Oh yes! It’s almost here.

With balloons flying high, enthusiastic shop owners adding the finishing touches and a good deal of early summer magic in the air, The Gastown Shop Hop will soon be in full swing!

Events like this don’t happen too often and that’s what makes Gastown such a fantastic area to shop in. With the rise of big chains in place of independent businesses disappearing, our neighbourhood has maintained one of its greatest assets; it’s a place to find beautiful things that you can’t find anywhere else.

Quite a lot of the boutiques in Gastown carry lines that come direct from afar or are items that are handmade in small runs. We value handcrafted pieces and things that are made to last.

With over 45 stores participating, the variety and selection of clothes, accessories, shoes, home décor and other unique items is incredible.

For shoppers, Shop Hop is your night.

Shop Hop takes place this Thursday June 8th in Gastown from 5pm-9pm.

Durant Sessions is a featured retailer for the high-end, LA based eyewear brand Jacques Marie Mage. They also carry Eyevan 7285 and have selections from the latest of both brands now in-store.

Angel Vancouver has dedicated an entire section of the store to the colourful Spanish line Desigual. Bright, floral and fresh, there are summer items available for men, woman and children. They also carry original hand painted designed t-shirts by artist/shop owner Jackie Haliburton.

Italian hat crafters Cappelleria Bertacchi supply finely made hats for both men and women. Made in Tuscany, their beautiful hat designs are inspired by classic ’40s and ’50s Italian fashion.They use only organic and eco-friendly cloth, such as straw, felt and the finest fibers from Merino wool, carefully shorn, spun and woven in Italy.

E:CLE is a true boutique carrying women’s wear and accessories with many labels coming straight from Korea. They sell exclusive lines including shoes like The CREEPERS by FENTYxPUMA (by Rihanna) and clothing line Another A.

Dutil Denim is dedicated almost exclusively to sourcing raw selvedge and quality crafted denim and outfitting you in the right pair of jeans. They stock hard to find brands like GRLFRND, Pure Blue Japan, Neuw and Iron Heart.

Eyeland Framemakers are the only maker of handmade custom eyewear in the country. You can have your own idea made or choose from designs in-store. Eyeland uses acetate that is sourced from Italy, where many of the pieces are end cuts that are completely one-off designs.

The name is indicative of how this small and intimate boutique curates only a select few pieces of each line. One of a Few carries such desirable labels as Lauren Manoogian, Giu Giu, I Love Mr Mittens, Toit Voilant, Maryam Nasir Zadeh and Sylvain Le Hen.

For the men only Roden Gray is your source for designs from Enfants Riches Déprimés, Kijima Takayuki, Aimé Leon Dore, Nanamica, The Elder Statesman and many others.

Litchfield curates their wares with the utmost of taste, carrying only items that are well made, unique and often imported. From kitchen to stationery, scent and accessories, furniture and bags, here you’ll find pieces from WANT Les Essentiels – , Illesteva, Stephen Kenn and Midori.

LynnSteven celebrates all that is beautiful with a dreamy assortment of skin care, clothing, accessories and baby items. Brands include Cupcakes & Cashmere, Fidelity Denim, LEAH ALEXANDRA and Tofino Towel Co.

Nettle’s Tale a wild idea that caught the tide of crowd funded enthusiasm and immense support and is now a bona fide brick and mortar here in Gastown. Nettle’s Tale crafts swim and beachwear for real bodies and it’s both locally made and thoughtfully designed.

Nicole Bridger. Longtime Eco Fashion designer, Nicole Bridger makes woman’s clothing that is beautiful, elegant, practical, comfortable and built to last.

Nifty Do sells quality men’s clothing and accessories with high levels of craftsmanship. They specialize in premium raw Japanese denim and they carry such brands as Rogue Territory, Oriental United, Prospective Flow and Railcar Fine Goods.

Nika Design is a Swedish inspired shoe repair and leather goods store. Build out of a 100 year old elevator shaft, owners Neda and Dino Pessione, deliver nothing but excellent service, every single time. They have some beautiful shoes from Europe as well as leather jackets and bags.

Nouvelle Nouvelle curates a fine selection of independent and up-and-coming clothing & accessory lines. You can create an entire outfit at Nouvelle from well crafted shoes, pants, jackets, tops, shirts, watches and accessories. Brands include: Han Kjobenhavn, Assembly New York, Portland General Store and Elka.

Poppy And Rye are a fashion and lifestyle boutique with classic and boho-chic design. They are always searching for the latest trends and looks from Europe including items from Villagallo Spain and European Culture.

Six Hundred Four combines local art with sneakers in very limited runs while supporting the artists and paying them fairly. The location (just below Lumas Gallery on Water Street) is its own microcosm of expression, creativity and innovative fashion.

Strike MVMNT is an athletic footwear and apparel brand that merges technical performance with a classic aesthetic. Their shoe designs are simple yet high performing and they stand out from the crowd as being quite unique.

Tees.ca is almost an art gallery of sorts. Many of the unique designs are crafted here in Vancouver. Known for carrying one-of-a-kind prints, Tees.ca collaborates with up-and-coming artists from around the world, transferring their unique artwork onto T-shirts, in exclusive, limited edition collections.

The Basement is a platform for local emerging brands to showcase their goods and be part of a collective of Vancouver businesses and entrepreneurs. Brands include Afrodite, Nomad Collective, Stiffys, Gentstone and Wilhelm & Friends. Along with clothing, The Basement carries tea & coffee, mugs, gifts, leather goods, baby stuff, art, beauty supplies and candles.

The Block. Open since 1983, Jennifer McKay and The Block works hard to sell people the nicest shoes and clothes that she can find. Always the benchmark for some of the best and latest in clothing, shoes and accessories, The Block carries lines that include Henrik Vibskov, Filippa K, Veda, Mila Zovko, Le Mont St Michel, Y.M.C., and Ulla Johnson.