Edmonton Gift Shops: find unique, locally made products at Tix on the Square
Forget maple-leaf toques and moose-addled t-shirts. Using our guide, visitors to the city can jettison clichés and take home unique souvenirs from top Edmonton gift shops. From locally-made art to attraction-specific replicas, each of these Edmonton gift shops has items that will suit any taste, budget or luggage size. Locals visit these shops for a great selections of fashion, art and home decor products that you can’t find anywhere else in the city. One of the best things about these Edmonton gift shops? You can buy anytime! These stores are open year-round and you can shop without having to pay admission to the attractions.
See the list of top Edmonton gift shops »
The latest pop-up shopping trend in Edmonton is known as a Cash Mob, a monthly spontaneous shopping retreat that aims to introduce shoppers to (new and old) unique local businesses, support local businesses and the local economy, and have fun while meeting and mingling with new people.
Cash Mobbers’ head towards local clothing store Mars and Venus (10328-82 Ave.) during the July Cash Mob event.
Photo courtesy of Cash Mob Edmonton
Anyone is invited to participate, and no registration is required. Shoppers (or “mobbers”) meet up a a disclosed location (within walking distance of the business) and then the Cash Mob organizer will lead everyone to the participating venue. The business featured at each cash mob is different every time, and is also kept a secret until the day of the event. Participants might discover a new store they have never heard of before, and/or get an opportunity to look at some unique, quality products they might not have known were available in Edmonton.
Participants are encouraged to bring (and spend) a minimum of $20, though there are no enforced restrictions.
The next Cash Mob takes place on Saturday, January 26 at 11:30 am, meeting at 104 St. & Jasper Ave. (in the park just behind Sobey’s). An on-the-spot pop-up shop will also be set up at the featured business, so there will be plenty of products available from a variety of local makers and designers.
For more information on the Edmonton Cash Mob project – and to find out about future monthly Cash Mob events – visit their website or follow them on Twitter at @cmedmontonab.
For the November/December issue of WHERE Edmonton, we explored the trendy Garneau Area along 109 Street South, where something interesting is always going on — whether you’re out shopping, looking for a place to grab a bite, or looking for something to do. You can view all of our highlighted spots here, plus here are some more of our favourite venues in the area:
High Level Diner (10912-88 Ave.): Stop by for breakfast to try one of their gigantic cinnamon buns, view the ever-changing displays of local artwork that adorns the walls, or come by for lunch/dinner and sample some delicious comfort food. They even have a separate menu for those who need to eat gluten-free, including a delicious Ukrainian plate with gluten-free pyrogys.
The Californian Hot Dog from Urban Diner
Urban Diner (8715-109 St.): Waffles with wild berry compote! Three cheese grilled cheese sandwiches! Fried chicken and gravy! Yum! In addition to their regular menu, Urban Diner has recently started hosting beer + dinner pop-up parties that have been quite successful (Jelly Donut Beer and Gourmet Hot Dogs, anyone?). The best way to find out about these hot dining events? Follow @whereedmonton and @UrbanDinerYEG on Twitter to get up-to-date information.
Still have some people to cross off you holiday shopping list? You’ve come to the right place! We’ve put together a fantastic ‘Tis The Season Gift Guide (pages 16 – 19 of our November/December issue — you can view the full version here).
Here are a few ideas to get you started!
For the Star Wars Fan: A Gift Voucher to the Star Wars Identities Exhibit at Telus World of Science Edmonton is redeemable for entry to the exhibit on any date or time. The exhibit is open daily 10 am – 10 pm until April 1, 2013, so there is plenty of time to redeem the vouchers and check out this much-raved about exhibit. Pair passes with a unique Star Wars item, like the exclusive Star Wars kitchenware from Williams Sonoma (West Edmonton Mall, 8882-170 St.), a Star Wars nutcracker from Chicken Scratch (10466 Whyte (82) Ave.), or a mini lightsaber kit from the Telus World of Science Gift Shop (admission not required to access the gift shop). Gift Vouchers can be purchased online at www.edmontonscience.com or by calling 780-451-3344.
Star Wars Stormtrooper Spatula
William Sonoma (West Edmonton Mall, 8882-170 St.)
Local artists are taking over! Some of the hottest items this season are to be found at local businesses, pop-up shops, and boutiques where products are made with quality materials and are so unique that you can guarantee your gift won’t be duplicated or re-gifted!
Shop AGA Holiday Shopping Party
Where: Shop AGA (Art Gallery of Alberta, 2 Sir Winston Churchill Square)
When: Thursday, November 29, 5 pm – 9 pm
About: Shop a variety of handmade and unique gift items like jewellery, housewares, toys, books, and quirky knick-knacks — and enjoy 20% off if you’re an Art Gallery of Alberta member. Receive complimentary gift wrapping on your purchases, then sit and relax with a cup of specialty hot chocolate in Zinc Restaurant.
With trends towards “responsible consumerism”, and avoiding big-box stores in favour of local or socially-concious retailers, shopping at Ten Thousand Villages (10432-82 Ave) is an easy choice this holiday season. This not-for-profit, fair trade retailer promotes “giving back”, carrying only products that are handmade in developing communities all over the world. If you’ve made a commitment to shop responsibly this Christmas — or perhaps you’re looking for a unique gift for the person on your list who is impossible to buy for — the products at Ten Thousand Villages can help make your whole holiday socially-concious.
Unique gift ideas and holiday decor await at Ten Thousand Villages, where everything is handmade and fair trade.
Blo Blow Dry Bar (10158-109 St., Edmonton) is a no-cut concept salon that focuses on styling hair. WHERE Edmonton gave Blo a try and we absolutely loved the experience — it saves you the hassle of trying to perfect your hair yourself before a big event, and takes only forty-five minutes to an hour to get the look. How often have you tried to style your hair before a big party, only to find out that — of all days — you’re having a bad hair day and your hair just won’t cooperate the way you need it to? Getting your hair styled at a Blo Blow Dry Bar is an easy, inexpensive (only $35!) alternative that ensures you show up with fabulous-looking hair!
It’s almost half-way through the month of Movember, and men everywhere are boldly donning their various versions of the ‘mo and raising funds for men’s health awareness and research. If you’re getting discouraged by the way your moustache is–or isn’t– growing in, or you’re sick and tired of looking at the “lip sweater” the men in your life are donning, have some fun with these Movember products and events that can be found around the city:
Pick up a pair of moustache-printed socks from The Briefing Room to coordinate with your Movember ‘stache.
A couple kisses while spending a romantic day in Edmonton (Photo: bulliver)
9 a.m.: Start your day off at Credo Coffee where you can lounge over perfectly prepared cappuccinos and morning glory muffins.
• Credo Café, 10134-104 St., 780-761-3744, credocoffee.ca
• Map and reviews
10:15 a.m: Make your way to the Old Strathcona neighbourhood where you can meander down Whyte Avenue and window shop, hit up the farmers’ market, check out the local art or browse the wares at one of the city’s best vintage stores.
• Old Strathcona, 82 Ave. between 109 St. and Gateway Blvd.
The long-awaited and highly-anticipated opening of Simons department store is finally here! This exclusive retailer – the first store outside of Quebec! – opens its doors October 31, 2012 at West Edmonton Mall (8882-170 St.).
Shop for the latest styles at the brand-new Simon’s store in West Edmonton Mall!
Photo courtesy of Simon’s.
Simons is a unique, family-owned Canadian company with origins in the mid-nineteenth century. What is commendable about the Simons brand is that it has been able to maintain it’s family-run values and commitment to quality in their customer service, business plan, and product offering; yet, they are able to offer a large quantity and selection of products like a big-box retailer. Seven stores are currently open in Quebec, and the West Edmonton Mall location marks the first expansion of the company outside of the province.
Where to Shop in Edmonton With Teens: Whyte Avenue (Photo: Greencolander)
Travelling with teens can be trying for any parent—but it doesn’t have to be. On your next trip to Alberta’s capital, work in some time to hit some boutiques and retail outlets that your adolescents will love. It’s easy to shop in Edmonton with teens: just follow our list below to find the best spots for cool t-shirts, shoes, games and more.
See our list of the best shops in Edmonton for teens »
Our picks for the best 6 vintage stores in Edmonton (Photo: stevendepolo)
Wearing vintage is an eco-friendly and unique way to draw style inspiration from the classic looks of the past. Edmonton has several specialty vintage stores that sell high-quality pieces that can be worn off the rack or re-worked to create a more contemporary feel. Our local experts take a tour of Edmonton’s best vintage stores to single out the key places every shopper should hit when looking for that unique item.
See the list of the best vintage stores in Edmonton »