As we adapt to how we connect and celebrate with our friends this season, we should also look at our buying habits as we start purchasing gifts for family and friends. While shopping at big box stores and online is tempting, supporting local businesses this holiday season will help them weather the pandemic and support the local economy. And it can be just as convenient.
Many local stores have set up online shopping through their websites, offer curbside-pickup options, and deliver enjoyable personalized service that you just can’t find at the “big guys.”
The city of Montreal has even implemented new measures such as free on-street parking on weekends from Nov. 14 to Dec. 31, and extended store opening hours to entice Montrealers to shop from local merchants. “I am giving us the collective challenge of taking advantage of the holiday season to save Montreal’s commercial vitality,” said Mayor Valerie Plante at an October press conference. “It’s not the online shopping giants that need our help, but local businesses do.”
To help out, we’ve compiled a list of local retailers, some that allow in-person shopping and others that sell their products online.
5589 Royalmount Ave., Montreal, H4P 1J3
At the JRC Warehouse Holiday Toy Sale, parents can enjoy savings of up to 70 per cent off the suggested retail price on brand name toys, books, games, puzzles and more. The warehouse sale is on from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24. Curbside pickup is available.
La Grande Ourse
263 Duluth Ave. E., Montreal, H2W 1H7
Since opening in 2001, this boutique has offered simple, natural, and artistic toys for children of all ages. All their products are non-toxic and made of natural materials like wood, wool, and cotton. Most products are handmade by local artisans. Delivery is assured even during pandemic restrictions.
347 de Castelnau St. E., Montreal, H2R 1P8
Located in Villeray, Boutique Randolph offers a wide range of board games, indoor and outdoor toys, as well as personalized service and advice. Browse the physical store or shop online via randolph.ca. Free delivery for orders over $60, with a flat $10 delivery in Quebec and Canada.
5855 Sherbrooke St W, N.D.G., H4A 1X6
1278 Mont-Royal Ave E, Montreal, H2J 1Y3
3923 Wellington St, Verdun, H4G 1V6
You can find more than 24,000 products at this store’s three locations, including early learning toys for toddlers, board games for the whole family, educational games and toys, crafts, costumes, toy trains, and STEM toys. Ojeux also carries the largest selection of puzzles in Montreal. Shop online and in-store. Free delivery on orders over $59.
51 Cité des jeunes Blvd., local 104, Vaudreuil-Dorion, J7V 8C1
This family business has specialized in the sale of games and toys for 30 years and carry a wide choice of educational games and toys, crafts, puzzles, science games, circus items, outdoor toys, and more. La Ribouldingue counts personalized customer service as its main strength and can help you to find the perfect toy or game for any occasion. Shop in-store or order online. Pick up in store, delivery, and curbside pickup is available. Free shipping with any purchase of $79 before taxes.
Kidlink Books & Toys
5604 Monkland Ave. Montreal, H4A 1E3
Shop this store for books for children and adults, and toys and puzzles for all ages. While they don’t currently have a website or Facebook page, you can shop in-store or simply give them a call at 514-482-4188 to ask about curbside pickup. This store is known for its great personalized customer service; just give one of the staff members a budget, tell them the age and sex of the child and they will help you find a gift.
63D Donegani Ave., Pointe-Claire, H9R 2V9
This West Island toy store has a large selection of Beyblade, action Figures, Tech Deck, Unboxing Mystery Toys, Transformers, Star Wars, Kidrobot, Squishies, Tokidoki vinyl figures, Disney toys, and much more. Shop in-store or online. Free shipping on all orders over $70.
Jouets Choo Choo (online)
Since closing the Pointe-Claire location in early 2019, the brother and sister team behind Jouets Choo-Choo have continued with an online store. Some of the brands they carry include LEGO, Playmobil, Hape, Calico Critters, Think Fun, Brio, and Ravensburger. Free shipping in Quebec with orders over $75.
This small family-owned online boutique based out of Montreal carries a continuously growing collection of apparel, accessories and toys, as well as items for mealtime, health & care, and gear such as baby carriers and wraps. Order from their online boutique and enjoy free standard shipping within Canada on orders over $75.
Des Enfantillages (online)
2479 du Mont-Royal Ave., E. Montreal, H2H 1L4
Des Enfantillages is a collection of children’s objects designed and handcrafted in Montreal by Geneviève Lugaz and Christian Laforge. The toys and objects are designed with an ethical and poetic approach to help children and adults play. They also carry simple non-medical masks for kids and adults.
At this time, the physical store is open for pick-up only, and you can shop online. Shipping is available across Canada for $10, with orders over $100 shipping for free.
Kidlink Books & Toys
5604 Monkland Av. Montreal, H4A 1E3
Shop this store for books for children and adults. While they don’t currently have a website or Facebook page, you can shop in-store or simply give them a call at 514-482-4188 to ask about curbside pickup. This store is known for its great personalized customer service; just give one of the staff members a budget, tell them the age and sex of the child and they will help you find a suitable book.
Livres Babar Books
Suite 6, 46 rue Ste-Anne, Pointe-Claire, H9S 4P8
Located in Pointe-Claire village, this bookstore has been serving young readers since 1986. The store features books in French and English, toys, gifts, puzzles, stocking stuffers, costumes, stuffies, activities, and more. Shop in-store or online. Free shipping for West Island. $7 flat rate for Greater Montreal. Free shipping for all orders of $75 and more.
Librarie Drawn & Quarterly
Two locations: The original space at 211 Bernard St., and a kids store and event space at 176 Bernard St., both in Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood.
At D+Q, you can find books on poetry, graphic novels, children’s books and much more. Shop online and in person. Pick-up at either store location, local delivery, and shipping across Canada.
245-N St. Jean, Pointe-Claire, H9R 3J1
Located in Plaza Pointe-Claire, this independent English bookstore stocks a large selection of new fiction, non-fiction, classics and children’s books. They also offer greeting cards, stationery, gifts for adults and children, and can accept special orders. Shop in-store or online. Local delivery is free, shipping will have a small charge, or receive free shipping for orders over $50. Curbside pick-up and delivery are available Monday to Friday.
La Librairie de Verdun
4750 Wellington St., Verdun, H4G 1X3
This independent neighbourhood bookstore offers a wide range of choices to appeal to everyone. Their team has many years of experience and can advise you on your purchases. Shop in-store or online (curbside pickup is also available at checkout.)
2220 McGill College Ave., Montreal
Located right across from McGill University, this bookstore has been open since 1981. While it specializes in academic titles, there is also a selection of books for teens and tweens, as well as picture books for younger kids. Shop in-store or online.
Librairie Le Port de tête
262 du Mont-Royal Ave., E. Montreal, H2T 1P5
You can find graphic novels, plays, poetry, and kids’ books among the thousands of titles at this small bookstore. Shop in-store or online. Free shipping on orders of more than $39.
Do you have a favourite local toy or book store that we missed? Let us know!
To see our great list of local businesses offering hobby & crafts supplies, games, and clothing, click here.
For a list of local stores offering sporting activities, artisinal gifts, and food services, click here.