December 21, 2017
You’ve just stepped out of a swirling winter storm. A crackling wood stove glows red in the corner. The steam from a freshly boiled kettle…
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Shopping in British Columbia? You’ll be bringing home gifts for your family and friends—and for yourself, of course—minus the buyer’s remorse. And forget touristy items and kitschy keepsakes. We’ve curated a list of fantastic BC-centric places for you to shop. Enjoy!
With their new flagship store recently opened in Vancouver‘s Kitsilano, not to mention multiple locations in BC, the brand has taken over the world of fitness wear, and come a long way from its simple offering of yoga pants for men and women. Drop in at any location and be sure to check out big sellers, including the Scuba Hoodie (a favourite post-sweat piece) and the high-rise Wunder Under Crop (a yoga staple).
If you are or have a millennial on your gift list, this is a must. Founded in 2009 by brothers Jamie and Lyndon Cormack, and based in Vancouver, Herschel Supply Co. has exploded worldwide as a cult-cool unisex accessories brand with a focus on duffle bags, backpacks, and totes. Pick up one of the brand’s essentials—including the Heritage Backpack and custom hats and beanies—at Little Burgundy, The Bay, and more, or stay tuned for Herschel’s first brick-and-mortar shop, slated to open in spring 2018.
Performance fabrics aren’t just for fitness wear. At Vancouver-based Kit and Ace, the contemporary luxury brand applies athletic design to pieces that you’ll happily wear beyond the gym. Examples? Qemir™ (pronounced “come ‘ere”) meshes technical properties with cashmere that you can throw in the washing machine; stretchy, no-iron designs reign, and there’s even stretchy silk that holds its shape. With locations in Kitsilano and Gastown, this retailer has become a go-to for chic men and women.
Just three minutes on Canada Line rapid transit from the Vancouver International Airport and only 20 minutes from downtown Vancouver, this is where you’ll find your favourite designer and upscale labels in one location (think: Coach, Ted Baker, Kate Spade New York, Hugo Boss, and more). Here, a European-inspired, open-air, village-style experience promises perks like the Fashion Passport with exclusive savings, plus luggage lockers, flight display screens, multilingual customer service teams, free Wi-Fi, and cell phone chargers.
A nearly 30-minute drive from Vancouver, this shopping centre appreciates tourists, thanks to savings booklets, hotel packages, group tours, and more. Check out the Nike Factory Store, the Michael Kors outlet, and more for the latest fashions; the Bass Pro Shops will outfit any adventurer with the best in outdoor gear. No vehicle? No worries. The centre’s free shopping shuttle transports shoppers back and forth between downtown Vancouver, Richmond, and the ferry terminal.
This downtown shopping destination—and historic street—has been offering a blend of designer, popular chain, and souvenir shops (150 at last count) for decades. Pacific Centre shopping mall beckons shoppers indoors to browse at high-end Nordstrom’s and Holt Renfrew, an all-Canadian department store that features luxury brands. Or, get out of the mall and into the fresh air while you stroll to shops that include Roots, a Canadian clothier icon, and lululemon, the ultimate in West Coast athletic wear.
East Vancouver (or East Van) is home to Main Street, a hot spot for independent boutiques with a focus on local designers, homewares, and jewelry. Visit Eugene Choo and Smoking Lily for funky designs; nearby Front and Company. offers a blend of new and vintage frocks. Stylish additions to the home can be found at Vancouver Special, while record stores like Neptoon keep things spinning. Bonus: hip eateries, cafes, and coffee shops line this street, and provide a welcome reprieve from an afternoon’s pursuits.
The pedestrianized Whistler Village is a hub for fine dining, spas, luxurious hotels, and, of course, shopping. Here, the Village Stroll takes shopping to a new level—you’ll find the latest fashions alongside local First Nations artwork and artisan jewelry. Want to hit the bike trails or schuss on the slopes of Whistler Blackcomb? You’re in the right place. The village is a go-to for adventurers with its offering of year-round outdoor sports wear and equipment.
Header image: Whistler’s pedestrian village. Photo: BC Ale Trail
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