Local Shoutout—Toronto, Ontario

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) estimates potential permanent closures of up to 222,000 small and medium-sized businesses, depending on how the situation evolves.  That’s 21 percent of all Canadian businesses.  The corresponding job losses would range between 962,000 and 2,951,000 Canadian workers.

While most of us are struggling financially right now, it is extremely important to support local small businesses whenever we can.  Not only is it stimulating our economy, helping each other is simply the Canadian thing to do.  Over the last few months, I have been trying to be more conscious of where I am spending my money.  Although it’s not always possible for me to support local because—lets face it—shopping at Walmart or Dollarama is often less expensive and more convenient.

So, to support local business, I have compiled a list of small and medium-sized businesses that I have personally patronized and feel that the price, quality, and customer service deserve a shoutout.

Mable’s Fables Bookstore
“Bringing families and books together since 1988.”

Mable’s Fables Bookstore is an adorable bookstore located on Mount Pleasant Road.  Not only does Mable’s have a great selection of books in their cozy, welcoming shop, they also have a variety of programs such as Mable’s Mystery Book Club, a monthly book subscription, and gift baskets for every occasion.  They also participate in the Kids Read North program, which sends books to children in Northern Ontario First Nations communities.

Likely General
“Likely is an artist-focused shop & gallery primarily supporting the expressions of 300~ women, queer & marginalized artists since 2013.

Likely General is a “multi-functional space” located on Roncesvalles Avenue.  They sell a variety of items made by local sellers, including clothing, home goods, art, and apothecary products.  They also host workshops, events, book launches, lectures, and a community-minded gallery offering a new exhibit once a month.

In 2014, Likely General created a monthly donation goal and have since donated regularly to a variety of organizations throughout the community, including Foodshare, ESN, Sistering, Nellies Shelter, Toronto Prisoners Project, Toronto Rape Crisis Centre, Wet’suwet’en Legal fund, Ocama Collective, Black Lives Matter, Black Legal Action Centre, and the community of KI.

The Night Baker
“You want cookies? You have come to the right place! We make cookies…Delicious, delicious, delicious cookies.  We make original and creative recipes to help you achieve our one goal: Eat Cookie.  Be Happy.”

The Night Baker has two locations on College Street and Danforth Avenue.  You can purchase in store, curb-side pickup, or order delivery from anywhere in Canada and the US.  The rotating flavors are to die for, and the cookies are baked fresh all day, every day.  The Night Baker also donates any left-over cookies to a food bank to eliminate food waste.

I recognize that these are all based in Toronto, so if these aren’t local to you, I hope this article can encourage you to research the small businesses and services available in your hometown.  Let’s work together to stimulate the economy, practice environmental responsibility, and support our communities.

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