One of the things I’m really having a hard time getting over is that there are no Target Stores anywhere in Canada. I never realized before just how much I depended on Target for inexpensive, stylish and convenient items. Whenever we drive into Niagara Falls, I make sure we stop at Target. There have been rumors that Target will be coming to Canada, but I understand that these rumors happen all the time with no substantiation whatsoever. So, Canada remains Target-less, which I still think is a shame.
While trying to settle in here in Toronto, my husband and I kept looking for places like Target. We don’t have a lot of money, so we are always looking for ways to furnish our home nicely and get our essentials at the most reasonable prices. We did a little internet research and came up with Zellers as an option. Up here, the big department store is The Bay, and Zellers is their less expensive subsidiary. The problem with Zellers is that it seems closer to a K-Mart than a Target, if that makes any sense. The prices were more reasonable, but the quality and style of the merchandise was not even close to what we find at Target. Nevertheless, we bought some items for the bathroom there, and then I waited for our next trip to Niagara Falls and my beloved Target.
Not too far from our home is a huge building we’d driven by several times called Canadian Tire. Now… if you saw a store called Canadian Tire, what would you think that they sell there? Tires, right? Or at most, auto supplies. Yes?
Well, we were in no need of auto supplies at that time – we were looking for things like curtains and picture hangers – so we just drove on by again and again. One day as we were driving by, however, I read the writing on the side of the massive building: Living, Fixing, Playing, Driving. I also noticed a children’s swing set display outside the store. Curious as to why an auto supply store would be selling swing sets, my husband and I pulled into their lot to finally check the place out.
Turns out that Canadian Tire is Canada largest retailer, with 9 out of 10 Canadians shopping there at least twice a year, and 40% shopping there at least once a week. While they do indeed have tires and auto supplies, they also have housewares, gardening supplies, hardware and sporting goods, all at pretty reasonable prices. My husband and I were amazed as we walked through the store, picking up many of the goods we’d been looking for. Why had no one told us about this place?
It turns out that Canadians are so used to Canadian Tire being their go-to location for merchandise that they have forgotten what the name of the place actually indicates to the uninitiated. When I told our story to a kindly Canadian woman, she laughed and said that she’d never thought about the name being misleading. Everyone knows about Canadian Tire!
So, while it is no Target – Canadian Tire does not sell clothing – it does fill an empty consumer niche in our lives. And, if we ever need to be reminded that we’re in Canada, all we need to do is go into Canadian Tire and look at the Sporting section. At least 5 aisles are devoted to hockey equipment and apparel. Oh, Canada…!