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12 Places to Shop for the Holidays That Aren't Amazon

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

We know that it's so much easier to shop for christmas presents online. It's hard to resist the ease with which you can tap your screen a few times and receive almost anything at your front door the next day. But during these trying times it is more important than ever to try and shop locally. Besides, we could all benefit from the walk outside needed to get to the store. So here's a list of places to find fantastic christmas gifts here in Montreal that you may not have considered.

Watch out for an exclusive COC discount code at one of the stores down below!

1 - Coffee Shops

We often visit coffee shops for a fancier coffee than our typical cup at home. However, not many people seem to also consider these places as somewhere to shop. Many independent coffee shops around montreal offer plenty of apparel perfect for your hot drink loving friend. From mugs, to french presses, to filters. Some of these companies also make their own coffee blends which could be an opportunity for you or your friend to try something new (and likely delicious).

11 - Thrift Stores

As long as it's done safely I see no harm in visiting a thrift store. Where else can you find a retro ski jacket for less than $50? It's a perfect place to shop if you don't know what you want to buy your friend and are simply looking for inspiration. Who knows, you might find them a fabulously tacky t-shirt that you couldn't help chuckling at.

3 - Lufa Farms

If you haven't already read our article by Sophie about the world's largest rooftop greenhouse, then you definitely should. It talks about Lufa Farms, a company in montreal that is trying to provide Montrealers with a sustainable form of online grocery shopping. This year Lufa Farms even made a collection of Holiday Goodies to make your shopping that much easier. Who doesn't appreciate free local sustainably sourced food?

Find their holiday goodies here!

4 - Florists

As the outside world becomes colder we could all appreciate a little more greenery indoors. Wether it's a cactus for your friend who manages to kill all plants, or an orchid for your friend with a green thumb, your local florist is likely to have a plant for every lifestyle. A great gift to make your friends home office a little livelier.

5 - Breadhouse Climbing Co.

Use COC promocode down below!

If you or your friend enjoys climbing then this online company is the perfect place to shop for christmas. Their primary product is an originally designed and manufactured hangboard called the "pretzel" (shown in picture above). It's an hexagonal shaped piece of wood with varying types of edges from which you can excercise your grip strength. They also offer small climbing apparel as well as custom made indoor climbing walls (yes, you read that right). Indoors or outdoors, their products are great for every climber!

Use promocode COC15COC for 15% off

Find their website here!

6 - Game Stores

From board games, to magic tricks, to puzzles, a game store is a fantastic source of entertainement. Maybe your friend would appreciate a chess board because they recently watched the Queen's Gambit on Netflix and are now obsessed with chess. Maybe your friend has blown through every jigsaw puzzle they have during quarantine and would appreciate the challenge of a 3000 piece puzzle instead. No matter the niche, game stores have plenty to entertain.

7 - Bakery

If baking isn't your thing but you know that your friend would adore a high quality loaf of bread or a dozen gingersnap cookies, why not visit your local bakery? A sweet treat is always appreciated during the gloomy days of winter.

8 - Plan International

This is a humanitarian business that works to defend human rights, promote education, and many more social issues. Through them you can buy what's called a "Gift of Hope" in your friends name and with it give a gift to someone across the globe who really needs it. Gifts vary everywhere between a single school meal ($10), to a bike for businesses ($60), to an entire inclusive school ($10 000). It's the kind of gift that can really make a difference to someone's life, and reminds us what the holidays are really for.

(Plan International is a certified member of the Humanitarian Coalition which assembles canadian aid organizations under one purpose.)

Find their website here!

9 - Bookstores

Whether it's a used bookstore or a small local one, this shop shouldn't be overlooked during your christmas shopping. Find novels, records, poems, magazines, or anything else that your friend might love. A fantastic, sustainable, cheap gift for anyone on your list.

10 - MycoBoutique

If you're a fan of mushrooms and you haven't heard about this store then it's about time that you did. The store sells everything mushroom related from cookbooks, to patches, to harvesting gear. They even sell a wide variety of mushrooms too! (No, not the psychedelic kind). So if your friend is into cooking, plants, or just plain mushrooms, then this is definitely a place worth checking out.

11 - Local Artists

The epitome of shopping locally is arguably buying something from your local artist. You don't need to go to a fancy art gallery nearby to do so either. It's easy enough to google a local artist here in Montreal or to use a website that promotes individual artists around the world (such as etsy or redbubble). No matter how you find the artist, you're guaranteed to find a beautifully unique gift for that special someone.

12 - Brewery

Montreal is full of two important things for a brewery: creativity and people who love alcohol. So no wonder we have plenty. Yes you could probably buy some local beer from your grocery store, but it might also be interesting to learn more about the brewery near you. Besides, it might be cheaper to buy the beer directly from them than from the grocery store middleman.


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