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Shopping in Vancouver

Vancouverites are environmentally aware, and there’s been a boom in independent stores stocking locally made and designed wares. You’ll find all the major brands and chains, but the real gems are the unique shops selling BC produce.

Key areas

Chic Robson Street offers fashion boutiques and speciality shops. Pick up stylish menswear at Vancouver-founded Boys’ Co (number 1044) or Japanese groceries at Konbiniya Japan Centre (number 1238).

Yaletown is the shopping ground of Vancouver's young and aspirational, with designer fashions, art galleries and trendy home décor shops. In Gastown, an eruption of new apartment blocks has brought seriously expensive furniture shops and high-end clothing spots. Concept store Secret Location, 1 Water Street, melds upmarket fashion with a see-and-be-seen restaurant. Be sure to try on a pair of boots at John Fluevog Shoes, 65 Water Street.

Beyond Downtown, South Main and Commercial Drive are indie store heaven. Smoking Lily, 3634 Main Street, sells exquisite dresses, sewn and silk-screened in BC. At Devil May Wear, 3957 Main Street, eco-friendly clothing is made locally using fabrics such as bamboo, soy and organic cotton. Mintage, 1714 Commercial Drive, carries carefully chosen vintage pieces.

 

Markets

Granville Island Public Market is chockfull of fresh produce. Chinatown Night Market on Keefer Street is crammed with craft stalls and mouthwatering Chinese food. Its rival, the vast Richmond Night Market, is located near Bridgeport SkyTrain Station.

Shopping centres

Indoor shopping Downtown includes the Pacific Centre and Royal Centre, while Metropolis at Metrotown is a large suburban mall (with 400 shops) connected to the SkyTrain station of the same name. Aberdeen Centre, 4151 Hazelbridge Way, is a massive Asian mall in Richmond.

Opening hours

Shops are generally open Monday to Saturday 0930/1000-1800 (until 2100 Thursday and Friday) and Sunday 1200-1700.

Souvenirs

Among the most original gifts are Pacific Northwest and Inuit arts and crafts. Or look out for a Vancouver brand, such as Herschel, which makes timeless canvas bags.

Tax information

The non-refundable Provincial Sales Tax (PST) of 7% and 5% Goods & Services Tax (GST) are added at the till.

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Featured Hotels

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The Listel Hotel

Priding itself on its commitment to art, this hotel is handy for exploring Robson Street's shops. The rooms on the Museum Floor are fitted out with hemlock and cedar furnishings plus First Nations art. The Gallery Floor suites are more traditional in style, with cherry wood furnishings, chaises longues tucked in bay windows and original Canadian and international artwork.

Skwachàys Lodge

A boutique hotel, fair trade gallery and aboriginal artist residence in one, this lodge is a social enterprise which also provides affordable shelter to aboriginal people. Each smartly kitted-out suite has been uniquely decorated by artists and designers, so you might find yourself sleeping beneath a beaded bear sculpture or a painting of salmon swimming upstream.

Moda Hotel

This 1908 heritage hotel in the heart of Downtown has been transformed into a chic contemporary boutique hotel. While the rooms and décor are very much of the 21st century, many of the building's original features remain, including the lobby's mosaic tiles and 80-year-old hardwood floors in some guest rooms. Uva Wine Bar serves espresso and wine downstairs.

Rosewood Hotel Georgia

Meticulously restored Rosewood Hotel Georgia once hosted Elvis Presley and The Beatles. Today's guests are treated to elegant rooms and suites, with delicious nods to the 1920s and 1930s and vast, decadently luxurious bathrooms. You can nip down to dinner at upscale Hawksworth Restaurant, plunge into the saltwater pool, or sip cocktails on the laid-back garden terrace.

Fairmont Pacific Rim

Lavish rooms in this Coal Harbour hotel feature luxurious Stearns & Foster beds, plush linens and roomy marble bathrooms with TV mirrors. The Willow Stream Spa offers nine treatment rooms, a massive fitness centre and an outside deck with meditation pods and private hot tubs. Or you can lounge by outdoor firepits next to the open-air rooftop pool.

Sandman Suites Vancouver - Davie Street

Sitting on vibrant Davie Street in the West End, the Sandman Suites are just a few minutes' walk from the beach and within strolling distance of trendy Yaletown. One-bedroom and studio suites come with fully equipped kitchens and private balconies. Many higher rooms have city or ocean views. In summer, take a dip in the heated outdoor pool.