Throughout Ottawa, there are countless unique shops and boutiques where you can find the perfect souvenir or gift for your loved ones – or for yourself! From Canadian-made clothing and jewellery, to indigenous arts and crafts, to local craft beer and preserves, here are some of the best places to find those memorable items you’re looking for:
Handmade finds and fresh food at ByWard Market Square
The brick building located in the middle of the ByWard Market neighbourhood is home to artisan boutiques that carry hand-crafted clothing, jewellery, and gifts for women, men and children. Visit Tickled Pink to choose from Canadian-made creations for kids and adults and stop at Eclection, to browse a collection of mainly locally-made hats, clothing and accessories. Or take a trip through the entire country by browsing products and delicacies sourced from all Canadian provinces and territories at Canada in a Basket.
The open air ByWard Market itself is found all around the building. This outdoor market is open daily and home to many stalls offering locally-produced arts and crafts, maple products as well as fresh produce during the warmer months. It operates year-round, but in the height of summer, it offers up to 175 different stalls. A great place to buy maple syrup!
Clothing, accessories and craft beer in the ByWard Market area
Across from the ByWard Market Square building, on the pedestrian alley of William Street, you’ll find the Crazy Moose of Ottawa souvenir shop, which carries an array of Ottawa-themed t-shirts, sweatshirts and other Canadian merchandise.
Also worth a visit nearby is Milk Shop, a trendy shop owned by an Ottawa sister duo who carefully curate a collection of affordable Canadian and international clothing, jewelry and accessories. Plus, the owners love cats and carry cat-themed items!
A few doors down is beloved Canadian retailer Roots Canada. Known for its cozy wool and cotton sweaters and hand-crafted leather goods for both men and women, “Roots” is a Canadian favourite. They even sell their own brand of maple syrup in a maple leaf-shaped bottle!
For more unique clothing finds, stoll over to Dalhousie Street and stop at Workshop Studio & Boutique. This eclectic boutique is Ottawa-owned and offers handcrafted handbags, clothing, accessories, giftware and more.
Looking to bring home some local craft beer? Try one of the breweries or brewpubs in the ByWard Market area before buying their beer to go. Lowertown Brewery – which is a restaurant and bar – sells its brews in its shop. And visit Waller St. Brewing, “Ottawa’s tiny little prohibition craft brewery” located in the basement of a heritage building at 14 Waller St. Order a flight of their unique beers and buy your favourites from their retail shop.
Big brands, Canadiana and art in Downtown Rideau
Just outside the ByWard Market area, in the Downtown Rideau neighbourhood, is Ottawa’s popular downtown shopping destination, CF Rideau Centre. Home to about 180 retailers, including high-end brands like Coach and Michael Kors, this mall caters to your every shopping need.
For some Ottawa-specific bling, stop by Magpie Jewellery and ask for The Ottawa Necklace. This pendant necklace is in the shape of Ottawa as it would look on a map – which is similar to a heart shape! Choose from small or large in silver or copper.
One of the best places to shop for items made in the Ottawa area and throughout Canada is Made in Canada Gifts. Browse their store at the Rideau Centre and online for unique décor, jewellery, art, artisan, food items and more.
The OAG Shop at the Ottawa Art Gallery, which reopened in spring 2018, is committed to supporting regional and Canadian makers. It carries unique art supplies, artwork, crafts, jewellery, toys and other items that have Canadian and Indigenous roots.
History and beyond on Parliament Hill and Sparks Street
Looking for the ultimate Canadian souvenir or gift? You can own a tiny piece from the original copper roofs that covered Canada’s Parliament Buildings from 1918 to 1996! The maple leaf and Parliament-shaped pins are made in Ottawa with the participation of persons with developmental disabilities. These mementos and many other Canadian-made souvenirs are available online and in person at the Parliamentary Boutique inside Parliament’s Centre Block. To visit the Boutique, join a free guided tour of Centre Block, or let Parliament staff know you only wish to access the boutique (security screening applies in both instances).
Since 1963, The Snow Goose store on Sparks Street – just one block from Parliament Hill – has been a staple for Indigenous and Canadian arts and crafts. Choose from authentic products like carvings, prints and jewellery made with Canadian-sourced wood, metal or stone.
Glorious goods on Elgin Street
Boogie + birdie is one of the retail gems along eclectic Elgin Street. The cozy shop carries everything from clothing and accessories, to books and bathing products – most of which is local or Canadian. Always lose a sock? Save yourself some trouble and check out Solmate socks – they already come mismatched. Or bring home a stuffed jackalope – a fabled animal soft as a bunny with antlers of a stag.
Local company Lowertown Canning Company offers a selection of pickles and relishes, sauces and spreads as well as jams and jellies that are all made from local produce. Their products are sold online and at various stores in Ottawa, including Pot & Pantry.
Funky finds in the Glebe
Located just outside of Ottawa’s downtown core, the Glebe is one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods with a pedestrian-friendly main street and charming side roads with brick houses.
Quality fashion brands and accessories can be found at BGGO Boutique, Delilah and Escape for ladies, and Stomping Ground for the modern man.
Specialty shops like Cats R Us, the Papery, Glebe Emporium and Octopus Books are full of interesting and one-of-a-kind items that make great gifts.
Amazing museum gift shops
As Canada’s capital, Ottawa is home to many national museums that all have their own unique gift shops! If you’re interested in art, visit the National Gallery of Canada’s boutique, or venture over to the Canadian Museum of History to peruse items that cover a thousand years of Canadian history. The Canada Museum of Science and Technology, which reopened in 2017 after a major renovation, carries a variety of retro items, science kits and locally-made products. And for something really different, visit the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, located about a 30-minute drive from Ottawa’s downtown core in the village of Carp, Ontario. The boutique at this four-storey underground nuclear bunker has nuclear war-themed items for kids and adults – some fun and some historical.