They totally change the mood of the work. $80 for an 11-by-14-inch print and $120 for a 20-by-24-inch print,



SUPER SHOPPER: Cool bike stuff gets the season in gear

Tools and trimmings to get you in gear

Wicker-style basketStylish colour-swirls helmet from NutcaseTrek’s 2011 urban single-speed (grey-blue)

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SUPER SHOPPER: Holiday ornaments hot picks

We’ve rounded up the best holiday decorations of the season.


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