Canada is on sale, with a great exchange rate and excellent shopping from around the globe. Head north to stock up.
When it comes to shopping, Vancouver has it all: great local designers; dense, walkable shopping districts; and inspiring street style.
And let’s not forget a favorable exchange rate that will currently knock about 25 percent off your receipt total. Here are some picks for stocking up, up north. (Prices listed are in Canadian dollars except where noted.)
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When it comes to shopping, Vancouver has it all — most importantly a favorable exchange rate that will currently knock about 25 percent off your receipt total.”
Robson Street still bustles with energy, but for pure shopping efficiency, hit Pacific Centre Mall.
Blue Ruby Jewelers is a dream, with hip and accessible jewelry from Vancouver designers, including Mimi & Marge’s Antler Studs ($63 USD, also at somethingsilver.com) and the stackable Melanie Auld Deep V Rings ($88–$90 USD, also at melanieauld.com) in rose gold.
She will look chic and professional with a Campo Marzio Business Briefcase ($545), a functional and special piece from the Italian line’s only Pacific Northwest store.
Attached to the mall is Holt Renfrew, a luxury department store where you can find Fendi and furs. But also be sure to explore the H Project section, featuring artisan gifts from around the world. Recent products included an exclusive Dannijo x Indego Africa Fringed Beach Bag ($130) and Bottlecap Pouches ($90, also at bottletop.org), British eco bags toted by models and It girls.
Finish your trip through the mall at the spanking-new Nordstrom (Vancouver’s first), featuring all your Nordy favorites, a full-service restaurant and a blow-dry bar. Also inside: adult candy bar Sugarfina, with treats she’s sure to enjoy, such as Champagne Gummy Bears ($3 USD and up) and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels ($2.50 USD and up, also at sugarfina.com).
Brave the tourist masses, because Granville Island is a treasure trove of gift possibilities for everyone on your list.
Stop by Paper-Ya in the Net Loft building for cute magnets and notebooks for co-workers, and the Vancouver-made Russell Hackney Beak Churn ($90, also at russellhackneyceramics.com) for the classic-cool lady in your life.
Also in the Net Loft is Little Dream, packed with local designers, including Sarah Mulder’s Jewelry Elm Tree Earrings ($40, also at sarahmulder.com).
Considered by many to be one of the best shopping neighborhoods in the world, Gastown is full of indie boutiques featuring fashion, accessories, home décor and native artwork.
If you’re shopping for a fashion-forward woman, be sure to visit LYNNseven Boutique for Vancouver’s fun Skot Apparel Partyskirts ($195–$245, also at skotapparel.com) and Stance Noir socks ($16 USD, also at stance.com), with shiny gold details that push them out of the ordinary.
Dare to step into the intimidatingly sparse Litchfield — it’s worth it for Vancouver’s Vitruvi aromatherapy products. Whether she needs Energize or Sleep Oil ($38 each, also at ecodivabeauty.com.com), she’ll appreciate the pure essential-oil blends.
Hit Pacific Centre for a Rudsak Immanuel tablet case ($175, also at rudsak.com) in a cool camo-print. The Montreal leather specialists’ case includes a full zipper and interior pockets.
The Vancouver Art Gallery store is filled with gifty ideas from local artists, including jewelers, native craftspeople and textile makers. Get him pumped for camping season with a hip and functional Forest & Waves Camper Bandana ($18, also at forestandwaves.com), which is designed and printed in Vancouver.
Back in the Net Loft on Granville Island is the excellent home and gift store Gigi B. The boutique carries cool men’s skin-care line Refinery Rebels out of Toronto, with products such as Wealth of Man Organic Oil Bar Soap ($12) and Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer ($17, also at rebelsrefinery.com).
At The Sport Gallery, in the Creekhouse area of the island, you can find your sport nut’s new favorite shirt. The compact shop sells vintage-inspired apparel with an emphasis on Canadian teams, including the Red Jacket Vancouver Canucks 2 Brass Tacks tee ($35 USD, also at redjacketclothing.com).
You can’t return from Canada without some maple syrup, and there’s no lack of artisanal varieties for the foodie on your list. Drool over everything at Edible Canada, including the Drip Blonde Maple Syrup ($20, also at dripmaple.ca) and Noble Tonic 01: Tuthilltown Bourbon Barrel Matured Maple Syrup ($29 USD, also at food52.com). If you eat at the attached restaurant (which you should), you get a 10 percent discount in the shop.
Pop into Parliament Interiors for accessible décor items and original art. Help him dress up his couch or bed in masculine style with the MOV Spanish Banks Bus Scroll Throw Pillow ($80, also at pillowdecor.com). A part of the Museum of Vancouver Collection, it will remind him of his time in town.
The well-dressed man will definitely want to visit Roden Gray, featuring edgy, fashion-forward street styles. If you’re not ready to pop for designer duds, head downstairs and grab a Hershel Supply Co. Little America Backpack in the new Feather print ($100, also at herschelsupply.com), and he can say he got his bag from the popular company’s hometown.
If you love adorable children’s clothing, make a detour off Robson to visit local shop Redfish Kids. The Café Jacket ($74, also at redfishkids.com) is chic, while staying accessible and practical. Also there is Victoria brand Whistle & Flute’s Kawaii Coud T-Shirt ($29, also at whistleandfluteclothing.com), a graphic ode to rainy-day happiness.
For teens and tweens, hit H-Mart on Robson for its huge selection of Tony Moly makeup and skin-care products. This popular Korean line features adorable packaging, like on the Mini Cherry Lip Balm ($10), and giggle-inducing ingredients, such as fermented snail mucus in the Timeless Ferment Snail Eye Mask ($8, both also at tonymolyus.com).
For kids, nowhere is better than the Granville Island Kids Market. The building is packed with vendors and play areas. Be sure to visit Granville Island Toy Company for a virtual world of Playmobil sets (prices vary, also at playmobil.us).
For the littlest ones, duck into the Net Loft to visit Parade Organics (also in Gastown), a Vancouver-based line of baby clothes, blankets and soft toys. Pick up the adorable crocheted Moose My Animal Friend ($26, also at paradebaby.com) for a perfect Canadian baby souvenir.
Meadow Gifts is a compact but well-curated shop of children’s items, local jewelry and cute home décor pieces. Go gaga over the Supayana Baby Leggings ($25 USD, also at etsy.com/shop/supayana), made in Montreal in funky prints up to size 4T.
Also there (and in most kid stores in the city) are the ultra-cute, ultra-cool Minimoc Baby Moccasins ($45–$50, also at minimoc.ca), available in an array of colors and textures. Each pair is handmade in Canada with leather uppers and suede soles.