The major shopping areas in Vancouver are Park Royal in West Vancouver, the Business District in the Downtown (includes Pacific Centre Mall), West 4th Avenue in Kitsilano, Metrotown Mall and surrounding area in Burnaby, Brentwood Mall in Burnaby, Oakridge Mall and West 41st Avenue in Kerrisdale (Westside Vancouver), Cambie Village (Cambie and Broadway), and South Granville Street (Westside Vancouver). Of course there are many more shopping areas, but these are among the most popular.
Park Royal is a family shopping center, with stores such as Banana Republic, The Body Shop, Lululemon Athletica, Gap, Old Navy, Whole Foods, Guess, Esprit, Future Shop, and Home Depot. Park Royal is spread out over both sides of Marine Drive in West Vancouver, and is one of the largest shopping areas in the greater Vancouver area. Most stores here would be considered low to mid-scale in price.
Park Royal Shopping Centre
2002 Park Royal South
The Downtown offers high-end, luxury shopping from many of the best designers and fashion houses. Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Cartier, Gucci, Coach Leatherwear, Versace, Dolce and Gabbana, and Escada are all represented here, sprinkled throughout the business district. Pacific Centre is an up-scale mall with higher-end stores than other malls in Vancouver. Holt Renfrew is located in the Pacific Centre, and features luxury collections of designer clothing and accessories for the entire family. Holt Renfrew is comparable to Saks 5th Avenue in NYC. Stores in the downtown business district are high-end in both price and quality.
701 West Georgia Street
West 4th Avenue features a hodgepodge of eclectic locally-owned boutiques and mid-scale stores and restaurants. You’ll find several baby and children’s boutiques with unique non-massed produced products tending toward a natural flavor, a handful of maternity stores, a row of skate stores featuring skater clothing and accessories, kitchen and housewares stores, all kinds of restaurants and eateries including Hell’s Kitchen, Sophie’s Cosmic Café (award-winning landmark), Trattoria Italian Kitchen, and Las Margaritas. There are charming, eclectic book stores such as Banyen Books and Sound, featuring a large collection of new age books, and The Travel Bug bookstore, with over 10,000 travel books in stock, and of course, several coffee shops/cafes where it is possible to get a quality cup of freshly-brewed coffee. Stores here are mid-scale in price, but some are more expensive than others, and some of the eateries are upscale.
Metrotown is the largest of all the shopping centers in the area, featuring over 400 stores in the mall alone, and more in the surrounding area. Metrotown offers everything from BCBG fashions to Coach handbags to Sears to Zellers. If you want it, they probably have it; the selection is terrific, and there are plenty of lounge areas to sit down and rest your weary feet (the mall is large), as well as an extensive food court offering all kinds of fast food, sushi, Chinese, and other ethnic and North American-type cuisine. You can get passport photographs, shop for Asian food at T&T, buy groceries at Real Canadian Superstore, buy movies and video games at HMV, shop for new clothes, get your new clothes altered on the spot (Stitch International), take in a movie, and refurbish your entire home, all in the course of one day without ever leaving the building. Stores here range from upscale and pricey to midscale to lower-end (Zellers, dollar stores, etc.). There is something for everyone. Across the street from the mall is Best Buy, and just a few blocks away is another small shopping enclave known as Station Square, featuring a few shops and eateries, a large Save-On Foods supermarket, and Future Shop, similar to Best Buy (and, in fact, owned by the same company).
Metropolis at Metrotown
4700 Kingsway (between Willingdon and Royal Oak)
Brentwood Town Centre is located next to Brentwood Station in Burnaby, at Lougheed and Willingdon. Although one of the smaller malls, it offers a range of stores, including Sears, Zellers, London Drugs, Marks Work Wearhouse, American Eagle Outfitters, EB Games, Shoe Warehouse, and a food court with several popular eateries. Most stores here are low to mid-priced.
Brentwood Town Centre
4567 Lougheed Highway
Oakridge Centre is situated at Cambie and West 41st Avenue, in south Vancouver. It is a fairly large mall, with a similar offering of stores as Metrotown, although most of the stores tend to be in the mid to higher-priced range, with names such as BCBG MAX AZRIA, Hugo Boss, DKNY, and Coach, The Gap, United Colours of Benetton, Lacoste, and Gymboree. Oakridge also houses a Safeway, The Bay, Zellers, and a cinema. West 41st Avenue is in the heart of Kerrisdale, an older, well-established Westside neighborhood, and offers fine shopping with upscale boutiques and quiet elegance. You’ll find such gems as the majestic Thomas Hobbs Florist—with the reputation of being the finest florist in Vancouver, Finn’s of Kerrisdale—offering fine men and women’s imported designer clothing, Oscar’s Art Books—one of the few places to find real art books in Vancouver, Forster’s Fine Cheese—offering fine and gourmet cheeses, and Currans of Kerrisdale—an old-fashioned lingerie shop with service and atmosphere to match. Not for the budget-conscious, these upscale shops are pricey, but the quality is high, and the atmosphere one of understated elegance.
650 West 41st Avenue
Cambie Village spans the area between the Cambie Bridge and King Edward Avenue (25th Ave). The new Canada Line SkyTrain runs along what is known as the Cambie Corridor, and has helped to revive this area with clusters of new shops and stores and a new shopping district centered around the intersection of Broadway and Cambie. The heart is the Crossroads building, housing such big names as Whole Foods, London Drugs, and a Lululemon Athletica workshop. Across Cambie to the east is Save-On Foods, Canadian Tire, Winners/HomeSense, Best Buy, and Home Depot, all new locations. The atmosphere is trendy, slightly upscale, with some of the fun and funky flavor of the nearby hip district of Main and Broadway. South of Crossroads, up the hill toward City Hall is City Square, a shopping center with a handful of intriguing stores, including Cookshop—offering all kinds of wonderful kitchen gadgets and quality cookware, DaniaDown—offering products for the bedroom, bath, and home, Crankpots Ceramic Studio—you-paint ceramics, and Purple Grape Wineworks—helping you make your own wine. There is also a Safeway, Kin’s Farm Market (fresh conventional produce), Canada Post outlet, Scotia Bank, and Purolator (overnight and express shipping). Across West 12th Avenue, near the intersection of Cambie and West 12th, is a gem of a liquor store called Firefly Fine Wines and Ales. The store is brilliantly categorized by taste rather than by country or grape, making it easier to find the perfect bottle.
555 West 12th Avenue (12th and Cambie)
South Granville is elegant, chic, and fashionable, with its haughty boutiques and home furnishings stores, coffee and tea shops, upscale kitchen and cookware stores, trendy salons, and gourmet supermarket. Here you’ll find such stores as Pottery Barn (only location in Vancouver), Restoration Hardware, Williams-Sonoma, Ming Wo (kitchen and cookware supply), Cookworks, Meinhardt Fine Foods, Bombay, Country Furniture (upscale), EQ3, Farmhouse Collections, Industrial Revolution, and Urban Barn. You’ll also find Persian carpet dealers, fabric stores, a Chapters bookstore, and many other interesting places to visit. The flavor here is high to mid-range in price. South Granville has been voted one of Vancouver’s best places to shop, and it isn’t hard to find just what you might be looking for.