Shopping in Canada
If you are looking for souvenirs from Canada you should read this.
Canada is a country with many shopping opportunities. In it you can find clothing stores, sporting goods, mountain, technology, jewellry and a great gastronomic assortment where the king of all flavors is maple syrup, used in sweets, teas, as well as in many other dishes. Going shopping in Canada can be very economical, depending on how the Canadian dollar is at the time of travel.
The cities that are major avenues and shopping centers are Toronto, where there is the Eaton Center, The Bay, Yonge Street and its Fashion District; Ottawa, where you can visit the Byward Market, Bayshore and Rideau Center; Montreal, with rue Sherbrooke, Marché Bonsecours and Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, where the young designers are located; Vancouver, where the best area to go shopping is Downtown; and Quebec, where many of the stores are located in the old part of the city, such as Cartier Avenue, Saint-Louis and De Buade, among others.
As in the United States, in Canada, it is possible to update your wardrobe with clothing brands with prices much cheaper than in Europe. Some of the favourite brands are Levi's, Gap, Converse and Abercrombie, of which you can find a great variety for men, women or children. The country also has luxury brands such as Gucci, Prada or Channel, as well as designs by Canadian designers. The price will depend on how the currency is at the time of travel. In Toronto, one of the best shopping areas is between Spadina Avenue and King Street and is considered the fashion district, although it was formerly where many of the clothing factories that today have closed, were located. It is full of shops. Downtown also has a variety of shops, while large firms are concentrated along Bloor Street and Yorkville. If you are looking for local design, the best option is Toronto Eaton Center and Plateau Mont-Royal, the latter in Montreal.
Canada is a country rich in handicrafts because it has different ethnic groups spread throughout the country such as the Inuit, First Nations, the Kwakiutl and Métis, among others. Many of the stores have indigenous objects that include carved sculptures, leather objects, masks, woollen fabrics, costume jewellery with ethnic motifs and totems. The latter is important in religious ceremonies, and are carved in wood and generally represent some kind of animal. In Vancouver the best area to buy crafts is Gastown; in Toronto do not miss the Kensington Market or the craft market of Waterfront; and in Ottawa, one of the best is the Byward Market Square.
In Canada, one of the most precious luxury items is diamonds, which are listed as one of the whitest in the world. They were discovered in the north of the country, in the arctic zone, in 1985 near Lac de Gras, in Yukon. Currently, this is one of the best areas to buy diamond rings, since that is where many of the shops and workshops of artisans are located. Another place where diamonds have achieved great popularity is Nunavut, in the northern territories. In large cities such as Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal or Vancouver, it is also easy to find them in jewellery stores along the commercial avenues. To make sure they are authentic it is recommended to ask for the certificate of authenticity.
Maple syrup is one of the most typical products of Canada. It is the symbol of the country and also appears on their flag. The sap, which is what is used to make the syrup, is used in sweets and other typical delicacies of the country. To buy it, head to any supermarket or gastronomic store of any big city like Toronto, such as the St. Lawrence Market; or in Ottawa, Montreal or Vancouver, as well as the small surrounding towns.
Canada is characterized by its incredible nature, so it is not surprising that both its citizens and visitors are keen to embark on outdoor activities. The star sport in winter is skiing, as well as ice skating; while during the summer, the favourite activity of all the Canadians is hiking and camping. There are many shops dedicated to these type of sports, so it is possible to buy all the equipment at a good price. Some of the most popular businesses are the Canada Tire chain, which is in many of the major cities; and Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC).
Ice Hockey is one of the most popular Canadian sports, so the country has several stores dedicated to articles related to this discipline. From t-shirts of the best-known teams such as the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maples Leafs to helmets, gloves, sticks, bibs and skates. These types of items can be found in many of the sports stores in the shopping centres of large cities. In Vancouver on Robson Street, there are numerous shops of all kinds, while in Toronto the best-known sports shops are Yonge and Bloor.