Top 20 Canada Souvenirs to Pick – Vancouver Shopping

43
Canada Souvenirs
Canada Souvenirs

What Canada Souvenirs can I buy – I had this question in mind before visiting Canada. After all the travels, I am not much inclined to buy T-shirts or caps carrying the names of the destinations. I want something authentic, something that has strands of culture in it. Thanks to my discovery of First Nations Culture in British Columbia, there was no dearth of Canada souvenirs to pick.

Of course, there are other Canada souvenirs too that I found for you guys.

First Nations Souvenirs from Canada

Wooden Masks

First Nations Wooden Masks as Canada Souvenirs
First Nations Wooden Masks as Canada Souvenirs

As I explained in my detailed post on First Nations, wooden masks depicting various animals and characters are an integral part of First Nations Culture. You can buy these masks based on your preference. I liked the Thunderbird masks a lot but then you choose the mask you like. Masks are available in sizes that are fit for dancing with them and in miniature forms for collectors

Totem Poles

Miniature Totem Poles as Canada Souvenirs
Miniature Totem Poles as Canada Souvenirs

If you have been reading my posts on Canada, you would know that I am fascinated by the Totem Poles I saw everywhere. I wanted to bring back one – but ones I liked were mostly huge poles. You can again buy them in plain wood or in colored forms. Miniature poles are also available at some shops. I also wanted to make sure that at home these Totem Poles should be treated with the respect that they deserve.

I picked up a fridge magnet depicting a Thunderbird Totem Pole and a bookmark showcasing one. Although, I think I have so many images that I can make some of my own bookmarks.

Cedar Wood Souvenirs

Bentwood Boxes

Bentwood Boxes in Red Cedar Wood
Bentwood Boxes in Red Cedar Wood

These are boxes made by bending a single plank of wood. You can buy the small boxes in most curio shops. The boxes may look simple but it is the way they are manufactured that makes them special.

Bark baskets & Artifacts

Curios from Cedar Bark
Curios from Cedar Bark

Cedar Tree is central to First Nations Cultures. They call it the tree of life and use different parts of Cedar Tree for making different things. You can buy some of these as souvenirs from Canada. Baskets are the easiest souvenirs to carry. I brought back a bracelet made from Cedar Tree Bark.

I think small curios like a canoe made of cedar tree bark and decorated with flowers made from bark look beautiful.

Pocket Spirits – Metal coins with Protective Signs

Pocket Charms - Canada Souvenirs
Pocket Charms – Canada Souvenirs

These are small coin-sized metallic pieces with various signs carved on them. You can choose the one you think you need and keep it as a protective Pocket Spirit in your wallet. Choices include – Healing, Wisdom, Creativity, Love Strength, Peace, Leadership, Energy, Dedication, Grace, Power, Loyalty.

You can also get these as lockets to wear it on you. They are called spirit totems.

Across various souvenir shops in BC I saw that the Love and Healing are the most popular pocket spirits. They were always short of those coins. Does it not tell us what we are looking for in life as human species?

These Canada Souvenirs can be a good wish gesture that is easy on the pocket.

Stone Totems

Stone Totems from Canada
Stone Totems from Canada

The Stone Totems are the stone version of metal Pocket spirits. These are pebbles that have the spiritual signs engraved on them with a word that tells you what the sign can potentially bring to your life. The words were the same as pocket spirits.

You can also find just motifs on the shining stones.

Medicine Stone Jewelry is another form to carry positivity and strength from stones with you. I think as a traveler this would be my choice of BC Souvenir or First Nations Souvenir.

I would choose these to keep at home or at the workplace to invite positive energy.

Woven Blankets or Carpets

Roughly woven woolen shawls or blankets with First Nations Motifs are a lovely way to bring this traditional art form home. First nations weaving techniques that use a stone spindle are being revived. You can buy the handwoven pieces and use them as you like.

I would love to use them as wall pieces – a reminder of the past.

Beadwork Jewelry

Beadwork footwear from Vancouver Canada
Beadwork footwear from Vancouver Canada

Micro-Bead work jewelry is common to most aboriginal people. They weave beautiful patterns in colorful small beads. You can see jewelry made out of these woven small beads or see them decorating footwear.

I have seen similar bead jewelry at Jhabua in India and in Singapore by Peranakans.

Books on First Nations

If you are as curious as I am with First Nations – pick up some books as Canada souvenirs to learn more about their culture and anthropology.

First Nations Art on things like Bags and Wallets & Fridge Magnets

You can buy the everyday use items like bags, wallets, pen stands etc with lovely First Nations motifs on them.

Fun Things to Buy in Canada

Inukshuk

Inukshuk in Jade
Inukshuk in Jade – My Canada Souvenir

The Inukshuk is a set of stone arranged on top of each other. It is a symbol used in mountains for marking the paths and for commemorating events. This iconic symbol was the emblem for Vancouver Olympics 2010 and can be seen at many places. I was fascinated by this symbol that looks like a standing man. I have seen similar stacks of stones in Indian Himalayas too.

You can get Inukshuk in wood, in stone, and in precious stones.

I brought back Inukshuk as Jade locket & I love wearing it.

Fur Shoes & Gloves

Shoes & Gloves in Fur - Souvenirs from Canada
Shoes & Gloves in Fur – Souvenirs from Canada

Fur Shoes look light on feet but would keep you warm in the coldest of the climates. I saw different designs of fur shoes across Vancouver and British Columbia.

An interesting innovation I saw was texting gloves in fur that leave your fingertips open for you to manage your phone while covering the rest of your hands.

I avoid buying animal products so did not buy any. But, if you have no such apprehensions, go ahead and buy yourself some fluffy fur stuff.

Dream Catchers

Every souvenir shop in British Columbia has a bunch of dream catchers. Actually, I found them a lot in Bali as well, so maybe they are the latest totems that people like to wear.

Dream catchers as earrings is a cool and wearable of the Canada Souvenirs to bring back.

Contemporary Jewelry

Fine Filigree Jewelry

Contemporary Jewelry from Canada
Contemporary Jewelry from Canada

Till I saw these finely carved pieces of jewelry by Tess Klein in Vancouver. I believed that this is a fine art that belongs to Odisha in India but art it seems traveled much before I did.

Modern artisans are carving this latticed fine jewelry in gold, silver, sterling silver and copper. These are lightweight, delicate and elegant pieces fit for modern living. With their contemporary style, they are a good buy from Canada for modern and young people.

Stone & Bone Jewelry

Contemporary Bone Jewelry from Canada
Contemporary Bone Jewelry from Canada

At Granville Island public market I found so many artists working on making jewelry on stone, in wood, and in animal bones. They made these lovely motifs on different materials – difficult to resist, believe me. It is fascinating to see a piece being crafted right in front of you. When you know the labor and craft that has gone into making it look that beautiful, you value such souvenirs from Canada or anywhere.

Jade Jewelry

In most souvenir shops you would find Jade souvenirs including the Inukshuks I mentioned earlier. There is a wide range of choice you have from Jewelry to mementos in various motifs.

In a store called ‘Jade’, I saw this big carved stone almost my height.

Did you know Canada has Jade Mines & it exports a lot of Jade to China?

Now that is another reason to pick up a piece of Jade as Canada Souvenir.

Maple Themed Canada Souvenirs

Maple Leaf Artifacts

The Maple Leaf as Canada Souvenir
The Maple Leaf as Canada Souvenir

The Maple leaf is the symbol of Canada. We all associate it strongly with the country. It is obvious that you can get all kinds of souvenirs with the Maple Leaf Motif. I loved the one I found carved in wood. You can, of course, get it on every possible souvenir from Canada from fridge magnets to T-shirts to towels.

Maple – Foodie Souvenirs from Canada

The Maple Fudge - Foodie Souvenirs from Canada
The Maple Fudge – Foodie Souvenirs from Canada
  • Maple Fudge – You can get this fresh as a block. Just pick it up in a market and gorge on it. At the Public Market in Granville, I saw this amazing array of fudges. I tried the maple one – found it too sweet for my taste but I am sure those of you with a sweet tooth would love it.

To carry back you can buy well-packed fudge. Option Maple loaded options include Tarts and Lollipops

Maple Syrup - Quintessential gift from Canada
Maple Syrup – a Quintessential gift from Canada
  • Maple Syrup – Kitchen challenged that I am, I have no idea how the Maple Syrup is used in food, but I loved the maple leaf shaped bottles filled with Maple Syrup. Use the Maple Syrup ( google How) and then use the bottle to store your favorite fragrances or oils.

Spices & Sea Salts

Sea Salt & Herbs from Canada
Sea Salt & Herbs from Canada

At the public markets, I saw these beautifully packed sea salt and spice bottles. There were so many flavors of sea salt that you would be spoilt for choice. Now, these are usual spices that even a novice like me can use but in different combinations. I think these are wonderful gifts from Canada for those who love to cook – you might get a nicely cooked meal in return.

John Fluevog Shoes

John Fluevog Shoes - Shoe Brand from Canada
John Fluevog Shoes – Shoe Brand from Canada

I would not have discovered this Canada Souvenir but for my friend Peter. He said, everyone, he has brought to this shop ended up buying the shoes. I did not buy the shoes but I ended up discovering a local brand. Yes, John Fluevog is a local Vancouver brand that designs and manufactures shoes for men and women. This cult brand now has stores across North America and Europe.

Stone Souvenirs from Canada

  • Stone Messages – These are cute stones with some beautiful messages written on them.
  • Colored Stones – Lovely colored stones from the mines of British Columbia. You can use them for decorating the house or get them pierced to make jewelry.
  • Stone Sculptures – You can buy many stone sculptures as well that show some traditional designs like Inukshuk or contemporary designs.
20 Best Canada Souvenirs
20 Best Canada Souvenirs

Recommend you read

  1. Whistler Ziplining – An adventurous way to explore the Ski town

43 COMMENTS

  1. That’s a very interesting list of souvenirs to buy from Canada. I was there 3 years ago and I absolutely love those totem poles! I also bought a few souvenirs with the maple leaves and of course, foods made from maple leaves and maple syrup itself. It was summer so I didn’t see a lot of winter clothing but would’ve loved to buy some if I had.

  2. I love the souvenirs surrounding Canada’s first people. The stone totems would be great gifts for loved ones back home. I also couldn’t walk away from anything maple! The maple fudge and syrup are so delicious and worth safeguarding for the trip back home.

  3. I been to Canada a few times and I have to admit, I dont usually take souvenirs home with me. But if I did then I would take the fudge cake, so I can eat them on the plane. 🙂 But honestly, if I could take a totem pole with me, then I would try my best to do so.

  4. Considering we’re thinking of going to Canada next Fall, this was a very interesting read! I knew about the First Nations Art and I think we’d go for that, because it’s handcrafted and traditional!

  5. There are some lovely souvenirs in Canada. It would be interesting to find the backstory or history behind some of these symbols of Canada being sold as souvenirs. I would love to try the maple products. My father makes maple syrup in Ohio and I have always been a huge fan of real maple syrup – not the gross store bought kind!

  6. These are really fun souvenir ideas! I have a really cool contemporary ring I got in Vancouver 6 years ago, and every time I go, I get maple something! usually maple fudge. It’s just so good!

  7. Oh wow, so many souvenirs to choose from!
    I always buy fridge magnets wherever I go so that will probably be one of the first things I would buy in Canada too. But your post had me into an imaginary shopping frenzy. I want to buy those totem poles and Inukshuk!

  8. I live in Seattle, so I love going up to Canada to buy many of these items you mentioned! I love maple leaf cookies and get them every time I go. I also have multiple jade Inukshuks that I started collecting every time I went to Whistler.

  9. I really like the Bentwood boxes – they are super cute and I could totally see myself buying a couple to take home for my Mum too. I’d be really worried about breaking them though, although they do look relatively sturdy!

    • Samantha – if you read about the processing of Bentwood boxes, you know how sturdy they are. I do not think you need to worry about that. You can also buy small boxes like the one we use for keeping knick-nash.

  10. Each and every souvenir turned out to be my favorite. Cedar trees are common there I guess, love the items made out of that wood. I am drooling over the maple fudge too 🙂

  11. I think the maple fudge would be my favourite, I’m a sucker for sweet stuff! I really like the totem poles too, although I’d need to get a small one to fit it in the case! And I don’t think I can resist maple syrup – I’m sure I’d find something to make with it!

  12. That’s is a long list of very interesting souvenirs. The one that caught my attention was the ‘Inukshuk’…how interesting that it is a symbol used in mountains for marking the paths and for commemorating events! I’m wondering how endless an Indian souvenir list would be, if someone were to attempt making one 🙂

    • Punita – Jade Inukshuk is what I bought. To me, the symbology of the Inukshuk was too much to not pick it up. In fact, you find this symbol everywhere – in the Himalayas. I even saw it at a roundabout in Delhi this time. It has to be a universal symbol that communities have used for ages. Do not even start with Indian Souvenirs – its impossible to compile one list for India.

  13. Never heard of Inukshuk before, I learned something new today! 🙂
    I would definitely buy the fur/leather shoes first thing. Don’t they make socks too by any chance? I collect thick handmade socks, it’s become an addiction.
    I think my husband would be happy about the masks to decorate the house and a totem for the garden. I can imagine these would look great! Did you get something for your husband? 😀

    • Helene – All my husband needs is coins from every country and that’s all I get for him. I bought a Jade Inukshuk, will show you next time we meet. I would also like masks, have some from some countries but they have been lying packed for so long that I am not buying new ones.

  14. Those are some really good ideas. For the artwork, I think I like the bentwood boxes the most. But what really caught my eye were the maple fudge blocks. I’d go crazy on those, and purchase as much maple syrup as I could take back with me. Technically as a liquid that wouldn’t be any, but I’d probably still try. LOL

  15. I’m not really inclined to buy T-shirts or caps with destinations names on it either – those souveneirs always become rags or die at the back of my closet! SO I enjoyed this list and I love how authentic and unique some of your recommendations are, like the wooden masks and totem poles. I would love to support the traditional arts and come home with a woven woolen shawl or blanket with First Nations Motifs. Thanks for this list!

  16. I have stopped buying souvenirs except for fridge magnets, keychains, and postcards. But there was a time when i was crazy about wooden masks. I had never been to Canada but I would love to buy those masks and other interesting souvenirs you mentioned.

  17. So many interesting souvenirs! I’m going back to Canada this year and have been thinking of what I should bring back. I’m so bad at buying souvenirs sometimes because it’s another thing to pack and carry! (that’s a big reason I collect postcards) These are all great ideas, and I love traditional things too. 🙂 The wooden masks look amazing!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here