We asked. Where readers voted. Here are your favourite spots to shop
By Jennifer Patterson
Heritage department at The Bay. Photo by KK Law
This Canadian company, founded in 1670, is one of the oldest in the world. Over the past few years, this downtown hub has turned into a don’t-miss fashion destination. Label lovers visit The Room, a high-end space filled with the crème de la crème of designer goods, and young trendsetters head to the world’s second-largest Topshop, on the lower level. For holiday decor, see the Christmas Street department.
Holt Renfrew; Army & Navy.
China & Crystal
Drop by this elegant South Granville space for classic collectibles, including Waterford Crystal or dinnerware by Iittala, Versace and Wedgwood.
Birks; Chintz and Company.
Antiques & Collectibles
There’s no time like the present to redecorate. Luckily, Antique Warehouse has over 1,115 sq m (12,000 sq ft) of vintage and antique home furnishings. There’s something for everyone, as this massive collection ranges from 18th-century decor to mid-century modern furniture, all sourced from France, England and Belgium.
Antique Market; Scott Landon Antiques; Three Centuries Shop.
This popular shop for tots and tweens carries clothing and accessories perfect for school, a holiday party or just playing in the yard. Big-name designers (think: Diane von Furstenburg and Stella McCartney) often design limited-edition collections for the chain.
Hip Baby; Beansprouts; Redfish Kids Clothing.
Dapper gents head to this downtown store to fulfil all their style-related needs. The rich wood interior complements the custom-made suits, classic casual wear and colourful ties, alongside leather loafers and great-for-winter puffer jackets.
Holt Renfrew; Roden Gray.
Vancouver’s own Aritzia started life in 1984 as a store-within-a-store, inside Hills of Kerrisdale (page 27) to be exact. Now, many years and stores later, the edgy, on-trend fashions and multiple in-house labels cater to a loyal legion of customers, including much-photographed celebrities and fashionistas.
The Bay; Holt Renfrew.
Glasses at Bruce Eyewear. Photo by KK Law
Stylish specs and cool sunglasses line the cases at this Gastown spot. Unique frames by sought-after labels such as Cutler and Gross, Oliver Peoples and Mykita are just a sampling of what’s in store.
Eyes on Burrard; Spectus Eyewear.
No matter what your age or sport, you’ll find all the gear you need—from skis to golf clubs to inline skates—at this mega chain.
Mountain Equipment Co-op; Lululemon.
This Danish brand designs sweet skivvies and bras, with cup sizes ranging from A to K. Find pyjamas, slips and bathing suits, too. Free bra fittings.
Dianes Lingerie; La Vie en Rose.
Spend an hour—or four—exploring this palatial, multi-level bookstore. Everything from cookbooks to architecture to language has a dedicated section, as do the hottest best-sellers and magazines. Take the tots to the colourful kids’ section, then browse the expanded gift and decor area. Monthly author events.
Banyen Books & Sound; Black Bond Books.
Since 1907, this iconic Vancouver chocolatier has satisfied sweet-tooth cravings with sweet Georgia browns, hedgehogs and mint melties. The recognizable gold and purple box—chock-full of assorted chocolates, nuts and caramels—makes a great gift, whether for a hostess or for that chocolate-loving friend.
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory; Rogers’ Chocolates; Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie.
Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
This elegant and spacious Gastown gallery has been in business for over 30 years. Peruse the fine Inuit sculptures, along with prints, original drawings and museum-quality Northwest Coast First Nations art. Regular rotating exhibits feature stunning pieces by both established and new artists.
Jennifer Kostuik Gallery; Granville Fine Art.
Jewellery & Watches
Tiffany & Co.
This year marks the 175th anniversary for the coveted jewellery label. Expert craftsmanship and attention to detail—not to mention the recognizable robin egg–blue box—keep customers coming back. Don’t miss the eye-catching collections by Elsa Peretti, Frank Gehry and Paloma Picasso. Be sure to check out the selection of crystal, sunglasses, leather goods and home decor, too.
Birks; Pandora Jewelry.
Bentwood box at Inuit Gallery of Vancouver. Photo by KK Law
Spas & Salons
The goal of this chic, relaxing spa is to bring your dosha into perfect harmony, helping to promote well-being and restore energy. Treatments are based on Ayurveda, a 5,000-year-old system of Indian medicine.
Chi, the Spa; The Spa at the Wedgewood.
Flights of fancy for your feet. Vancouver’s own Fluevog continues to push boundaries when it comes to footwear, with the help of custom buckles, curved heels and sculpted toes. The motto behind these whimsical shoes: unique soles for unique souls.
In the heart of downtown sits this massive shopping mall housing some of the biggest brands: H&M, Apple, Sephora, Club Monaco, BCBG and Harry Rosen. It’s also home to ultra-luxe retailer Holt Renfrew.
Metropolis at Metrotown; Richmond Centre; Park Royal.
To vote for next year’s winners, click here.
Who took top spots in Whistler’s Where to Shop awards? Pick up the new issue of Where Whistler to find out, or click here.