Photo Story | Atlantic Canada, Sable Island and Gulf of Saint Lawrence

Savvy Shopping: Atlantic Canada Style

© Dennis Minty

The cultures of Atlantic Canada abound with colour and creativity. Whether you visit a high-end gallery, quaint boutique, or church basement craft sale, there are authentic, to-die-for treasures just about everywhere you look. Here are six must-have mementos from the region—make sure you leave some room in your suitcase!
Quilts from Conche Newfoundland

© Dennis Minty

Handmade Textiles

If home decor is what you crave, the exquisitely crafted materials of this region will leave you hooked—quite literally! Handmade hooked rugs and mats are a proud historical tradition here, from the former Grenfell Mission on the north coast of Newfoundland all the way to Chéticamp, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Woven grass baskets from Nunatsiavut, Labrador are perfect for storing your knick knacks. Keep an eye out, too, for the blankets, tea cozies, and potholders stitched by proud quilters, often available for sale at community halls or local craft shops across the region.

Earrings on jewelry stand

Sealskin, beaded, and enamel earrings created by Nunatsiavummiut artists Heather Angnatok, Katrina Ford, and Tammy Hannaford.

Dazzling Jewelry

Add a little glamour to your wardrobe with a one-of-a-kind showpiece. In Labrador, Inuit carvers bring antler, ivory, and semi-precious stones—including the region's namesake mineral, labradorite—to life in the forms of pendants and rings. While you’re there, browse through the Torngat Arts & Crafts shop or the Illusuak Cultural Centre in Nain to look for elegant beaded earrings and beautiful sealskin barrettes, bracelets, and bowties. Further south, sea glass adorns collars and earlobes on the Magdalens, while pewter is popular in Nova Scotia.

Newfoundland salt company sea salts

© Newfoundland Salt Company

Tasty Tidbits

Cast off the blandness of the everyday and bring home the flavours of Atlantic Canada! Try scrumptious jams, jellies, pickles, and relishes from Newfoundland’s Dark Tickle or the PEI Preserve Company. You can find honey gathered from the world-famous gardens at Jardins de Métis, smoked fish at Le Fumoir d’Antan on les Îles de la Madeleine, fine European cheeses and fois gras in Saint-Pierre, or infused sea salts from the Newfoundland Salt Company. Just be sure to pack any glass jars extra carefully in your luggage!

Trout River Newfoundland laundry hanging on the line

© Dennis Minty

Cozy Footwear

Make the plane ride home extra comfortable with a new pair of sleek socks or slippers. Whether you opt for the fine-fitting handiwork of local knitters and crocheters or the supremely stitched kamiit of Inuit seamstresses, you’re sure to love these treats for your feet. Sealskin boots are traditional to Nunatsiavut, but you can find many styles of Indigenous-made slippers throughout Atlantic Canada, featuring details like intricate beading, tanned hides, and fur cuffs.

Himalayan blue poppy Reford Gardens

© Dennis Minty

Botanical Delights

If you’re a nature lover (and, really, who isn’t?), why not carry back a small token of the beautiful landscapes you visit? The gift boutique at historic Jardins de Métis sells seed packages of some of their favourite blooms—lilies, lupines, and even the celebrated blue poppy. Across the Atlantic provinces, breathe in the beautiful aromas of pine, berries, seaweed, Labrador tea, and other local native plants infused into handcrafted soaps, lotions, and balms—or distilled into gin, vodka, and other spirits at the Newfoundland Distillery Co.

Mike Massie sculpture owl

© Michael Massie

This beautiful sculpture “without breaks“ was made from serpentine, bone, ebony, aluminum, mahogany, and sterling silver by Nunatsiavut artist Michael Massie. (Sold.)

Stunning Artworks

Last but not least, you simply can’t go wrong with a creative keepsake. Just about anywhere you look here, you’ll find striking canvases created by the talented painters of Canada’s Atlantic provinces. Choose to splurge for the original, a fine reproduction print, or even a sweet postcard rendition. Wooden folk art, especially depicting nautical themes, is popular all through these parts. Regionally, watch for unique sand sculptures on the Magdalen Islands or breathtaking Inuit carvings in Nunatsiavut.