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Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

By Glenna Tapper
Corporate Communications Manager


CIRA wants to help you do Valentine’s Day right this year. Avoid drug store cards and grocery store chocolate.

Instead, help your best friend forget that breakup with a curated care package; send mom a wintry candle; win date night with a charcuterie board. We’re here to share gift ideas from the heart all while supporting small, local, Canadian businesses.


Whether you’re single or coupled up, food is something that can brighten up anyone’s Valentine’s Day.

You don’t always make friends with salad…but these artfully assembled charcuterie boards will make you very popular on St. Valentine’s indeed! Corks and Boards, from Millbrook, Ontario, prepares fresh, eye-popping and customizable collections of seasonal fruits and veggies, meats, cheeses, spreads and more.

Price range: $ – $$

Dillon’s handcrafts its lineup of simple, honest, small-batch spirits and bitters using traditional copper stills and the freshest local ingredients in the Niagara peninsula. Their cocktailing ideas are also sure to take date night to the next level.

Price range: $ – $$

Located in Sudbury, Ontario, Raven Rising makes and sells chocolates and pastries with a focus on traditional, fair-trade ingredients sourced—whenever possible—from Indigenous people and businesses in Canada and throughout the world. They offer a variety of assorted chocolate boxes as well as three or six-month chocolate memberships for a truly decadent treat sure to sweep your loved one off their feet!

Price range: $

Rousseau Chocolatier is what happens when you elevate chocolate to an art form. Delicious artisan bars, stunning gift boxes and even a vintage-inspired heart box, special for Valentine’s Day, are just a few delights you can expect to see. All chocolate is skillfully handcrafted by master chocolatier Julian Rousseau with sustainable, wholesome ingredients.

Price range: $ – $$


Who doesn’t love to be pampered?

Give the gift of sublime scents this Valentine’s Day. Vancouver-based Escents Aromatherapy boasts a massive selection of 100% natural essential oils, specially sourced from around the world. Also check out their selection of ‘Love’ aromatherapy which includes bath, body and wellness products designed to inspire romance!

Price range: $ – $$

Crying Out Loud offers thoughtfully curated care packages filled with tasty treats, snuggly socks and other clever products to help your friends and loved ones honour all of life’s moments. Care packages range in theme from “Date Night In” to “Simple Pleasures.”

Price range: $$ – $$$

Share the gift of natural skincare goodness with your loved ones. Stoic Beauty offers a complete line of cosmetics that are water-safe and free of harmful chemicals and synthetic fragrances that damage vulnerable marine habitats.

Price range: $ – $$

No beard left behind. That’s what the folks at Sussex Beard Oil Merchants believe. Their unique brand of beard oil is hand-crafted at their shop in Sussex, New Brunswick, and helps turn scratchy patchy beards into lush, full works of follicle art. Essential gifting for anyone from veteran beard growers to first timers with a little bit of face fuzz.

Price range: $ – $$

Arts and Crafts

Connect with your loved ones this St. Valentine’s.

It’s pretty much a scientific fact: people come together over card games. With that in mind, Basecamp Cards has come up with “conversational card decks.” They contain simple questions, like, “What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done for fun,” or “What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten,” designed to kickstart storytelling and open communication. Perfect for relationships both old and new, break out a deck of these cards and let the quirky conversation flow!

Price range: $

For the romantics, Sadie and June is the spot for you. Everyone has a special place they call home, where they first fell in love, or even had a memorable adventure. Sadie and June offer a collection of simple but striking hand-stitched red hearts on vintage maps. They’re a powerful, personalized way to celebrate the places and people you hold dear.

Price range: $ – $$


Punny candles, quirky cards, décor and more can help brighten up someone’s home and day.

Halifax-based Cheerfetti puts together curated, themed gift boxes that make for cheerful and thoughtful gifts for those you hold nearest and dearest. They’re even perfect for new moms, newlyweds and even those in need of cheering up! Expect a great mix of Canadian-made treats, gift items and more in every box.

Price range: $$

Avoid flowers this Valentine’s Day—get your special someone’s favourite sports team logo emblazoned on a foldable Adirondack chair made from recycled materials in Stoney Creek, ON. The chairs are also super-durable and maintenance-free, so their looks won’t fade.

Price range: $$ – $$$

Bad puns meet soothing soy-based candles from Guelph, Ontario. “Distill My Beating Heart,” these candles are the perfect gift to “Bake My Day” for that special someone in your life.

Price range: $



What’s a Valentine’s Day gift guide without some jewelry recommendations?

Beads Bangles & Bows is an independent, woman-owned jewelry business based in small-town Southern Ontario. They create earrings and necklaces inspired by both minimalism and vintage glamour, while lending a unique hand-crafted feel to each piece.

Price range: $ – $$

Browse a lineup of eye-catching bespoke rings, earrings and necklaces—as well as ethically sourced gems—all handmade by Toronto-based goldsmith and designer Emily Gill.

Price range: $$ – $$$

Luxe Zen is out to make ethical jewellery the norm, not the exception. They source the most ethical gems available for their gorgeous hand-crafted collection of necklaces, rings, earrings and more.

Price range: $$$

Chayle’s “elegant-meets-edgy” jewellery is hand-crafted in Ottawa using only recycled and conflict-free sources of gold and silver, ethically sourced gemstones and Canadian diamonds.

Price range: $$ – $$$

2nd Shot collects used, unwanted and broken skateboards from their local community and then painstakingly handcrafts them into incredible, custom pieces. Check out their stunning skateboard-based watches, guitars, kitchen knives, axhandles and more. An incredible find for the skateboard aficionado in your life.

Price range: $$ – $$$

About the author
Glenna Tapper