Yes, Vancouver has its fair share of problems—astronomical housing prices being just one of them—but the holidays are all about recognizing and appreciating what you have (and by extension, where you live), right? Plus, we all know at least one born-and-raised Vancouverite or staunch West-Coast-Best-Coaster who would rather die than relocate even a few kilometres outside the temperate, pot-friendly, and lush metropolis they call home.
If anything, the below items—many of them designed or produced right here in B.C.—make an apt memento for those planning their departure in the New Year. (Just keepin’ it real.)
Cross my heart
It’s not quite as sizable as Ken Lum’s Monument for East Vancouver, which glows at the corner of Clark Drive and East 6th Avenue, but Vancouver Christmas Ornament’s East Van Cross ($20) is just as striking. Crafted from blown glass and hand-painted to capture every distinct detail, the decorative piece offers evergreens a tough, I-came-up-on-the-streets edge.
Find it at Bird on a Wire Creations (2535 Main Street).
From the people who brought you those “Toronto vs. Everybody” shirts that anyone who spends even five waking minutes in Hogtown seems to acquire—yes, including your fraud of a friend who captions every Insta post with “#westcoastbestcoast”—comes a collection of equally minimal “Home is Vancouver” threads designed to inspire pride in B.C. dwellers. Check out the taupe crewneck ($64.99) for men and women, which goes swimmingly with the region’s decidedly low-key steeze.
Find it at Front & Company (3772 Main Street).
Modelled after traditional room keys typically found at mountain lodges on the West Coast, this leather keychain ($60) offers a more subtle way to show your love to Vancouver. Produced by local accessories label Maple Co., the made-in-Canada patch is inscribed with the words Great Northern Lodge and a drop-in-any-mailbox postage guarantee seen on vintage room rings.
Find it at Haven (53 East Cordova Street).
City in colour
Vancouver’s most vibrant neighbourhoods get even brighter—thanks to your choice of crayon, pencil crayon, or marker—in Pender Gai Books’ locally illustrated colouring book ($15) inspired by the people, places, and things that make our city unique. Depicted areas include Kitsilano, Commercial Drive, and Chinatown, while Science World, the West End’s A-maze-ing Laughter statue, and the SeaBus also make appearances.
Find it at Paper-Ya (9–1666 Johnston Street).
You’ve likely seen Vancouver Candle Co.’s neighbourhood lights around town—boasting scents that cleverly bring to life areas like Fairview and Mount Pleasant—but the company’s new Great White North collection includes a candle (from $20) that pays tribute to the West Coast as a whole. With woodsy notes of fir, spruce, and oakmoss, it’s the perfect gift for those itching for the aroma of B.C.’s great outdoors at home.
Find it at LYNNSteven Boutique (225 Carrall Street).
Off the grid
For the graphic-design nerds on your list, there’s Typecart’s Greater Vancouver map ($22.50). Combining the arts of typography and cartography, the locally founded group produces maps that illustrate neighbourhoods using a rainbow of fonts, sizes, and colours. The collective also makes prints devoted to icons such as the much loved and loathed Vancouver Special.
Find it at London Fields Shoppe (692 East Hastings Street).
Head to head
A gift guide dedicated to Vancouver-centric items wouldn’t be complete without something from local apparel biz Vancity Original. The streetwear shop is known mostly for its red, black, and white Vancity logo caps and Ts, but we’re especially fond of the leather-patch beanie ($30), which displays the familiar graphic in a slightly elevated way that keeps your noggin warm.
Find it at Vancity Original (819 Hornby Street).
Prove your allegiance to Vancouver’s West or East Side with Riding the Pine’s bus scroll tea towel ($17). The locally hand-screened prints take from the destination scrolls employed on trolley buses in Vancouver during the ’50s with text indicating stops like Jericho, Kerrisdale, and Marpole on the West Side and Gastown, Strathcona, and Killarney on the East.
Find it at Favourite Gifts at Lonsdale Quay Market (123 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver).
Looking for more gift ideas? Check out the Georgia Straight's 2017 holiday gift guide here.More