Nominate your favourite local retailer for a chance to win $500!


It’s time for another “Loved in Your ‘Hood” contest. This time we’re on the hunt for Canada’s best independent retailers. We want to know about small, local shops – not the big chains or household names.

What’s your neighborhood go-to place for fashion, home furnishings, or hobby and craft items? Where do you “shop local” for the perfect gift, the perfect outfit, the perfect thing you need?

Nominate your favourite independent retailer below or on Vicinity’s Facebook page and explain what you love about the shop’s products, service, location, and more. Every nomination comes with a chance of winning one of two cash prizes!

How it works
The contest runs from October 05 to October 30, 2015. During that time, anyone can enter the contest – just click on the “Retail Shop Contest” tab on our Facebook page and log in with your Facebook credentials. Then fill in the entries and tell us why you love your favourite retailer.

A Vicinity panel will judge entries based on three criteria: customer service, quality of product, and community involvement. If you submit the winning nomination, you’ll enter to win a $500 Visa gift card!

The shop selected as winner will receive the title, “Loved in Your ‘Hood: Retail” and $500 in marketing support from Vicinity. Plus, a $50 Visa gift card will be awarded to one lucky participant through a random draw.

Need to do some research?

Maybe you should visit a few other local retailers to make sure your favourite shop is really the best. Visit to find local retail shops near you!

In any case, let us know the retailer you love — and why you love them!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Paul Hobin   •  

    Runners Choice in London has helped me become a better runner. The store staff have always been very helpful and have provided me insight into getting the equipment I need for my training. The running clinics have been awesome and coach John Ferguson has inspired me to get out and dedicate myself so that I can improve as a runner. The clinics bring lots of people together who love to run and end up pushing each other to succeed. It has brought me great confidence in my abilities in such a short time. The store, the clinics, the Saturday morning pack run all contribute to making London a great place to run. I would recommend Runners Choice and it’s running clinics to anyone if they have a desire to work hard and have fun while getting to know “good” people through running.

  2. Steve Spence   •  

    Love the Hamilton store “Revolution Kids” – unique, funky clothing for the little ones.

  3. Sandi Wilson   •  

    Enjoy life to the fullest… Laugh, Live, Love!!! Greatest gift ever!

  4. Tonya   •  

    Not only is their coffee awesome but the people that work there make you feel like family and always greet you with a smile. There is always a seat for you to relax and the environment is just plain cool.

  5. Edsel Mourillon   •  

    Healthy Planet (588 Sheppard) of course. Superbly friendly staff, very knowledgeable about all the products they offer and about healthy living and working out in general. Plus with recent renovations the store looks beautiful

  6. Naomi C   •  

    I Love, love, love THE STUDIO in Thornhill. Thank you Joseph, Stephanie, Maryam & all the staff. If you are looking for a great hair salon, this is the one!
    I also love the Vicinity Rewards. They really add up fast. Free stuff is the best!

  7. Maria Batista   •  

    Love Healthy Planet in Pickering. They have huge variety of products and the staff is very friendly and helpful.

  8. Melissa Warkus   •  

    This store is amazing. The vibe is great. The owner is amazing, always on the lookout for the newest and greatest fashion. The items are of quality. Amazing selection from jewelry to water bottles to leggings to jeans to boots.

    Thumbs up for Stick and Stone

    Mélissa Warkus

  9. Sue   •  

    I love the rewards we receive by just simply shopping …I love shopping at my favorite shop the digital smoker…they have helped me buy the device and such that helped me quit smoking in February and am still currently proud to say I am still smoke free today. But I still continue to shop.

  10. Gina Palmer   •  

    Healthy Planet is a great store and I would recommend to anyone wanting to lead a healthy lifestyle!

  11. Robert Brown   •  

    Wildrock is the definitely a big favorite for myself and family.

    I always wanted to open a retail store (not really) with a simple mandate to sell ‘stuff that works’, and Wildrock fills that need in the sporting goods world.

    Wildrock has an excellent product selection of things that do what they are supposed to do – not based on price or image, but product that understands the whole concept of “form follows function”. They sell on quality and long term customer value – they would never sell something because of it’s price point (low or high).

    The thing that turned us from a loyal customer to a diehard Wildrock supporter was a problem with our children’s knapsacks about 10 years ago. We had bought one from Wildrock and another from a chain store – both knapsacks had zipper issues, and someone at Wildrock noticed and said they could get that fixed. Great, so we dropped the one we purchased from them off and took the other to the chain store and asked for the same service. No way. They would not even consider it.

    However, when we told this to the guys at Wildrock, they asked us to bring them the other one and they got it repaired. That is fabulous service.

    And finally, these are the nicest group of people in the city. They actively promote active lifestyle in the community and have been responsible for so much of the cycling and other activity in the Peterborough area

  12. Terra Bell   •  

    Donald’s Market on Hastings and Nanaimo

  13. Sebastian Bjork   •  

    Donalds Market in New Westminster is a great store!! Since Vincinity added their rewards program it got even better!

  14. Dianne Wilson   •  

    Local people, neighbourhood location and wonderful friendly service.

  15. Jamie L   •  

    My favourite local place has got to be Sushi 8. I work in the area and I frequent their restaurant quite a bit. They always answer the phone sounding happy and they know me by voice! I have special dietary requirements and they never have a problem making something different from normal if I ask them to. Not only that but the food always tastes amazing. There aren’t many restaurants like them in town but I definitely think they rank number 1 out of all Japanese/Chinese restaurants here. I have been a big fan ever since they opened a few years ago. Tastiest sushi in the area hands down!

  16. Gina   •  

    I enjoy going to healthy planet and keeping myself well informed about there products and the staff is very helpful

  17. Sara Mody   •  

    Thank you Vicinity for making shopping locally important and fun.

  18. Mike Kirsh   •  

    Ava Florist on Lakeshore just east of Hurontario. Very friendly, helpful, great prices.

  19. Daniella D'Alimonte   •  

    I vote for Jola’s Good Catch General Store. They always have amazing (organic + local + sustainable) products, great deals, and helpful, friendly staff. They are also open from 10am-10pm, which is super convenient for those of us who work late.

  20. Diane Filiatrault   •  

    Terrific store, I shop there for my 2 grandkids who live in Ottawa. My daughter and I are very impressed with the quality and quantity of clothes at such great prices! In this economy, it’s great to have Kid’s Closet. Keep up the excellent work, it’s much appreciated!

  21. Renee Williams   •  

    Try out Fred & Pat’s Cuppa Sweets in Bashaw. Enter & nominate this local shop.

  22. Melanie C.   •  

    I like shopping at Healthy Planet for the food selection. Also, a bonus when you see a deal on something you needed.

  23. Lesley   •  

    Trove is the best clothing retailer for women in the city. Their selection is great, they staff are always friendly and helpful, and their prices are fair. I’ve always been happy with the quality of my purchases.

  24. Donna Hepp   •  

    Energia Athletics on Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario is my favourite local independent store.

  25. Leah Stojkovic   •  

    Thank you! I love my Vicinity Card.

  26. Harold Corbett   •  

    Great service from Outtabound on the purchase of a new bike. They were willing to do what it took to have me buy the bike, and then offered service above and beyond any other bike shop in Saskatoon.

  27. Rita   •  

    I nominate Paradiso pizza. It is always good pizza and great customer service. Never had a pizza i didn’t enjoy from there.

  28. Queenie   •  

    Chatime is my favourite local retailer! <3

  29. johannadesm   •  

    DH Food/GroceryStore located in Marathon,ONT is my fave local retailer because of the fresh produce, good sales & of course the friendly staff.

  30. Jen   •  

    This gift shop is sure to meet your needs!

  31. Toni Azar   •  

    Smoke n Spice is the best place to be. Delicious BBQ food and amazing waffle fries. Sauces are to die for.

  32. Pam Fehr   •  

    I’d like to nominate Janzen Brothers Music for the best local retail shop for their excellent, knowledgeable service. The store is beautiful and well kept, the staff are courteous and kind.

  33. Sandy Ding   •  

    Aritzia is my favourite store in Canada. They offer style of clothing I really like and I like the way they arrange the store. The quality of their clothing is also another reason why I like them.

  34. Laurie   •  

    I love Midori in Kingston! They sell such cute stuff!

    • Vicinity   •     Author

      That would be nice wouldn’t it? We’ll keep our fingers crossed for you!

  35. Cecile Bulva   •  

    Best store in town! Fresh food and pleasant friendly place to shop!

  36. Mary Labonte   •  

    Beach Market, in Alberta Beach, Alberta is a small community food store but with a lake in the back yard it’s picture perfect. My favourite part of the store is the amazing in store bakery. They sell a pack of sticky cinnamon buns that have what looks like, a whole package of walnuts on top. No one can walk buy this bakery and purchase their freshly backed goods. The smell is wonderful and breads are super soft. Check it out!!

  37. Carrie Scaife   •  

    I really appreciate the and their helpfulness and especially the pharmacist Dan…he is so willing to accommodate….his customers…. So much better than the last pharmacist !!

  38. Aimee   •  

    Kids in Harmony is my favorite local retailer.
    They offer amazing products that you just can’t find anywhere else except online. They have a huge selection and offer great deals.They have recently moved locations and this new location is great. Ample parking and right beside my kids favorite place to play! The best thing about them is they make you feel like a valued customer, whether it’s your first time entering the store or you are a regular! Staff are knowledgeable and personable. Going the extra mile for a customer is a normal part of the shopping experience in this store.

  39. Karen   •  

    A person gets personal attention . The store is one of the few that carries my style and size

  40. Joanne Chong   •  

    Grass jelly roasted milk tea at the warden Ave location is the best. Only place that makes it perfect every time. Great plaza to relax at and the customer service is always great even when they are busy…which is all the time. Keep up the great work!

  41. cindy carey   •  

    I love my local store in Edson alberta because the staff is always friendly and they always have both dog food in stock for my babies.

  42. Judy Shkolny   •  

    My favourite small retailer is called Prairie Oils And Vinegars in Steinbach. They sell different balsamic vinegars and Ev Olive Oils. I love this retailer because the vinegars matched with the oils are so good and tasty. I use lots of Oils and vinegars in,lots of different foods for a tasty meal.

  43. Karen Zwolak   •  

    Decor on a dime on Rymal Rd at Nebo in Hamilton is a fun store with favulous staff. Check it out. My first time experience was last week and I will be there again.

  44. Gert   •  

    I recommend Starlet in Napanee
    A great versatile store with reasonable prices. Love the shoes and pandora.

  45. Gert   •  

    I recommend Starlet in Napanee
    A great versatile store with reasonable prices. Love the shoes and pandora.

  46. Tina Allison   •  

    I nominate St Joachim Diner for this contest, because every time my boyfriend and I go in there we are greeted with smiles, and the staff is always so friendly and offering the best meals and service. I have no complaints at all about this little restaurant, and it feels so cozy and ‘home like’ in the atmosphere. The food is made from scratch with love, and even when it gets super busy the wait staff is just happy and cheerful. Management is doing a fantastic job, and I am so happy to be able to live so close to this diner, because when I am running out of time for a home cooked meal, I know I can just go here and have a fantastic meal every time!

  47. Gail Neumann   •  

    This stores is hands down my favorite , great people and an outstanding selection of beautiful items

  48. Roar   •  

    8th St books and comics (the location os right in the name! Plus there is a bunch of free parking and a bus stip right out front. Easy to find) in saskatoon.
    The owner Pat and the Valkerys (female.comic.employees) that work there are so knowledgeable and amazing. This is one of the few comic book stores where I haven’t experienced the gatekeeping that often comes with being a woman in a comic book shop.
    All of the staff remember my name and pull list number and greet me with both when I walk in. They make spot on recommendations for titles I would have missed ( going so far as to set one aside to show me when I come in) by paying careful attention to the titles I’m already buying. They are amazing at helping me find hadn’t get titles and combing the used book side of the shop whatever obscure title I feel I need that week. They are also fantastic with my 5 yr old who is very into superheros and goosebumps. They chat with him about whichever book or item he is checking out, sharing age appropriate tidbits about his favourite characters.
    Even before I was a weekly regular this shop always made me feel welcome. As long as I live in this city and continue to read, thus will always be my first stop for books and comics. It will be the place I recommend to anyone looking for a good read and great service.

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