Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Here’s a list of unique and local gifts you can get your loved ones in and around Victoria


Hey, holiday shoppers!

We all have that one person that never provides a list of what they want for Christmas, and instead you’re left aimlessly guessing.

Well, to save you the hassle, we’ve put together a list of some different local gift ideas to give meaning and charm to your gift buying!

The list has been split up into three sections: local stores, local authors, and local restaurants for you to check out!

Anything from gift card musts to specific items are included, and at the very least, you’ll find somewhere to start looking!

Without any more delay, here’s the collection of local gift ideas:

Local stores with neat finds:

Luna Collective

Luna is a carefully curated store featuring all of the best vintage and handmade goods from over 100 different artists and small businesses.

You’re sure to find something unique and special!

  • Where: 1048 Fort Street
  • When: Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Shop Makers Victoria

What began as a small shop in Vancouver has spread across the province, empowering creators and small businesses!

Artisans are able to sell their product and receive 100% of the profits without cuts—so, you know that every purchase is going into the hands of the wonderful artist that made it.

  • Where: 909 Government Street
  • When: Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tea & Gift Emporium

A charming shop with bustling energy, the Tea & Emporium is sure to satisfy all of your gift buying needs!

There’s anything from handmade jewelry, cards, and knitted goods to a wonderful selection of teas and cute kitchen ware.

(Urban Oasis, Tea & Gift Emporium / Facebook)
  • Where: 4649 West Saanich Road
  • When: 
    • Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Market Collective

Located in the Bay Centre, this small but mighty store has created a platform to support local and handmade from grassroots to Canadian professional artisans!

You’ll feel all the more connected to your community when you shop the locally made jewelry, wood work, art, and much more.

  • Where: 1150 Douglas Street Unit 225
  • When: Open seven days a week—hours vary

Intamo Pleasurables

Intamo Pleasurables has been a staple in Fernwood as well as the Queer and allied community since they opened their doors.

Their mission is to provide a safe space for all with a focus on healthy sex education while guaranteeing quality products made from plant-based ingredients!

  • Where: 2004 Fernwood Road
  • When: Open seven days a week—hours vary

Bastion Books

This iconic used bookstore is located in Bastion Square, tucked down Commercial Alley and always has some incredible finds!

Here, you’ll find both both vintage and contemporary books, across a wide variety of genres. There are also comfy chairs and a children’s nook for those with time to linger.

(Bastion Books / Facebook)
  • Where: 14 Bastion Square
  • When:
    • Tuesday to Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Good Vibe Space

They are passionate about creating a space that carries local art and imported goods that are unique and uplift your daily lives!

Working directly with artists and makers in the community, they give creative people the opportunity to create a platform to showcase their work, products, and art—so, you know you’re going to find something bubbly and super cool.

  • Where: 565 Johnson Street
  • When: Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Interactivity Board Game Cafe

This is a phenomenal space to spend an evening with family and friends! A gift card for the Interactivity Board Game Cafe would be a lovely gift.

They have Victoria’s largest selection of board games and have different goodies and refreshments to enjoy while you hunker into your favourite games.

  • Where: 723 Yates Street
  • When:
    • Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    • Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Cheers Vintage Collective

Fulfill all of your classic vintage shopping dreams at Cheers Vintage Collective!

New-to-the-shop items are always coming in and cycling through, so don’t miss your chance to find something incredibly and unique for you or a loved one.

(Cheers Vintage Collective / Instagram)
  • Where: 770 Yates Street
  • When:
    • Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

CREAM Life and Style

Step into the world of CREAM and immerse yourself in their whimsical haven.

This store is perfect for those seeking vintage-inspired homewares and all the necessary accoutrement to support your witchy rituals and wellness routines!

  • Where: 2000 Fernwood Road
  • When: Open seven days a week
    • Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
    • Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cavity Curiosity Shop

Whether you’re a book nerd, a metal head, a second-hand enthusiast, or anything in between, the Cavity Curiosity Shop will have what you’re looking for!

Dig through loads of neat items and find the perfect gift for any odd ball or graphic t-shirt lover.

  • Where: 2514 Douglas Street
  • When: Wednesday to Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Ditch Records & CD’s

Ditch Records has Victoria’s widest selection of new and used Vinyl and CD’s!

All of the staff are incredibly knowledgeable in all things music and are more than happy to help you find that perfect sound for your gift purchasing needs.

  • Where: 784 Fort Street
  • When: 
    • Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Sundays and holidays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Local authors for your book nerds:

The Wild Mandrake by Jason Jobin:

On August 29th, local Victoria writer Jason Jobin officially released his new book The Wild Mandrake, published with Dundurn Press, detailing his journey with cancer, recovery, and relapse.

Told with raw honesty and prose-like description, this harmonious blend of beauty and pain encapsulates a life under the pressures of illness and the fight to remain strong.

You can purchase his book from Dundurn Press’ website or bookstores across Victoria, such as Munro’s Books.

(The Wild Mandrake book cover)

Blood on the Breakwater by Jean Paetkau:

On September 1st, Jean Paetkau’s book, Blood on the Breakwater, became available on Amazon and had quickly climbed to the #1 on Amazon’s Bestseller list!

The idea for Blood on the Breakwater blossomed with each daily walk along the Ogden Point breakwater—she would capture stunning photographs at sunrise or sunset.

Her story begins with a journalist finding a body washed up on the lower pathway of the breakwater. The journalist recognizes the corpse and begins diving into the possible motive behind murdering a museum curator for a 19th century Victoria painter.

She has three children’s books available for purchase on Amazon, Indigo, and at Russell Books.

(Cover art for Blood on the Breakwater)

Island-based cookbooks:

Victoria and the rest of Vancouver Island have some of the most sought-out restaurants and best chefs in all of BC and across Canada.

Some are so good at what they do, they’ve been published!

Victoria Buzz discovered 10 chefs-turned-authors, along with the recipes they’ve compiled into cookbooks, and put them all in one place so you can find a delicious new read and hopefully make some of the west coast dishes from their pages.

Full article: 10 cookbooks created by chefs and authors that call Vancouver Island home

(Cedar and Salt by DL Acken and Emily Lycopolus)

Otter Doesn’t Know by Andrea Fritz:

Her first book publication, Otter Doesn’t Know, hit the shelves on Tuesday, September 12th—detailing the beauty of perseverance despite uncertainty and the importance of patience and kindness.

We are presented with this tale of a sockeye salmon, Thuqi’, that has gotten lost in the Salish Sea on her way to spawn in the Sta’lo’ river. When she asks Tumus the sea otter for help, he dismisses her on account of not knowing and being invested in other things.

But when Tumus becomes lost in some weeds, Thuqi’ shows him that it’s okay not to know something and you can still find ways to help a friend in need.

Otter Doesn’t Know is available from multiple different book stores in Victoria, such as Bolen Books!

(Andrea Fritz’s cover art / Orca Book Publishers)

Grab a gift card from these local restaurants:

Burger Crush

They strive to provide the perfect burger, fries, and shake meal without a menu full of bells and whistles.

The result is simple, unwaveringly consistent and delicious!

  • Where: 787 Fort Street
  • When: Open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Herald Street Brew Works

Born from two brewing masters’ dreams, Herald Street Brewing offers dynamic tastes, a relaxed atmosphere, and an extensive beer list.

(Herald Street Brew Works / Facebook)
  • Where: 506 Herald Street
  • When: Open seven days a week—hours vary

Tourist Wine Bar

Tucked in the old Clarke & Co location, this chic wine bar is known to serve up some of the best burgers in Victoria and has become a late-night hotspot!

Join them for some good eats, delicious wine, and live sets.

  • Where: 1002 Blanshard Street
  • When:
    • Wednesday to Saturday from 5 p.m. to late
    • Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Ile Sauvage Brewing

Ile Sauvage is French for “Wild Island”—paying homage to the wilderness here on Vancouver Island and the nature of their beer.

This Belgian-style wild ale and sour beer-focused hub has made a name for itself in the local craft beer industry, and once you try their beer, it’s no secret as to why!

  • Where:  2960 Bridge Street
  • When: Open seven days a week—hours vary

Shuck Taylor’s

Local oyster and seafood master, Jess Taylor, has been running his own catering business, the Wandering Mollusk for the past 9 years — operating at weddings, community events, places like Whistle Buoy Brewing, and more.

Now, he is excited to soon introduce everyone to his dream-turned-reality, Shuck Taylor’s — located at the former Shine Cafe location on the corner of Johnson and Blanshard Street!

  • Where: 1324 Blanshard Street
  • When: Wednesday to Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Nourish Kitchen & Cafe

Located in a charming old Victorian home in the heart of James Bay, Nourish Kitchen & Cafe is filled with casual, vegetable forward food that is sure to make your taste buds dance and your heart happy!

Come for brunch, come for dinner, or come for a casual drink.

  • Where: 225 Quebec Street
  • When: Open seven days a week—hours vary

Saint Cecilia Coffee & Brands

Their mission is to bring a truly beautiful, high-quality natural product into your cup and give you a full and wonderful coffee tasting experience every time you visit.

Not only that, but they have one of the most visually aesthetic cafes in Victoria and plenty of space to work or read.

  • Where: 535 Yates Street
  • When:
    • Tuesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wheelies Motorcycles & Cafe

Located in an old automotive shop in the heart of Rock Bay, this shop offers an oddly harmonious blend of restaurant, retail store, and motorcycle workshop.

They specialize in gourmet locally sourced food, cocktails, specialty coffee, craft beer, and old Harley choppers.

  • Where: 2620 Rock Bay Avenue
  • When: Open from Tuesday to Sunday—hours vary

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