Shopping in Vancouver!

Old Apr 16th, 2008, 12:47 PM
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Shopping in Vancouver!


Any suggestions, I'm visiting for a week in May and plan on hitting the shops hard. I am use to shopping in New York so any feedback on how much of a saving there will be in Canada instead???

All advice much appreciated.
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Old Apr 16th, 2008, 04:22 PM
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I'm not sure how much has changed in recent months, but generally speaking, Canadian retailers charge more than American for the same products (this is true for clothing, books, cars, you name it).

In fact, many Canadians go to the States to bargain shop, even when the CAD was only worth ~0.75 USD. And with the dollars so close now, that advantage for the American shopper is pretty much gone.
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Old Apr 16th, 2008, 06:58 PM
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Any suggestions for small gifts (under $10) that I can bring home to California that is uniquely Canadian, preferably something I can't buy in California like Maple syrup?

I hope you don't mind my question on your thread, glumbug!

Thanks.
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Old Apr 17th, 2008, 08:21 AM
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annetti,

It's hard to think of something that's uniquely Canadian, especially compared to what can be bought in the States.

Are you also visiting Vancouver/BC? If so, then maybe some aboriginal artwork/crafts? They wouldn't be uniquely Canadian as I'm pretty sure the native cultures in Washington state are similar, but it would be different from you would find in California.

Smoked salmon seems to be the west coast equivalent of maple syrup.
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Old Apr 17th, 2008, 08:23 AM
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Oh, another popular gift idea on the forums is ice wine (though not a cheap one). I know California has great wineries, but I don't think ice wine is made there (doesn't get cold enough).
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Old Apr 17th, 2008, 10:09 AM
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Yes, you might be able to get those little bottles of ice wine for around $10 (it's from the Okanagan in B.C., and most will assert that it's far superior to New York ice wine). We've also bought smoked scallops, smoked salmon, maple sugar candy for pretty cheap. But the aboriginal art -- buy that for yourself, and be prepared to pay a bit. We bought a couple of wall carvings a few years back, and gave one to the son of a friend. Well, on last year's trip we found that the price of those same types of items had at least tripled. Hope that young man appreciates his piece of art!
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Old Apr 17th, 2008, 11:45 PM
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"I am use to shopping in New York "

Prepare to be underwhelmed-shopping isn't what this place is about at all.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 08:03 AM
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Yes, SheilaDawn, I will be in Vancouver and Victoria, too. I like the idea of some Native crafts (probably for me!!; I doubt they'll be in the gift price range,) but some note cards would work. Smoked salmon and maple candy sound like inexpensive good ideas. I've heard of the ice wines, but never tasted them. Thank you, Sludick. Another good idea. I, always find supermarkets a great place to buy inexpensive gifts when traveling. I'll look for some of these items there, THank you, all!
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 08:08 AM
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annetti

If you are planning on buying some ice wine (even the small sample bottles) you will have to go to a liquor store. Alcohol is not sold in grocery stores in Canada (at least not in BC and Alberta). In BC, all the liquor stores are owned/operated by the provincial government.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 08:54 AM
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... except for the privately owned wine and beer stores in B.C. Don't know about Alberta.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 09:01 AM
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BowenLinda

Just an FYI in case you're curious, the Alberta government privatized liquor stores in 2003, so there are no more government run ones.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 10:46 AM
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Thank you, SheilaDawn, I did know that wine was sold in gov't stores, but I had forgotten. I originally come from Pennsylvania, so I am well acquainted with the concept.Thanks for the reminder.

Sludick: Years ago (let's say more than 30!!) on my first and only trip to Vancouver, I bought a large Native black and white woodcut of a dog (it must be 24x30" big on fine white paper. I loved it because it reminded me of my beloved dog. The artist's name is CB Gruel. Does that mean anything to anyone? I probably paid less than $5 for it at the time and I remember my mother complaining that it cost more to frame than the purchase itself. However, I still have it in a place of honor in my living room. And I still enjoy it.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 10:48 AM
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It's ShelliDawn NOT SheilaDawn! Sorry!!
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 06:39 PM
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I'll be watching to see if someone has heard of CB Gruel -- I don't know, myself. Note cards are a good idea -- cannot recall if I saw them in Vancouver, but did buy some somewhere. The art style is pretty distinctive, and I think those who see it every day may not realize how different it is. We've purchased a number of little totem poles and cleverly carved items; even, as you say, grocery items that are not here (unrefined sugar cubes, HP sauce, etc.) that are real treat to us. Have a lot of fun.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 08:49 PM
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Thank you, Sludick.
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 11:15 AM
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I did a Google search for "CB Gruel" and it appears his artworks from the 1950's:

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=...=Google+Search

I haven't personally heard of him, but I'd head to Hill's Native art on Water Street in Gastown or to the Coastal Peoples Gallery in Yaletown and see if they're familiar with his art. If so, they may be able to order some especially for you.
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Old Apr 19th, 2008, 11:50 AM
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Thanks, Carmanah for the link. I checked it out and that is the art style of my dog. It certainly has not gone up greatly in price since I purchased it so many yrs ago, but as I wrote above, I still enjoy it. I'm not a collector by any means and find as I get older that possessions get me down, so I won't be buying anything, but it would be fun to browse some of the galleries you suggested when we visit Vancouver. We are doing a five week home exchange so we are really looking forward to seeing the city in a leisurely fashion.
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