School’s done, trees are decorated, and we’ve even had some unexpected snowfalls. The holiday season always seems so far away until suddenly it’s here. With just a short time left until the big day, plenty of folks are wrapping up their gift preparations. And with talk of supply chain challenges, and uncertainty with shipping times as local highways continue their ongoing repairs, it’s a great year to shop local, especially focusing on small businesses. It’s time to start your last minute holiday shopping in Vancouver!
Luckily, the Vancouver region has several great destination shopping areas that are known for their unique businesses and interesting options – along with restaurants and cafes for a quick lunch or coffee along the way. Here’s a few of our favourites…
Best Spots for Last-Minute Holiday Shopping in Vancouver
Lonsdale Quay Market
The Lonsdale Quay Market first opened as part of the Expo ’86 celebrations but it’s been a busy destination ever since. Currently undergoing a revitalization, the Lonsdale Quay has a number of small businesses, gift shops, community resources, and more. Located at the Sea Bus terminal in North Vancouver, it’s an easy hop to get over to for folks in Vancouver, leaving from Waterfront Station.
River Market at the Quay
This long-time favourite destination on the Fraser River in New Westminster features a great food fair, several restaurants, a market, and a handful of unique shops featuring everything from specialty yarns to board games and natural soaps. The River Market is just a short walk from Columbia Street, so if you don’t find what you’re looking for, head to downtown New Westminster for more.
The Drive – Commercial Drive
Known locally as The Drive, this area boasts an incredibly diverse array of shopping and dining, including Vancouver’s Little Italy district. There’s book stores, art shops, children’s clothing, bakeries, and more, as well as festive decorations along the way thanks to the annual Christmas on the Drive event (which was held in late November, but includes festive décor and a tree lighting which remains throughout the season.)
Fort Langley Village
Go back in time for an afternoon of shopping in the historic Fort Langley community. Small shops and a picturesque community will have you feeling like you’re starring in a Hallmark holiday movie. Known for their antique shops, along with plenty of clothing, gift, and specialty shops, there’s something for everyone on your gift list and the perfect spot for last-minute holiday shopping in Vancouver.
There’s a reason so many Hollywood movies film in Steveston – it’s a picture-perfect small town community, complete with seaside wharf and a busy main street. The entire area covers only a few blocks, making it a great walk for a day of shopping and maybe some fish and chips for lunch. It might be a little cold for ice cream but there’s plenty to be had if wanted.
One of the oldest shopping districts in the region is the historic Heights district, along Hastings Street in Burnaby. There’s more than 300 diverse retail shops and services, from chocolate shops to clothing stores, along with plenty of long-time favourite restaurants. Many of the businesses here have been in operation for decades. And there’s plenty of butchers, bakers, and markets, so you can get your holiday meal supplies at the same time.
West 4th – Kitsilano
For those right in Vancouver, there’s no better place to go for shopping than iconic West 4th in Kitsilano. There are hundreds of stores along this artery, along with some of the city’s favourite restaurants. From major chains, like Lush and Lululemon, to small family-owned businesses, there’s everything from soaps to toys to nuts in this area that’s ideal for holiday shopping in Vancouver.