I absolutely love gift giving and, to brag myself up completely, I’m extremely good at it. I love giving gifts that people don’t just want, they need, and what’s better? They had no idea they needed it until I gave it to them.
When I first moved to Ireland, I brought a box full of Canadian gifts with me to give to my family, which was easy enough to manage since I was able to clear out the emblematic leftovers still stocked on the shelves from Canada Day. Since then, I’ve always strived to make sure that, whatever gifts I send home to my Irish family, they capture the essence and uniqueness that is Canada.
As it is, with great power, comes great responsibility. So for any of you who are travelling to Canada and have no idea what to bring home, or for any Canadians travelling to other countries and have no idea how to represent our fine nation, compiled below is a list of authentic souvenirs and gifts that are 100% Canadian – not to mention, a huge crowd pleaser.
1. Maple Syrup/Maple Butter/Maple Cookies/Maple Sugar Candy
Maple ANYTHING is the epitome of Canadian culture – it’s what we’re known for, and it’s at the top of every souvenir list when people pay a visit to our glorious country. It should definitely be at the top of yours, too.
2. Cows T-Shirts
Too many puns, so little time ! Cow’s Ice Cream is a famous summer treat for all Maritimers, and their hilarious clothing even more so. A great representation of the east coast, you’ll only be able to purchase these originals within our borders.
We’re not called The Great White North for nothing. Bring back some of your very own snow and prolong the experience as long as possible!
4. Toonies and Loonies
Even when dealing in euros, I would still call the one and two piece coins “loonie and toonie.” If you have a few left over from your trip, bring back the real deal and impart some Canadian wisdom among your friends.
5. Molson Canadian and Crown Royal
Two things Canadians know how to do: whisky and beer. Stronger and better than our southern neighbours’, you can pick up either at any liquor store in the country. And if you’re looking to get two birds stoned at once, you can grab the new Crown Royal Maple.
6. Canadian food
There are many delicious recipes that are reserved exclusively for Canadians, but they’re simply much too delicious to be kept to ourselves. If you’re looking to pick up some Canadian snacks that you won’t be able to pick up anywhere else, try packing in some Lays Ketchup Chips, Smarties, Nanaimo Bars, Kraft Dinner, Clodhoppers, Coffee Crisp, Crispy Crunch, Purdys Chocolates, St. Albert’s Cheese Curds, Beaver Tails, Cream Soda, Maritime lobster, Jos Louis, and Laura Secord Chocolates.
7. Roots, Lululemon and East Coast Lifestyle clothing
Lulu to the west, ECL to the east, and Roots falling somewhere in between, these clothing brands are extremely popular in our beloved country, and are ones you’ll only be able to authenticate right here, so stop in today and see what’s up.
8. Canadian Olympic Gear (red mittens)
When hosting the winter olympics in 2010, red mittens were proudly worn by every hoser out there. Today, we still strive to represent our fine nation when the games are on by grabbing the latest designs! Be sure to grab a pair of your own – chances are you’ll need them during your stay anyway.
9. Anne of Green Gables
Possibly the most famous Canadian book series, Anne of Green Gables is set in Prince Edward Island, an often forgotten province of Canada. Anne is sure to capture your hearts, as is the island that spun her existence, and is a series definitely worth picking up when visiting the eastern provinces.
10. Bob and Doug McKenzie / Trailer Park Boys Memorabilia
Two of the most Canadian shows in existence, both Bob and Doug and the Trailer Park Boys are true Canadian staples, so if you see any of these faces on a piece of merchandise, be sure to pick some up – it’s not rocket appliances.
11. Hockey Jersey
Hockey is OUR game. We breed the best players and have perfected the skill set of the game. While they may be a bit more expensive than the rest of these souvenirs, if you’re planning on making it to an NHL game during your visit, it’s only fitting that you bring home a sweet, Canadian jersey as well.
12. Stuffed Moose or Beaver
Our two Canadian friends, the Moose and the Beaver, have served us well over the years. They are both awkwardly majestic animals and –especially when dressed in Canadian Mountie attire–make the perfect gift for family and friends back home.
13. Tim Hortons
Every country thinks they make the best coffee and donuts, but unless they’re from Canada, they would be wrong. We are extremely proud of our Timmies, so make sure to pick up your own mug, blend, and decorative ornaments when you stop by for some timbits.
Getting back to Canadian heritage, a small, sculpted inukshuk would make the best “I learned something here” souvenir. Rooted in Inuit culture, these man-made stone monuments have been built all over the country, standing proud in front of many glorious backdrops particularly in the northern territories. For those of us who watch our Heritage Minutes, we know that these Inukshuks let the people know that we were here, so what better way to let the people know that you were here, too.
15. Canadian Flag Pins
Yeah, we know that you want to be Canadian, please. The U.S. citizens below our icy nation want to be us so badly, they often wear these pins and claim to be Canadian when they travel. I mean, who can honestly blame them? We have been voted as having the best reputation in the world for three years running. So if you want to get in on the action, and ensure you’re treated like royalty when you travel abroad, pop on a pin and see the difference it can make. Being Canadian is pretty, freakin’ awesome, bud.
Note: the images used in this posting are not of the author. All credit and copyright are exclusively those of the authors listed in the following websites. To see the originals, please click on the links below.
o.canada.com, wisetrips.net, iwantoneofthose.com, mtltimes.ca, connect.ecuad.ca, eastcoastlifestyle.com, thestar.com, fanpop.com, aux.tv and cbc.ca, faceindustry.com, torontosun.com, ebay.ca, tassimo.ca, fanpop.com, itworld.com.