Whether you’re hunting for the quintessential Canadian souvenir or a one-of-a-kind handcrafted artwork, you’ll find it in Canada’s capital city. The Ottawa-Gatineau area is a treasure trove for local Canadian finds – and for shoppers who want to know the story behind how their gifts were made. Here are some of our favorite spots.
Maker House Company
Of the more than 150 artisans represented at Maker House Company, about 70% hail from the Ottawa area. If you’ve always wanted silk-screened birch coasters, a kit to grow your own maple tree, or a laptop stand made from bicycle handlebars, you’re bound to get lucky here, where all gifts, furniture, collectibles, and art are made by Canadian artisans. A percentage of every purchase goes back into the community, so you also get to feel good while you shop. Bonus: It’s steps away from the best doughnut shop in town, the Finnish-inspired SuzyQ, where you can recharge your shopping batteries with creations that come in flavors like mango lassi and coconut lime.
Ottawa Farmers’ Market
At Ottawa’s only year-round, producer-only farmers market, located in the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park, you can peruse goods that have been made within 65 miles of the city – from alpaca baby booties and limited-edition barbecue sauces to artisanal kombucha and dog shampoo. Every weekend in December, the pavilion transforms into a magical Christmas Market, complete with visits from Santa and an eclectic selection of host gifts, stocking stuffers, and ingredients to make your holiday dinners complete.
The creative, the eclectic and the fabulous all come together at 613flea, a not-for-profit marketplace of local artisans, designers, antique dealers, independent boutiques, and vintage clothing vendors. At its monthly digs at Landsdowne Park, you’ll find an always-changing, one-of-a-kind inventory and more than 100 vendors offering everything from toys and utensils to refurbished kitchen hardware and art – and, of course, food stands to keep you going.
Located in the heart of Ottawa’s downtown core, the Byward Market is home to unique fashion retailers you won’t find in a shopping mall. For attention-grabbing, playful urban wear, make sure to stop by Milk Shop, while those seeking indie brands for both men and women at reasonable prices will find Roadtrip particularly well-stocked. If you think you might have been a magpie in a previous lifetime, a visit to Stunning is a must for show-stopping sparkly jewelry and accessories. And right next door, you’ll find a healthy dose of glam at the appropriately named Envied Boutique, which houses curated collections of Canadian designers like Samuel Dong and Rock ‘N Karma.
For convenient access to shopping destinations across the Ottawa-Gatineau region, consider booking your next stay at a Hilton hotel. Choose the Hilton Lac Leamy, DoubleTree by Hilton Gatineau-Ottawa or the Hampton Inn Ottawa if you’re looking for easy access to downtown. If you’re coming in for a short stay and need to be close to the airport, there’s always the Hilton Garden Inn Ottawa Airport, while extended visits can be comfortably accommodated at the all-suite Homewood Suites by Hilton Ottawa-Kanata.