Living in Toronto bring opportunities to sample tastes from around the world without having to venture far. If you go to any of Toronto’s neighborhoods based around a specific culture you can find local supermarkets, butchers and fresh food and veg stores that cater towards that particular community or ethnicity – and the prices are typically low.
For your catch-all weekly shop, there are a few main options that will cater for almost all your needs. Conveniently, supermarkets in Toronto can now sell alcohol, a practice that was restricted to state-owned stores until 2015.
Farmer’s markets in Toronto tend to be seasonal and close for the winter months, so when you find one near you be sure to check out when they open and close for the year.
Supermarkets in Toronto: Supermarket chains
Loblaws: Considered to be the more expensive of the large-scale supermarkets, Loblaws may cost a little more than the others but not prohibitively so, and the quality of the fresh foods matches the higher prices. You’ll be able to find all the groceries you would expect at a large chain, as well as an in-store butchery, fishmonger, bakery and a hot food counter at its outlets.
Metro: The chain with probably the most outlets in the city, it’s likely that wherever you live or work you shouldn’t be too far from a Metro. Prices are generally quite competitive and there’s the added bonus that many Metro locations are open 24 hours a day. Metro’s fresh food counter offers some excellent meal deal options for its lunch time customers – you can get an excellent, healthy lunch for just $8.
No Frills: Distinctive by its bright yellow colour scheme – the budget chain has the lowest prices of all the franchises, and there are great savings to be had on many items. It’s fresh food options may not be considered as high quality as it’s rivals, but there’s a noticeable difference at the till. No Frills doesn’t have as many outlets as the other big supermarkets.
Walmart: The American chain covers just about all bases. From food to clothing to household appliances and furniture, it’s all under the same roof and all reasonably priced.
Sobey’s: Similar to Loblaws in pricing, Sobey’s supermarkets are typically quite a bit smaller but some of its larger outlets do have fresh fish and meat counters as well. Also, like Loblaws it has an impressive beer selection, which can save you making a separate trip to an LCBO or Beer Store. If you find one near work Sobey’s is a good option to pop in and get your lunch to go.
Supermarkets in Toronto: Wholesale
Costco: This wholesale warehouse sells goods in bulk and requires an annual membership to become a customer. It’s very useful if you’re hosting a party, or getting some supplies for your new home as the prices are greatly reduced due to bulk buying and they have a huge range of products. There are several in the Greater Toronto area and although one of the main frustrations with Costco is that it can be very frustrating to shop there without a car, the company is exploring ways to start a home delivery feature to it’s service in Toronto after successfully introducing it in the US. Membership packages range from $60 to $120 a year.