Santa’s been making his list and checking it twice. Have you? As the holidays approach, now’s a good time to get organized if you aren’t already. With communities around the Lower Mainland being encouraged to stay close to home and limit outings in the coming weeks, there’s never been a better year to focus on local and to support the small, independent, and family-owned businesses in your neighbourhoods.
Many stores now offer online shopping or curbside pick-up options. Here are a few of our favourites in the Metro Vancouver region to keep in mind as you start making your to-do list for gifts and more this month.
Knotty Toys | knottytoys.com
#14-1496 Cartwright St., Vancouver
Located right in kid-heaven at the Granville Island Kids Market, Knotty Toys offers the largest collection of wooden toys in Canada, including puzzles, games, dollhouses, building blocks, model kits, musical instruments, rocking horses and much more.
Toy Traders | toytraders.ca
19880 Langley Bypass, Langley
Toy Traders first opened their doors in 1995 and has become BC’s largest independent toy store and Canada’s largest collectible store, carrying a stock of thousands of new and popular toys, along with a huge array of specialty and fan items. Toy Traders also offers a unique trade feature, which allows customers to trade in gently used toys for store credit. (Note: Toy Traders does not have an online store, but has safety practices in place at the store.)
Splash Toys | splashtoyshop.ca
140-3580 Moncton St., Richmond
A favourite of locals and tourists alike, Splash Toys is located in the heart of Steveston Village in Richmond. Offering a wide range of toys from toy makers around the world, the store has a little bit of everything for all ages. From Lego to Ravensburger puzzles, magic tricks and bath toys, Splash might just be the one-stop-shop for gifts for little ones.
Kidsbooks | kidsbooks.ca
2557 West Broadway, Vancouver
3040 Edgemont Boulevard, North Vancouver
Kidsbooks has been in operation for nearly 40 years, first with a Vancouver store and later an expansion into North Vancouver with a second location. Both shops have proven to be family favourites – in fact, the company has received the Specialty Bookseller of the Year award from the Canadian Booksellers Association three times. (Interesting history note: they were the first store in Canada to sell the Harry Potter series back in 1998.) Their website offers great book suggestions by age and interest.
Kinder Books | kinderbooks.ca
101-810 Quayside Dr, New Westminster
Located inside the ever-popular River Market on the New Westminster waterfront, Kinder Books has been a popular destination for children’s books since it opened in 2011. With a focus on offering diverse and inclusive children’s books that spark the imagination and interest in the world, Kinder Books is a great destination to find a unique new title or a favourite classic.
OUTDOOR GEAR AND CLOTHES
Mountain Kids in Whistler | mountainkids.ca
Heart of Whistler Village
A little beyond the city limits, this retailer is a well known “local” name for outdoor gear in the place best known for being outdoors – Whistler. Offering a huge range of clothing and equipment for recreation activities through their online shopping portal, you needn’t wait to visit the shop take advantage of their stock; they’ll simply ship it right to you. From snowboarding to rain boots, toques to gloves, the store has everything you need for all-season fun.
Jan and Jul Kids Outdoor Gear | janandjul.com
Online or at various independent shops
This Vancouver-based company designs outdoor gear that’s inspired by the local climate and focused on ethical manufacturing. Jan & Jul is a division of Twinklebelle Design aimed at giving kids the right gear to be outside in all weather. Jan & Jul stands for January and July – or, in Vancouver terms: rain and sun.
CANDY AND CHOCOLATE
Into Chocolate Candy and Confections | intochocolate.ca
180-9220 Glover Road, Fort Langley
127-17449 Highway 10, Cloverdale
With two locations in historic communities – Fort Langley and Cloverdale – this local chocolate and candy business is a great destination for stocking stuffers and holiday treats. From vintage sodas to European hot chocolate, handmade creations done in house by the company chocolatier and products from BC and around the world, there’s plenty of options at Into Chocolate.
The Candy Kitchen at Granville Island Market | granvilleisland.com
142-1689 Johnston Street, Vancouver
Located inside the Granville Island Public Market, this shop offers imported candies, handmade Belgian chocolates, a wide selection of organic and sugar-free chocolates, as well as a range of collectible Pez designers and enormous swirled lollipops.
MARKETS AND CRAFTS
Nikkei Place Craft Fair | centre.nikkeiplace.org
6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby
Local vendors will be offering their wares at the annual Nikkei Craft Market. This popular event has been modified for 2020 and is scheduled to be open on several weekends through late November and December (check back regularly for updates or potential closures if local health orders are changed). The market features handmade Japanese-themed items along with Christmas crafts and goods from local entrepreneurs including artisans, knitters, designers and more. The event is currently scheduled to run Nov. 27 to 29, December 4 to 6, and Decembr 11 to 13.
Weirdos Holiday Market Pop Up | facebook.com/events
2308 W. Broadway, Vancouver
The Weirdos Holiday Market returns for its fourth year with the “raddest of weird unique gifts (and) oddball selection of locally made wares.” The market has been reimagined this year to keep with Covid protocols, and will therefore be running as a pop-up shop for five weeks in a storefront on Broadway in the heart of Kitsilano. The pop-up runs from now until Christmas Eve. The shop will offer solo shopping windows by appointment during particular windows and can offer curbside pickup. Check out their Facebook page for more info.
Fort Langley Winter Farmer’s Market | fortlangleyvillagefarmersmarket.org
9025 Glover Road, Fort Langley
Due to demand, the popular outdoor Fort Langley Winter Farmer’s Market has extended their season to run every Saturday until December 19 from 9 am to 3 pm. With food, vegetables, custom jewelry, hand-made soaps, artwork, glassware, knitting, children’s clothing, candles and more, this outdoor market is a great way to support local artisans and designers along with local farmers and small business owners.
The British Store | thebritishstore.ca
13369-72 Ave, Surrey
If you’re originally from the UK, or simply have fond memories of travelling there – or a parent or grandparent who grew up there, you may be in the mood for some biscuits, crisps, tea cakes, or other British fares. Look no further. We have it on good authority (they announced it on their website) that Christmas treats have arrived at the British Store, a shop dedicated entirely to food, drinks, treats, and small gifts from the UK. The shop offers online shopping with shipping across Canada and the US. For a quirky stocking stuffer, or a family favourite treat, check out the stock at the British Store.
Tagged under: Vancouver