Money is no object for Canadians on what some say is the most romantic day of the year

The amount of money Canadians are spending on Valentine’s Day is at an all-time high, according to a new survey conducted by (a Rakuten Company), which details Canadians’ projected spending on Valentine’s Day gifts and activities this year.

The survey was conducted online in late January 2019 with a nationally representative sample of 1,007 Canadians. A sample of this size is accurate to within +/- three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Valentine’s Day display outside of Swarovski in the Eaton Centre on Feb. 13, 2019
(RSJ/ Sofia Vavaroutsos)

Survey Says

The average Canadian will spend $76 on Valentine’s Day gifts this year, as stated in the survey. This is an increase of 32 per cent from $58, when the same survey was conducted in January 2017 and surveyed 1,057 Canadians.

30 per cent of Canadians responded that they expect to receive a gift from a partner this Valentine’s Day, with the most preferred gift being a meal at a restaurant.

Word on the street

Kassandra Kurek, a student at Ryerson University, said that she believes gift giving on Valentine’s Day is “a must”, and that she would expect her partner to pay for a dinner out on Valentine’s Day.

“I just feel like it’s the polite thing, and the right thing to do,” Kurek said. “It’s Valentine’s Day, do something romantic, do something sweet.”

Matthew Karram, a resident of Toronto, said that he plans to spend $80 on his partner’s gift, as well as pay for dinner at a nice restaurant.

Nicholas Malta, a first-year student at Ryerson University who spent $60 on a bracelet for his partner and plans to pay for dinner out, said that he is definitely expecting a gift in return.

“It doesn’t really matter what she gets me, as long as she gets me something nice that shows that she still cares about me,” said Malta.

The business perspective

Valentine’s Day display outside of the Pickle Barrel’s Atrium location on Feb. 13, 2019
(RSJ/ Sofia Vavaroutsos)

Restaurant owners and managers, like Zulay Garcia, a manager at Pickle Barrel’s Atrium location, notice unique trends on Valentine’s Day that seem to correspond with the findings of the survey.

“Guests are more particular with the things they want, they’re more particular with the food they like, and especially where they sit… When people come in on Valentine’s Day, they want to make it super special. Anything they can do, they will do it on that day,” said Garcia.

This article was written as an assignment for the Ryerson School of Journalism on Feb. 13, 2019.