Brimming with a delightful vibrancy, Granville Island is a veritable haven of shopping, entertainment and culture located only a few minutes away from Downtown Vancouver. At the crack of dawn, water taxis can be seen ferrying across False Creek, bearing local wares and fruit crates ready to be sold at the Public Market. The Island's colour, warmth and jubilant personality are fed by each of the 300 businesses and vendors that inhabit its charming stretch. Whether it is the assortment of handicrafts, Aboriginal Art and locally curated souvenirs sold at its homegrown shops and galleries or the pull of culture on display at its performing arts venues, Granville Island saves something for everyone. Notable among its many landmarks is the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, the Vancouver Theatresports League and the Granville Island Brewing Company.
Spanning three city blocks above and under ground, this shopping center will leave mall lovers reeling with consumption-induced joy. Located in the centre of the downtown action, this popular place has nearly every store and service. From cosmetics, gifts and souvenirs to kids clothing, flowers and furniture, it's here. Some of the notable stores include Mexx, Holt Renfrew, Banana Republic and the ubiquitous Gap. The upscale Holt Renfrew department store is on site, and the large food fair offers everything from tacos to sushi.
The biggest shopping center in the city, Oakridge located about 20 minutes outside of Downtown. The complex includes shops like Banana Republic, MaxMara, Aritzia and two major department stores: The Bay and Zellers. Other major fashion brands are also represented, and the mall also contains a multiplex movie theater, babysitting services and a large food fair. The tower above the mall has business offices, a large pharmacy, dentists, doctors and other medical services.
Main Street, is one of the most happening streets in the city. The street extends right from Waterfront Road up to Kent Avenue. Located on this street are most of the city's top shopping centers, restaurants and bars. Visit the website to know more on offers and promotions for individual places.
Record lovers rejoice! This humble neighborhood shop stocks both new and used CDs and vinyl, specializing in rarities and local stuff like the masterful "Rock is Hard" by Vancouver's own Rodney Graham. In addition to the compelling music selection, Red Cat also plays host to gallery openings by local artists and in-store concert performances by local acts and even international superstars such as the Black Lips. Perhaps most important, the staff is eminently helpful, and gracious as can be. Check website for event announcements, ticket sales, online shopping, and adorable photos of Buddy, their cat.
Stuck indoors on a rainy day? Get off that couch and head over to Skoah, a famous spot among Canadians, to rejuvenate and revitalize. The uninitiated may well ask for advice, for the range of services available is extensive. Facials are the specialty, albeit a bit pricey, and a quick one is available for those on the run. Skincare products abound here, from toners to astringents and creams to sunscreens. The website and staff provide many useful beauty tips; a good reference for those unsure of what their skin needs. The best part is that Skoah is eco-friendly. Towels and linen are reused or donated, plastic is recycled, while the paper they use is 100% recycled.
Housed in two interlinked heritage buildings, this 120,000 square foot (11468 square meters) City Square Shopping Centre has a variety of retail, office, residential and fitness facilities. A cooking shop, grocery store, pharmacy, restaurant, food court, clothing boutiques, music and book shops are among the choices here. Grab a cup of coffee in a cafe, browse through a bookstore, pick up a gift for a loved one, and all on your lunch break. Located across the street from Vancouver City Hall.
Eco Outdoor Sports has a good selection of sporting equipment from various brands, all under one roof. Everything from gloves to footwear are all available here. The boots are high quality, but are a little pricey. Log onto the website to check out the online collection.
Hiking, camping, climbing, cycling, snowshoeing, kayaking, skiing, back country snowboarding and walking this member-owned and directed equipment store specializes in any activity you can enjoy in the great outdoors. The city and the surrounding area offer some of the most extensive outdoor activities anywhere, and this west side store offers extremely high quality merchandise at very good prices. You have to shell out dough for a required (lifetime) membership card the first time you go, but that entitles you to a large catalog and other perks. Equipment rentals are also available.
If you want to buy some well-maintained sports gear at budget prices, walk into the Sports Junkies store and get yourself a great deal on some great new and used sporting goods. Founded in 1992, this store has been providing the people of Vancouver with a variety of sporting goods like cycles, skateboards, snow boards, pants, gloves, commuter bikes, hybrid bikes, ids bikes and road bikes. You can also tune up your bikes or get your golfing gear repaired here.
Shoppers Drug Mart boasts of more than 1200 branches in Canada and is the largest chain of pharmacies in the country. This Vancouver branch too sells medicines and health care items along with a few foodstuffs and beauty care products. It stocks merchandise of popular brands such as Fusion Beauty, Elizabeth Arden, Essence, Pur Minerals, Physicians Formula, L'Oreal Paris and Clarins. The appeal of this pharmacy is that it is open all 24 hours seven days a week. It also offers services like a parking spot, ATM and flu vaccinations.
A visit to Kaboodles Toy Store might just take you back a few decades to the time when you were a child yourself. The store has a good collection of toys used years ago, as well as new-age toys. Special discounts are available to teachers. Kids will be spoilt for choice, with products ranging from soft toys and puzzles to figurines and art supplies captivating their interest and inspiring creativity.