All stories by Emily Landau

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Toronto Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be torture—not if you know where to go and what to get. We asked retail tastemakers across the city for suggestions. Here, 80 inspired gift ideas

Toronto Christmas Gift Guide 2014
Toronto Christmas Gift Ideas 2014: Under $50
Toronto Christmas Gift Ideas 2014: $50 to $150
Toronto Christmas Gift Ideas 2014: Over $150
Toronto Christmas Gift Ideas 2014: See All 75 Gifts

The Goods

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Toronto Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Explorers

We asked retail tastemakers across the city for holiday gift ideas. Here, 14 inspired suggestions for the travelers, adventurers and urban explorers on your list

Toronto Christmas Gift Ideas 2014: Explorers

White Faux Bison Head, $225, Elte

The Goods

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Toronto Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Gifts Under $50

We asked retail tastemakers across the city for holiday gift ideas. Here, 27 gifts that won’t break the bank

Toronto Christmas Gift Ideas 2014: Gifts $50 and Under

Krochet Kids Hoot Tuque, $45, Holt Renfrew, H Project

The Goods

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Toronto Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Gifts $50–$150

We asked retail tastemakers across the city for holiday gift ideas. Here, 25 gifts priced between $50 and $150

Toronto Christmas Gift Ideas 2014: Gifts $150 and Under

Hooded Pack-Away Puffer, $69, Joe Fresh

The Goods

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Toronto Holiday Gift Guide 2014: DIY Gifts

DIY classes and workshops to help you channel your inner elf

Christmas Gift Guide 2014: Japanese Tie-Dye
Japanese Tie-Dye

The Shop offers drop-in classes in the art of shibori. DIYers pleat, bind and knot white fabric before dipping it in dye for twisty prints. Dec. 23. $45. 1139 College St., 416-949-1184.

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Toronto Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Style Setters

We asked retail tastemakers across the city for holiday gift ideas. Here, 24 inspired suggestions for the style-conscious friends on your list

Toronto Christmas Gift Ideas 2014: Groomers

Peppercotton Confetti Bracelet, $478, Ewanika

The Goods

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Toronto Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Gifts $150 and Over

We asked retail tastemakers across the city for holiday gift ideas. Here, 28 gifts worth splurging on

Toronto Christmas Gift Ideas 2014: Gifts $150 and Over

Accordion Briefcase, $595, Philip Sparks

The Goods

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Toronto Holiday Gift Guide 2014: See All Gifts

We asked retail tastemakers across the city for holiday gift ideas. Here, 80 inspired suggestions

Toronto Christmas Gift Ideas 2014: See All Gifts

The Goods

Shopping

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Toronto Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Kids

We asked retail tastemakers across the city for holiday gift ideas. Here, 12 inspired suggestions for the little ones on your list

Toronto Christmas Gift Ideas 2014: Kids

Haptic Lab Ship Kite, $50, Kol Kid

The Goods

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Toronto Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Cooks

We asked retail tastemakers across the city for holiday gift ideas. Here, 13 inspired suggestions for the dinner-party-throwers on your list

Toronto Christmas Gift Ideas 2014: Cooks

Dumpling Cube, $25, ShopAGO

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Toronto Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Homebodies

We asked retail tastemakers across the city for holiday gift ideas. Here, 16 inspired suggestions for the home decorators (and couch snugglers) on your list

Toronto Christmas Gift Ideas 2014: Homebodies

Moroccan Pillow, $85, GoodFolk

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Toronto Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Gifts That Keep On Giving

Subscription gifts that will keep friends and family unwrapping all year

Toronto Christmas Gift Ideas 2014: Purchase, Give, Repeat
For Condo Dwellers

Foodie Pages Chef’s Box
foodiepages.ca
What you get: Five or more local, sustainably produced pantry staples, like cold-pressed sunflower oil and Stasis preserves, selected by big-name chefs like Mark McEwan, Anthony Walsh and Lora Kirk.
Price: $55 per package

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Toronto Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Thrilling Gifts

OD’ing on stuff? Three memorable gifts that will give them a thrill

Toronto Christmas Gift Ideas 2014: Adventure Time
For health nuts
Aerial Yoga

Fly Studio, downtown’s first aerial yoga space, has yogis perform postures in silk hammocks suspended from the ceiling. The mix of meditation, inversion and acrobatics gives the workout a Cirque du Soleil twist. $85 for a private class. 489 Queen St. W., 647-350-3597.

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The Informer

Events

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Learn to distrust your eyes at an exhibition of Charles Bierk’s impeccably photorealistic paintings

Learn to distrust your eyes at an exhibition of Charles Bierk's impeccably photorealistic paintings

(Images: photo of Bierk: Evaan Kheraj; paintings: Charles Bierk)

The portraitist Charles Bierk is a professional trickster: what look like black-and-white photographic portraits are actually impeccably rendered paintings. In his Niagara Street studio, Bierk photographs his friends, blows up the images and uses them as references for large-scale oil paintings on canvas. He studied painting under his father, the landscape artist David Bierk, who taught him to divide his canvas into a grid and paint square by square, millimeter by millimeter. In his debut solo exhibition, which starts today at Metivier Gallery on King West, he shows a series of images that transform depending on where you’re standing. From 20 feet away, they’re stark, striking portraits, coated in an eerie gloss of perfection. The closer you get, the more fascinating and flawed they become, as the stubble, pores and freckles take on gritty, abstract texture. We asked Bierk for a preview of some of his most arresting shots—and to tell us the stories behind them. Click through the image gallery to read what he had to say.

Nov. 13–Dec. 13. FREE. Nicholas Metivier Gallery, 451 King St. W., 416-205-9000, metiviergallery.com.

The Informer

Tech

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The Wattpad Cult: why Toronto’s buzziest tech start-up is a self-publishing app beloved by teen girls

The Wattpad Cult

From left to right, foreground: Ivan Yuen, 37, co-founder and CTO; Allen Lau, 46, co-founder and CEO; Background: Candice Faktor, 36, general manager; Melissa Shapiro, 34, head of global marketing; Chris Stefanyk, 27, project manager of strategic initiatives; Danielle Thé, 25, product marketing manager; Brandon Zhao, 28, senior data scientist; Marc Shewchun, 42, head of operations; Tarun Sachdeva, 33, chief developer; Aron Levitz, 36, head of business development; Amanda Lai, 26, social media specialist; Ashleigh Gardner, 31, head of content, publishing

Wattpad occupies three floors of a handsome Greek Revival building on the touristy stretch of Wellington East. The office, if you can call it that, is an amusement park of dot-com clichés, strewn with beanbag chairs and elephantine 3-D puzzle-piece ottomans. The staffers laze in vinyl hammocks, slurp snow cones and play Ping-Pong in the main boardroom (they keep paddles at their desks). Framed posters decree upbeat mantras: “You demonstrate a positive attitude. Your optimism and perseverance lead others to overcome tough challenges.” Whether you find them invigorating or trite will depend on your tolerance for perky cheer.

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