I Moved To Canada Last Year & These Are The Canadian Stores That I Now Can't Live Without

But there is one store I TOTALLY don't get.

Associate Editor
A Canadian Tire in Toronto. Right: Clothes in Costco.

A Canadian Tire in Toronto. Right: Clothes in Costco.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

There are a lot of things that can be overwhelming when you're a newcomer to Canada, and not knowing all of the local stores is definitely one of them.

As someone who moved from Dubai in 2022, many of Canada's stores were actually completely new to me.

However, over the course of the last year, I've become more accustomed to Canadian stores. And, now that I've discovered them, I don't know how I ever lived without some of them.

Here's a look at the retailers that I discovered after moving to Canada and why they're now my go-to shopping spots.

For good measure, I've also included one store that still totally confuses me, even after all this time.

Bulk Barn

Janice Rodrigues in Bulk Barn.

Janice Rodrigues in Bulk Barn.

Janice Rodrigues | Narcity

After avoiding Bulk Barn for the better part of a year because I thought it only sold stuff in serious bulk, I finally caved and paid a location a visit… and fell in love.

There are so many reasons why I'm obsessed with this store. For one, I love the fact that it's a baker's paradise. It's also great to be able to pick up smaller quantities of products -- which is absolutely great for people like me, who live alone.

The variety is honestly really impressive, too. It blows my mind that you can find everything from hot chocolate mixes and granola, to nuts or candy, and you can pick up the exact quantity you want.

And, as a final bonus, the prices are not bad either!

This has been one of my favourite Canadian finds, and someone needs to make Bulk Barn go global ASAP.


A Winners store in Toronto.

A Winners store in Toronto.

Janice Rodrigues | Narcity

When I first moved to Canada, Winners was one of the stores that really took me by surprise.

Before shopping here, I'd always thought of brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Fossil and DKNY as luxury brands.

So, to find them in Winners for a fraction of the price that I was used to was pretty incredible.

There are a lot of things I love about the store, from their range of designer clothing to their affordable prices. I was especially grateful for the slashed-down prices when I had to buy all of my winter gear from scratch.


Kirkland Signature products at Costco.

Kirkland Signature products at Costco.

Janice Rodrigues | Narcity

Okay I know Costco isn’t a Canadian store per se, but if I had to give an award to the most useful retailer, it would probably go to Costco.

The reason I like it so much is because there are so many essential products that I use all year round -- like toilet paper, washing powder and kitchen towels -- that I can stock up on and then not have to worry about buying for six months.

The best part is I actually feel like I've accomplished something after a Costco haul is done. And the savings make it so worthwhile.

What's more, visiting Costco for the first time was my first experience with a store that required a membership.


On the fashion front, Artizia is a store I never knew existed before moving to Canada and now I'm pretty hooked.

I like the fact that many of the clothes come in so many style and colour options.

Also, one of my main complaints about Canada's winter clothing was that it's just not fashionable.

Well, Artizia proved me wrong, and I like that I can get fashionable (yet very warm) wardrobe staples without them costing an arm and a leg.


A Dollarama in Canada.

A Dollarama in Canada.

Photopal604 | Dreamstime

We did have something similar to dollar stores back in Dubai, but once I discovered Dollarama, there was no going back.

While the stuff at Dollarama does go above a dollar, the selection of knick-knacks is pretty impressive.

That being said, there are some things I've learnt to buy from the store and other things I've learnt to put right back.


While furniture stores are pretty common in Dubai, I especially love browsing through HomeSense in Canada.

Unlike IKEA, it doesn't require a whole day out as the chances of you getting lost inside are pretty slim.

At the same time, the collection is pretty nice and you can get a lot of home décor inspiration in there.

But my favourite part of the store is the fact that it does so much more than just furniture and homeware. It's also a pretty nifty spot to pick up things like shower gels, pasta, cutlery and even flavoured coffee packets.

The prices are a bit elevated compared to IKEA, but it's nice place to browse nonetheless.

Canadian Tire

Canadian Tire.

Canadian Tire.

Janice Rodrigues | Narcity

And, finally, I'll admit that Canadian Tire is a store I don't think I fully understand, although I do love it.

I think what confuses me about the shop is how random the stuff sold there is. I can't think of any one occasion that would warrant a trip to Canadian Tire.

That being said, I can see myself going there when I have a bunch of very random things I need to buy and it's the only place I can get them all in one go.

But then again, I can also do that by shopping online.

So, while it's still a great spot for homeware, hardware, tech and kitchen appliances, I still haven't quite got the hang of shopping there just yet.

Which stores am I missing, Canada?

Janice Rodrigues
Associate Editor
Janice Rodrigues was an Associate Editor for Narcity Media focused on Canadian immigration and passports, and is based in Scarborough, Ontario.