VANCOUVER

Shopping

Shopping in Vancouver

Tip - There are two local taxes that are charged on the vast majority of goods, the 7% PST (Provincial Sales Tax) and the 5% GST (Goods and Services Tax). These were replaced with a combined HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) of 12% but due to a recent referendum, the tax was returned to the PST/GST system as of April 1, 2013. The PST does not apply to restaurants, motor fuel, food (including non-alcoholic drinks), vitamins, books, newspaper, magazines, bicycles, and children's clothing.

  • Robson Street in the City Centre is home to many touristy shops. Although not technically part of the street, the neighbouring Alberni intersection is home to a variety of high-end shops such as Louis Vuitton and Hermès.
  • Pacific Centre has more than 150 shops, restaurants and services if you want to walk in an underground shopping centre. The shopping centre begins at a flagship Nordstrom store on the north end at Robson Street, and stretches all the way to Pender Street. There are many floors in the mall depending on where you are, and notable merchants include Holt Renfrew, Harry Rosen, GAP, H&M and Apple Store; the mall is connected to the Bay (at Georgia and Granville streets), and Vancouver Centre (a small mall mainly consisting of a lotto centre, London Drugs, and a food court underneath Scotiabank).
  • Gastown. Is the oldest neighbourhood in Vancouver but is being reborn as a fashion and modern urban design district. Historic buildings house hip restaurants, galleries, and interior design and high-fashion shops.
  • Yaletown is also popular for its non-mainstream fashion boutiques and high-end salons. A few Popular Yaletown Shopping Streets are: Mainland St., Hamilton St., and Pacific Blvd.
  • Granville Island is an interesting place to go if you fancy the arts. The area boasts a Public Market, an art school (Emily Carr University of Art + Design), shops, a world music instrument store, restaurants, theatres, galleries, a hotel, boat docks and more.
  • Kerrisdale is the area centred around 41st, between Maple St and Blenheim St, consisting of roughly a hundred or so boutique-like shops, restaurants, and stores (chain or otherwise) in an affluent neighbourhood.
  • Commercial Drive, especially the stretch between 3rd Avenue and Venables St. in East Van, is great for people-watching, produce (Santa Barbara Market), cheese (La Grotta del Formaggio), sausage (JN&Z Deli), etc.
  • Main Street, south of Broadway stretching to around 30th Avenue, has a vibrant and expanding collection of independent restaurants, cafés, high-end niche clothing stores and small boutiques.
  • East Hastings between Renfrew and Clark offers some of the best hidden delights in the city. There are many eclectic produce stores (Donald's Market). Sausage and salami producers here are some of the best in the city (Moccia's Italian Market).
  • Chinatown around Main and Pender, and westwards down Pender from Main, is an old historic landmark with grocery and herbal medicine markets that mimic the ethnic flavors, sights and sounds of Eastern Asia. Other modern Chinatowns have sprung up around 41st Ave. and Victoria Drive, also in Richmond and Surrey.
  • Punjabi Market around Main, between 41st and 49th Ave. Good, cheap Punjabi food along with some Punjabi fashion; street signs are correspondingly in Punjabi.

There are some unique shopping areas in Kitsilano and East Van. In Kits you can visit the first store of Vancouver-born and based athletic retailer,Lululemon Athletica, sporting popular yoga-inspired apparel. Gore-tex jackets are ubiquitous in Vancouver and the best place to buy them is at Mountain Equipment Co-op, Taiga Works or one of the other outdoorsy stores clustered together on the east-west main drag called Broadway (equivalent to 9th Avenue, running between 8th and 10th) between Cambie St. and Main St., just east of the Kitsilano area.

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