Holiday Shopping in Vancouver: Downtown District

Downtown District Shopping

The holidays are upon us and while deals across the border might seem tempting, merchants around the city are stepping up their game to offer discounts, packages, and unique retail experiences for shoppers. To promote local spending, I’ve talked to several local business improvement associations about what makes their neighbourhood shine for shoppers. This week’s feature is the Downtown District.


The Downtown District is promoted by the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (Downtown Vancouver BIA) and it encompasses The Heritage District (West Hastings: Burrard to Richards Streets); Alberni at Burrard Street; Library Square; Granville Street (Granville Bridge to Waterfront Station at West Cordova); and Hornby Street.

Downtown District Shopping

I spoke with Ivy Haisell, Member Service Manager at Downtown Vancouver BIA to find out more about shopping in the Downtown District:

What sets the Downtown District apart?
Bright lights, big city. The area has a beautiful setting, it’s a real urban experience that very few cities can boast. There are also world class restaurants, luxury hospitality that comes to life after work.

What are some of the area’s unique services/items?
The weekly ambassador hot sheet, available in PDF form, provides a glance at special events, activities, and sales within the area.

Check out the gingerbread houses at Hyatt, Christmas trees at Four Seasons, Christmas village at Canada place, the Christmas tree at Jack Poole Plaza with the cauldron in the background, trees at the Sutton Place Hotel, the Vancouver Christmas Market, ice skating at Robson Square, gorgeous holiday window displays, and more.

Downtown District Shopping

In the Downtown District you’ll find unique shops within Pacific Centre Mall, Top Shop, Victoria Secret, Holt Renfrew, Leone, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry.

One of the DVBIA’s new holiday programs is valet parking on Alberni Street that you can use in front of Blubird or Coast for $12.

After all your shopping you’ll need to take a lunch break at one of the city’s many food carts, sipping Thierry’s drinking chocolate, sugar buns at Giovane, cocktails at Market, sushi at Miku, Cartem’s Doughnuts, Trees Café’s cheesecake, comfort food at Templeton, Meat and Bread, the 6lb burger at Two Parrots, Earnest Ice Cream, and pie at Betty on Burrard.

Photo credit: Clayton Perry Photoworks on Flickr

Photo credit: Clayton Perry Photoworks on Flickr

Downtown District Shopping

Treats at Urban Tea Merchant

How does the area cater to local and visitors alike?
So many live and work in the area and Ivy Haisell says their definite focus is about making downtown really enjoyable to be for locals first and foremost. They have the ambassador program, to help all visitors and locals curate their downtown experience. Ambassadors have iPad Minis to help look up information, hot sheets with recommendations of what to eat and see, and they even have iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 chargers to offer a quick boost upon request.

Downtown District Shopping

Tourism Vancouver’s Holiday Shopping Days

Be sure to check out Tourism Vancouver’s Holiday Shopping Days from November 22nd until December 1st, 2013 for holiday deals, shopping and hotel packages, attraction passes and more.

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