Holiday gift guide for Canadians: 8 sites for online shopping

Support Canadian businesses this holiday season by shopping on these .CA websites.

Like many Canadians, a few of us here at CIRA have yet to start our holiday shopping. Oops. The good news is, there are some great Canadian businesses that can help.

Our recent Internet Factbook found that 81 percent of Canadians prefer to shop at a .CA website over a .com. While some of this preference is likely based on national pride, a .CA domain name can indicate better shipping options, no customs or duty charges, and no sticker shock with pricing in Canadian dollars. What a relief when dealing with other holiday hassles!

.CA is Canada’s symbol online. Only businesses, organizations and individuals with a Canadian presence are able to register a .CA domain name. When a business opts for a .CA domain name, you know you’re supporting a Canadian business while you’re shopping online this holiday season.

Here’s a list of some great .CA websites and gift ideas:  

1. well.ca

Well.ca (what a great domain name!) is home to an e-commerce website with over 40,000 health, wellness, baby and beauty products available. This proudly Canadian company has a refreshing way of doing business, stating there’s a “real person behind every item we offer, every package we ship, and every interaction we have with you.”

2. peacebychocolate.ca

Even though this chocolate store is based in Antigonish, they ship anywhere in Canada and have some great holiday gift boxes.

Read more about how Peace by Chocolate is sharing the importance of peace and inclusion in Canada.

3. transcendcoffee.ca

In addition to selling grinders, brewers, tea and gifts, transcendcoffee.ca is where Edmonton coffee aficionados can sign up for local brewing and tasting courses, and buyers across Canada can purchase both green and roasted beans in bulk at wholesale prices.

Find some great gifts for the coffee lover in your life. 

4. mrstiggywinkles.ca

This toy store with three locations in Ottawa (in fact, there’s one right down the street from us here at CIRA) has free shipping on orders over $75 in Canada.

5. bitsandpiecescanada.ca

This website is full of great gift ideas for anyone who loves puzzles and games. I didn’t know these porta-puzzle caddies but this gift could be invaluable to someone who loves puzzles and lives in a tiny apartment with a small table (i.e. me).

6. escents.ca

Founded in 1992, this Vancouver-based company sells bath, body, wellness and home fragrance products. I like that they included a "Headache B'Gone Kit" in their gift section, a perfect gift for whoever's stuck hosting everyone for the holidays.

7. simons.ca

This Montreal-based retailer is taking the country by storm with their stylish clothes, brand name designers and trendy home décor. Their retail footprint is expanding across Canada but their e-commerce website is so easy to use that you can shop comfortably from your couch anytime.

8. drakegeneralstore.ca

It’s hard to get more Canadian than Drake General Store. This Toronto-based e-commerce retailer sells swag from CBC and the RCMP, and you can buy an adult onesie covered with Mounties.

Have fun shopping and happiest of holidays from the team here at CIRA!

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