Finding the perfect gift isn't easy, whether it's for a loved one or for your kid's teacher, for a birthday or for your company's Secret Santa gift exchange. Use this gift guide to find unique Vancouver gifts for any and every occasion.
One of my favourite stores on Granville Island is the paper arts shop Paper-Ya, a dream for crafty paper artists, card-makers or anyone who loves blank books. Paper-Ya sells decorative and natural papers, bookbinding materials, journals, and out-of-the-ordinary cards and invitations, all of which make lovely presents.
The Original Paper-Ya Co Ltd.
#9 - 1666 Johnston Street
When it comes to buying gifts for people you don't know well, food can be a great way to go. The first time I met my Brazilian in-laws, I gave them a gourmet Pacific Northwest food basket, and they loved the smoked salmon and Chukar Cherries. If you can afford to splurge, Meinhardt has the best gourmet gift boxes, ranging from all sweets to B.C. cheeses to English favourites. Or, create your own gourmet gift by hunting their aisles for the perfect combination of flavours.
3002 Granville Street
A Vancouver original, Wonderbucks carries "world bazaar"-style home decor, kitchen gadgets, housewares, plants, and bath accessories at discount prices, making it easy to find inexpensive, gender-neutral gifts for any occasion (e.g., for Office Secret Santa). Wonderbucks has two locations in Vancouver: one on W Broadway and one on Commercial Drive.
1803 Commercial Drive
Located in Kitsilano, the Comicshop is the place to shop for that super-hero-loving, graphic-novel-reading, uber sci-fi/fantasy fan on your list. Looking for pop culture posters or Buffy the Vampire Slayer action figures? They've got both, and more.
3518 W 4th Avenue
I have a true love of Chinatown's Peking Lounge, a fabulous mix of high-quality antique furniture and gorgeous contemporary Chinese home-decor. Since nearly everyone in Vancouver has at least a dash of Asian flavour in their home decor, it's hard to go wrong with a "China Chic" gift. If I have to buy a wedding gift for an unregistered couple, I always look here first.
83 E Pender Street
Located in fashionable South Granville, Oscar's Art Books is a local favourite, for good reason: Not only are the books discounted, they cover a wider range of art subjects than you can imagine, from painting to film production, photography, fashion, interior design, logos and graphic art, and even tattoos. Perfect gifts for book lovers, art lovers, erotic art lovers, and hipsters.
Oscar's Art Books
1533 W Broadway
Vancouverites love to indulge their dogs, as all dog lovers do, and Three Dog Bakery is ideal for buying gifts for pets or their adoring owners.
Three Dog Bakery
4548 W 10th Avenue
9. Beauty Bar
Also on W 4th Avenue, locally-owned Beauty Bar has scads of divine beauty products for men and women, with a shaving bar for men, cosmetics and lotions for women, and even special lines for mothers and babies. Beauty Bar's hard-to-find items make luxurious gifts for people who love to be pampered.
2142 W. 4th Avenue
10. Urban Planet
Like H&M but even cheaper (and way cheaper than Zara), Urban Planet has all the latest clothing and accessory trends for both genders, making it easy--and very budget-friendly--to load up on the latest styles or on inexpensive gifts like fashion jewelry, scarves, belts, and purses. If you're shopping for a teen who wants quantity over quality (I had a friend in high school who refused to wear the same thing twice), this is your store.
Metropolis at Metrotown Mall