Toronto is a town of neighbourhoods, and each one has its own flavour. How often do you go walk around your neighbourhood, or perhaps meet up with a friend on the other side of town and enjoy what their Main Street has to offer? Truly we are spoiled for options in the6; Cabbagetown is so different from Bayview Village. Roncey gets so much love, but Upper Gerrard is coming into its own! I love travelling ‘all the way’ to Little India for Dosas, and the Waterfront is a perennial favourite in summer.
This July, Indie Retailer Month. launches in Toronto to celebrate all the stores that make our neighbourhoods uniquely amazing. Our hope is to remind Toronto how helpful they are, what great products they carry, and how they are worth fighting for. We want to encourage Toronto to SHOP LOCAL for the month of July so they can explore their hood and get to know their next-door-neighbour indie retailers…and once they’ve done that, explore further afield to check out the other areas of the city that they haven’t visited before or that are still relatively new (such as the Canary District). We are very privileged to have such amazing cultural diversity at our disposal to eat, listen to and enjoy.
Shop Local is a movement that has grown in recent years, and with the recent US politics imposing tariffs on Canadian goods going into the States, a lot of Canadians are looking to support home-grown goods and manufacturers. By highlighting what is available locally, we hope to underscore that buying Canadian can be both affordable and incredibly convenient. As well, it only benefits us ourselves: money spent in the neighbourhood stays local at a significantly higher rate than money spent at big box stores. As well, the rate at which your indie retailer gives back to their own community far outstrips the investments of corporations; so shopping local is really an investment in ourselves!
Indie Retailer Month has some great sponsors on board, such as Meridian Credit Union and VM.ID, as well as Mount Pleasant Village BIA. As well, our community partners include several other BIAs, and dozens of retailers from across the city. We encourage you to follow us on socials to keep up with our retailer stories during July, and don’t forget to tell us YOUR stories! We are hoping for people to reach out with heartfelt testimonials of the amazing businesses they have come across and the great experiences they have had. Let’s share what we care about when it comes to preserving the spirit of our communities!
Indie Retailer Month was brought to Canada by Catherine Chan, Senior Consultant at the Retail Therapist and CEO of FitIn, a new fitness platform for independent gyms and personal trainers. She was quickly joined by Meg Marshall, a local community builder who manages several BIAs and who has also spearheaded many local initiatives