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Eight Toronto Christmas craft fairs with cool, not kitschy, goods

(Image: Serena Marie McCarroll/Facebook)

Craft shows have come a long way from the grandma-centric knitting fests that they once were, now offering locally made, handcrafted gems that are well worth coveting. Moreover, with Christmas less than three weeks away, they’re a great way to find a range of presents in one spot. Though the One of a Kind Show, the city’s most high-profile craft sale, has come and gone, a range of holiday-themed pop-up markets are still ahead. Here are the best of the lot.

• Toronto Young Designers Holiday 2012:  Brassaii will host a dozen vendors at this one-day fair, including Lockett Jewels, Michelle Ross Jewellery, Arbonne and Health Hut. Keep an eye out for statement jewellery, chic baby clothes and handmade cards. (Brunch lovers needn’t worry—the restaurant will continue food service during the sale). Dec. 8, 10:30–3:30. Cash only. Brassaii, 461 King St. W. Find out more »

• Milk Glass Co. Holiday Pop-up Sale: This sale runs until Dec. 22, giving last-minute shoppers plenty of time to check out Christmas cards and tree ornaments, along with some unique non-seasonal accessories (we love Alexandria Pellegrino’s adorably girly handmade aprons). At an opening reception tonight from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., organizers will offer hot cocoa and gift-wrapping. To Dec. 22. Cash only. 1247 Dundas St. W. Find out more »

• City of Craft 2012: City of Craft’s sixth annual fair includes workshops, galleries and over 45 vendors. The fashion-minded should check out Falconwright’s clutches, Hot Pop Factory’s 3D jewellery and Good Night, Day’s knitted headbands. Craft workshops will keep children occupied while “Santa” does some shopping. Dec. 8, 11–6; Dec. 9, 11–5. The Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen St. W. Find out more »

• The Artisans’ Gift Fair: An indie bar may not seem like the most obvious place to hold a craft fair, yet every year the Tranzac transforms the small beer-stained room into a cozy shop. The goods are funky and modern, with gluten-free treats from The Spadina Diner, creative cards from Green Bean and colourful knit coffee warmers for every style. Dec. 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23. Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Ave. Find out more »

• Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market 2012: It just doesn’t get any more Christmassy than the Distillery District: twinkling lights, roaming carollers, a reindeer zoo and the comforting smell of roasting chestnuts. The European-style street market sells gourmet treats and crafts and is ideally positioned right next to a wine garden. To Dec. 16. Find out more »

• Wandering Winter Craft Show: Shop Cats will be hosting their last craft show of the season in the ballroom at the Gladstone Hotel. Shop from over 30 local artists, with a focus on jewellery, prints and one-of-a-kind artwork. Dec. 911–5. The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W. Find out more »

• Mavrik Mrkt Holiday Edition: For one day only, Mavrik Wine Bar is being transformed into a holiday market. Grab a drink, listen to live music and peruse the homemade treats and trinkets, including jewellery from Touch the Dutch and organic beauty products from Naked Organic. Dec. 15, 10–4. Mavrik Wine Bar, 676 Queen St. W.

• Holiday Art Market at Artscape: Take in the artsy-holiday ambience at Wychwood Barns’ sale. Alongside the 50-odd exhibitors, there will be demonstrations and a seasonal café. Dec. 9 and 16, 12–5. Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie St. Find out more »