Shopping in Vancouver

Downtown: Core


Pacific Centre
700 West Georgia Street
604.688.7235

Royal Centre
1055 West Georgia Street
604.689.1711
The epicentre of downtown Vancouver's major mall and outdoor shopping experiences is the intersection of West Georgia and Granville Streets. The city's giant main department stores, The Bay and Sears, dominate two corners of the intersection, with the alternate corners providing access to the underground all-weather shopping facilities of the Pacific Centre, which houses the upscale Holt Renfrew department store and popular fashion outlets like Gap, Esprit and Club Monaco.
Beneath the nearby Royal Bank tower and the Hyatt Regency Hotel, two blocks away at the intersection of Georgia and Burrard, are entrances to Royal Centre Mall. Like the Pacific Centre, many of the stores here focus on fashion, with an emphasis on upscale clothing, designer jewellery and high-end shoes and accessories.

John Fluevog Boots and Shoes
837 Granville Street
604.688.2828
The short stretch along Granville Street between Robson and Smithe contains an eclectic array of trendy counter-culture stores selling comic books, retro-70s clothing and ironic style statements for a predominantly under-30s crowd. John Fluevog Boots and Shoes is a Vancouver-based worldwide design phenomenon.

International Travel Maps and Books
552 Seymour Street, 604.687.3320
345 West Broadway, 604.879.3621
International Travel Maps and Books has one of the largest travel guide selections in Canada.

Spirit of the North Duty Free
1026 Alberni Street
604.683.2416
Shop duty free downtown and take advantage of great savings on cosmetics, fragrances, liquor, watches, jewellery, fashion and souvenirs. Canada's largest single duty free store; two levels totalling over 25,000 square feet, all conveniently located in downtown Vancouver.

Louis Vuitton
730 Burrard Street
604.408.0602
Located at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Now introducing recent additions to the Louis Vuitton universe. Each of the special pieces represents a rich history of quality and taste, while offering a fresh perspective regarding shape and finish.

Salmon Village
779 Thurlow Street
604.685.3378
Smoked salmon and salmon products. No artificial flavour or preservatives are used and they also carry maple syrup products. Goods can be packed for air travel and shipped world-wide.
Click here for more information about Downtown Vancouver

Downtown: West Hastings


Sinclair Centre
Corner of Hastings & Granville Streets
757 West Hastings Street
604.683.1131
Sinclair Centre, on Hastings between Howe and Granville, is actually four restored landmark heritage buildings joined via the innovative addition of a glass roof. Here, 20 upscale boutiques offer everything from swanky pens to pricey haute couture from both Canadian and overseas designers. Sinclair Centre houses elite stores like Leone and Plaza Escada, and has a well-stocked food court that is a less-crowded alternative to its Pacific Centre neighbour.

Birks & Co
698 West Hastings Street
604.669.3333
For generations, Vancouver brides have received their engagement rings from Birks, a landmark downtown store that remains the jeweller of choice for many locals. Items come in a distinctive pale blue, monogrammed box, which still carries a cachet almost as exciting as the gift it holds.

Chanel
900 West Hastings Street
604.682.0522
For the seriously chic, this exclusive 5,000-square-foot corner boutique represents a seamless blend of classic haute couture and striking contemporary design. As you cross the security-guarded, marble threshold, you enter an oasis of luxury, beauty and refinement that will have you credit cards trembling in anticipation.

Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
206 Cambie Street
604.688.7323

The Flag Shop
1615 Powell Street
604.736.8161
Flag Shop, an established speciality store that has one of the country's widest ranges of provincial, national and international flags.

Hill's Native Art
165 Water Street
604.685.4249
If you're looking for Northwest Coast or Inuit art and crafts (including Cowichan sweaters, authentic moccasins and carved silver jewellery), head for historic Gastown for a wide range of First Nations' stores, including Inuit Gallery of Vancouver and Hill's Native Art.

Inform Interiors
97 Water Street
604.682.3868
Jumping from the traditional to the ultra-modern, Inform Interiors features the latest in sleek, high-end home furnishings. And there's a varied collection of design-themed books and magazines for those on a more modest budget.

Downtown: Yaletown


Global Atomic Designs
1006 Mainland Street
604.806.6223

Chintz & Company
950 Homer Street
Many of Yaletown's former industrial brick warehouses have been converted into super-hip clothing stores, designer furniture outlets and even a trendy showroom for the new Mini Cooper-a postmodern reinvention of a design classic that mirrors the stylish redevelopment of the Yaletown area.
This is the leading downtown spot for locating the latest cut in designer jeans and the newest retro footwear at stores such as Global Atomic Designs. And with all those nearby condos and loft dwellings to furnish, stores like the multi-floored Chintz &Company on Homer Street cater to those who want their apartments to look as cool as they do.

Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery
1024 Mainland Street
604.685.9298
For a touch of the traditional, Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery stocks superb examples of First Nations' jewellery, carvings and prints.
Click here for more information about Yaletown

Downtown: Robson Street


Salvatore Ferragamo
918 Robson Street
604.682.2622

Lululemon Athletica
1148 Robson Street
604.681.3118

Roots Canada
1001 Robson Street
604.683.4305
For several blocks around the Burrard Street intersection, Robson is Vancouver's leading shopping and strolling thoroughfare.
Salvatore Ferragamo is internationally famous for fine leather footwear and eye-catching accessories.
For more practical clothes shopping, Roots Canada's flagship store offers a popular range of casual wear from college-style leather jackets to bright-red retro-runners.
Lululemon Athletica sells trendy yoga apparel with a designer West Coast twist.
Click here for more information about Robson Street

Downtown East: Chinatown

In the heritage area around Main Street and Keefer, you'll find everything from ginseng to green tea, fine embroidered linens, silk robes, exotic fresh produce plus traditional Chinese tableware and cooking utensils. This is also the last resting place for barrels of live eels, crabs and giant bullfrogs. Natural apothecaries and herbalists abound in Chinatown, and it's the best place in Vancouver to buy freshly-prepared Asian delicacies from moon cake to roasted duck. The summer weekend night market is always popular, especially for cheap imported goods and a vast smorgasbord of take-out food options.
Chinatown's City Square development is the result of a unique recycling project, in which two old school buildings were integrated into a stone, steel and glass shopping centre. It's right across from Vancouver's City Hall at 12th and Cambie Street.
Click here for more information about Vancouver's Chinatown

Kitsilano


The Travel Bug
3065 West Broadway
604.737.1122

Shopping in Kits runs along two streets-West Broadway and West Fourth Avenue-from Burrard to Alma. Ready-to-wear outlets, gourmet food shops, specialty bookstores, home furnishings and accessories, as well as a variety of multicultural restaurants and curio stores enliven this area. It's a great spot for wandering on a sunny afternoon-with several welcoming bakeries and coffee shops likely to slow you down along the way. Among the more eclectic retail offerings are the Travel Bug, with a wide array of travel accessories and more than 6,000 guides and foreign-language phrase books.

Click here for more information about Kitsilano

Granville Island

Granville Island
Info Line: 604.666.5784

Crafts Association of BC & Crafthouse
1386 Cartwright Street
604.687.6511

Granville Eyeland
1666 Johnson Street
604.488.0909

Kids Market
1496 Cartwright Street
604.689.8447
It's no challenge to describe the shopping at Granville Island in one word: 'fresh:' fresh food, seafood, fruit, vegetables, plants, flowers, candy, fudge and baked goods. But the art and design is also fresh with dozens of craftspeople-potters, weavers, textile artists, furniture makers and jewellery creators-transforming once-empty warehouses, foundries and machine shops into cool new studios. Check out local artists' work at the Crafts Association. Vancouver is also the home of custom-spectacle designer Klaus Sebok, whose client list includes noted eyeglass aficionado Elton John. Sebok's Granville Eyeland store is a popular destination for fans of funky specs. The colourful Kids Market, near the entrance to Granville Island, is geared to children's games, hobbies, clothes and art and craft supplies.
Click here for more information about Granville Island

Kerrisdale, West Point Grey

Centered in upper-middle-class residential neighbourhoods, both these areas are well-stocked with owner-operated businesses where old-fashioned customer service remains the order of the day.
Kerrisdale's open-to-the-street coffee shops, fresh produce outlets, restaurants and specialty stores make this a neighbourhood worth visiting.
West Point Grey's West Tenth Avenue runs from Alma to the gates of the University of British Columbia with a similar but funkier retail mix. This is a great area for browsing because crowds are thinner and the quality of merchandise is high. Bright wooden folk-art on the street at Tenth and Alma snaps a few heads around as people drive by.

Oakridge Shopping Centre
604.264.9221 or 604.261.2511
41st & Cambie Street
The Oakridge Centre offers more than150 stores and services with the highest concentrations of upscale merchants in the city. It's trendy shopping in glass-covered comfort; gift items, gourmet foods, books and numerous brand-label retailers create a heady mix of shopping options.
Click here for more infomation about Kerrisdale

South Granville

Fast-emerging as one of Vancouver's trendiest shopping neighbourhoods, South Granville-stretching from the south end of the Granville Street Bridge to West 16th Avenue-is full of galleries and stores specialising in interior design, home furnishings and homely antiques. Designer fashions, fine eyewear and classy shoes, stationary, linens and china round out the varied retail mix. Top eateries like West (formerly Ouest), the Stanley Theatre and the elegant Meinhardt's Fine Foods make this strip one of the best areas for an early evening stroll.
Click here for more information about South Granville

North Shore

The North Shore is only a bridge or SeaBus ride away. Check West Vancouver's Park Royal North and South Malls, the Ambleside and Dundarave village areas along Marine Drive as well as North Vancouver's lively Lonsdale Quay Market: a great spot for lunch or an afternoon coffee with a dazzling view of the city skyline.

Burnaby


Metrotown Centre
4800 Kingsway, 604.431.8046
BC's largest shopping and entertainment complex, Metrotown has more than 500 stores, at least 20 cinema screens and the largest food court in Western Canada, seating more than 1,000 people. Just 20 minutes away from downtown on the SkyTrain, simply hop off the train at Metrotown Station and walk into this shopping mecca, where you should expect to spend the day. The two extensive food courts will help keep your energy levels up.

Souvenir Hunting Off-The-Beaten-Path

Some folks just can't visit Vancouver without packing home Canadian staples like smoked salmon and maple syrup, and so they should. But here are some souvenir ideas that are more specifically representative of a visit to Western Canada's leading-and most cosmopolitan-city.

Wine

The 1998 Chardonnay from Burrowing Owl-BC's most-talked-about winery, located in the Okanagan Valley-was awarded 89 points by Wine Spectator and cited as Canada's best Chardonnay by Wine Access. If you can't get your hands on a bottle, any 1998 white (especially Germanic varieties such as Riesling or Gewürztraminer as well as ice wines) from that region will impress: 1998 is the decade's best Okanagan vintage.

Music

A competitive retail environment for music means newly-released CDs are much cheaper here than in the US or Europe. Some local artists creating waves around the world these days are the mellifluous singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan and jazz diva Diana Krall, whose throaty voice and passionate delivery have earned her comparisons to Sarah Vaughn. Other local stars attracting international attention among younger music fans include Nickelback, Nelly Furtado, Matthew Good and Bif Naked.

Books

BC has long been a haven for acclaimed fiction writers such as Spider Robinson, W.P. Kinsella and Douglas Coupland. Nick Bantock, the author of the world-famous Griffin and Sabine series, lives on Bowen Island and is credited with inventing an entirely new genre: The Illustrated Storybook for Adults. Bill Gaston is a rising BC literary star, and the books produced by Vancouver's Arsenal Pulp Press reflect the area's eclectic tastes and ideas in a wide range of fiction and non-fiction titles.

Furniture and Design

HOM Furniture & Design, a local manufacturer of contemporary birch furniture, has been creating waves in the design community, both here and in the United States, where more than 40 stores now carry the line. Cabinets, tables, and daybeds in owner/designer Matthew Quetton's signature Pacific Spirit line are inspired by West Coast aboriginal architecture and traditional Japanese motifs with a clean-lined, modernist finish. Available at Koolhaus, 2199 West Fourth Street (604.875.9004)
Local designer Martha Sturdy made a name for herself around the world with her sculptural jewellery, but now her furniture and houseware line (patinaed copper dining tables, leather chairs, and oversized poured-resin platters) are being used to furnish some of the hippest boutique hotels in New York. Her Vancouver atelier, Martha Sturdy Originals, is at 3039 Granville Street, 604.737.0037.

Fashion

Every year, a name or two is added to the list of Vancouver-based couturiers and designers who sell almost exclusively in New York, Japan or London. The good news is that some of them take appointments at their local studios. Call E.T.O. Clothing 604.689.8320 for Yumi Eto's avant-garde, asymmetrical pieces ($500 to $6,000)-worn by Susan Sarandon and carried at Brown's in London and Barney's in New York-or 604.734.9339 for Catherine Regehr's more traditional, beaded ball gowns (around $3,000) sold at Henry Bendel and Bergdorf Goodman in New York. The first store of funky footwear designer John Fluevog is located at 837 Granville Street, 604.688.2828, and Patricia Fieldwalker's famous lingerie is carried by Diane's at 2950 Granville Street, 604.738.5121.

Athletic Gear

Shipping home a mountain bike, snowboard or five-person tent may seem a little excessive, but because some of the hottest manufacturers in the world are located here (Rocky Mountain, Option, and Mountain Equipment Co-op, for example) you'll wind-up saving a bundle. The Mecca for board sports and biking is the so-called 'Air Strip' around 4th Avenue and Burrard Street, (Pacific Boarder and WestBeach.) Rock climbing and paddling enthusiasts should head to Camperland around Broadway and Quebec Street, where Taiga, Mountain Equipment Co-op and the 3 Vets Store are located.

Top 10 Vancouver Souvenirs

If you're looking for the perfect souvenir to remind you of your visit to Vancouver, look no further. Here's a list to fill your suitcase with.
1. Indian Candy (sweet salmon jerky) from Salmon Village
2. "Canadian Blend" ground coffee from Murchie's to bring home the Vancouver buzz
3. A copy of the new short story collection, "The Vancouver Stories", from the The Listel Hotel
4. First Nations bentwood box from Coastal Peoples Fine Art Gallery
5. Blown glass bauble from Granville Island
6. Canucks hockey puck
7. Cuban cigars from La Casa del Habano - phone: 604.609.0511
8. Kitsilano Maple Cream Ale from the Granville Island Brewery
9. $2 seed packets from VanDusen Botanical Garden to take the blooms home
10. Locally-grown ginseng from Chinatown

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