Shopping in Canada offers something for everyone. Whether you’re fond of the finer things in life - from wines and whiskies to precious gems - or a fan of cute and cuddly keepsakes, Canada has it all. With a commitment to sustainability and a thriving indigenous shopping scene, it also delivers feel-good retail therapy in spades. Our shopping guide will help you hunt down the best treasures the country has to offer.

Shopping Advice and Etiquette

You’ll be spoiled for choice when shopping in Canada. The country is a retail paradise, home to some of the world’s biggest mega-malls, one-of-a-kind shops, markets and boutiques. Major cities like Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal have a mix of local and international brands, while high-end stores include Holt Renfrew, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom. When it comes to opening hours, few shops in Canada (except for supermarkets) stay open 24 hours. Most shopping centres open from 10am-9pm Monday to Friday, and from 9.30am-6pm (or in some cases 9pm) on Saturdays and 12pm-5pm on Sundays. One of the great things about shopping in Canada is the country’s commitment to sustainability; many retailers implement eco-friendly practices, such as using recycled materials and reducing waste. Some stores even offer incentives to customers who bring in their own reusable bags or containers. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best buys to pick up during a trip to Canada.

Maple Syrup

During late winter and spring, farmers start tapping their maple trees across the country. The extracted liquid is a sweet syrup that locals and travellers alike use in a variety of ways. Sweet-toothed fans visiting Canada in the spring can even attend a maple syrup festival to indulge in all things maple, like tasting the liquid gold straight from the tree, eating maple taffy rolled in the snow and more. As one of Canada’s most popular products, maple syrup can be found almost everywhere, from farms and grocery stores to gift shops all over the country.

Indigenous Crafts

One of the most interesting aspects of shopping in Canada is the range of indigenous-owned businesses offering products including clothing, jewellery and art reflecting the country’s rich culture and traditions. Visitors can pick up beautiful hand-crafted pieces like dreamcatchers, totem poles and beaded jewellery, but another item to look out for is an Inukshuk, a traditional stone structure used by the Inuit people for navigation and communication.

Canadian Whiskey

Canada is home to some of the best whiskey distilleries in the world, and there’s no shortage of brands and flavours to tickle your tastebuds. Some of the most popular Canadian brands include Crown Royal, Canadian Club and Forty Creek and you’ll find these labels and more at liquor stores across the country, as well as at duty-free shops in airports. Whether you’re a whiskey connoisseur or just looking for a classic souvenir, be sure to pop a bottle in your basket when shopping in Canada. 

Tim Horton’s Coffee

Tim Horton’s is known as the nation’s coffee shop. A visit to Tim Horton’s for a coffee and a doughnut is a must when in Canada. It all started in the 1970s when hockey players Tim Horton and Jim Charade opened the very first Tim Horton’s in Hamilton, Ontario. Now you can find your perfect blend at some 3,500 Tim Horton’s shops in small towns and cities dotted across the country.

Canadian Diamonds

Canadian diamonds are incredibly desirable due to their conflict-free origins. The government also imposes strict laws regarding sustainable practices and offering fair wages to miners, making Canadian diamonds some of the most ethically sourced in the world. Plus, they feature a distinct structure that allows for better light flow and less irregularities. There are diamond mines across the Northwest Territories, as well as in other locations like Ontario and Quebec, and magpies can shop for rocks in shops like Peoples and Ben Moss.

Ice Wine

This unique type of wine gets its name from the fact that the grapes used to make it are frozen on the vine; winemakers pick and press the grapes before they thaw to create a flavourful treat. Due to its sweetness, ice wine is typically considered a dessert wine, and it makes a fantastic gift or souvenir when shopping in Canada. While several provinces across the country produce ice wine, including British Columbia, Quebec and Nova Scotia, it’s widely agreed that the best ice wine comes from Ontario. Niagara even holds an ice wine festival every January where visitors can enjoy winery tours, tastings and more.

Polar Bear Moose or Beaver Soft Toys

Some of the best souvenirs from Canada are of the cute and cuddly variety. Plus, who can resist Canada’s iconic animal trio: the polar bear, moose and beaver? The beloved moose often comes dressed as a Mountie, complete with full uniform and hat so if you’re searching for a great gift from Canada for the little ones in your life or a plush memento for yourself, look no further.

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