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Eat & Drink

The best and worst No Frills in Toronto

Posted by Erinn Beth Langille / February 20, 2014

best no frills torontoThe best and worst No Frills in Toronto may seem like a trivial concern, but access to affordable, nutritious food should be everyone's concern. As a discount grocery, No Frills tries to provide fresh produce, meat and fish, and dry and canned goods at affordable prices in a clean and friendly atmosphere. Even better is when they have dollar stores, pharmacies and household items all under one roof. Compared to more upscale grocery chains such as Loblaws, No Frills specifically targets the budget-conscious and at best can prove that a grocery shop can be interesting and fun without breaking the bank.

But one can surmise a co-relation between quality of grocery and quality of life in Toronto's neighbourhoods. A decline in store standards and selection can reflect a decline in the potential well being of its customers. Limp, old fruit and vegetables, off-meat, and lack of variety are bad for minds and bodies. Stressful line-ups, grumpy staff, disorganized, empty or crammed aisles add extra tension to figuring out what's for dinner.

Here's are the best and worst No Frills in Toronto.

BEST

Lansdowne and Dundas
Peter's No Frills wins hands down for best in Toronto - it's big, organized, well stocked with products, and the produce is fresh and varied. The fish and meat counters are top notch, besides the usual cuts at rock-bottom prices, they carry offal and there are a number of tanks with live fish and multiple types of clams, mussels, and other shellfish.

Black Creek and Eglinton
Another sprawling No Frills location, this grocery store wins big points for its in-house butcher counter and fishmonger. While you won't find super-marbled rib eyes here, less popular cuts are well-priced and in plentiful supply. The produce section is typically good as well, though it pays to come early in the day as it's also very busy here. The in-store pharmacy is also a nice touch.

Yonge and Steeles
Connected to the Centrepoint Mall is Carlo's No Frills - a great place to stock up on reasonably priced groceries. The fresh seafood is commendable, as is the large section of kosher and international foods, spices in particular. The double exits with cashiers keep lines to a minimum, and with parking nearby, the whole trip is a breeze.

Front Street
Clean, efficient, and well stocked, Luciano's No Frills on Front has won over the neighbourhood. The produce is fresh, the aisles wide and organized, and items are consistently less expensive than nearby competitors. Staff are friendly and helpful and the cashier line-ups bearable. With all this, they might consider changing the name to "Lucky Luciano's Plenty of Frills."

Royal York, South of the Gardiner
Hit Mario and Selena's No Frills on Royal York if you want to keep the family feed and happy for less. It has the best produce of any No Frills in the Mimico area and the regular in-store specials are great for the budget-conscious. The pharmacy inside helps with the one-stop shopping too.

Pacific (The Junction)
A flowing layout makes Tim and Sue's No Frills in the Junction easy to get around, and while the selection isn't as wide as some other groceries, they have a good number of the choice PC products and the health food section isn't too shabby either.

Bathurst and Wilson
Pat's No Frills at Bathurst and Wilson doesn't look like much and the parking is confusing, but it stands out for its impressive array of gluten-free items (it has a whole freezer section dedicated to them), as well as just about every kosher product you can imagine, including cereal and candy.

Best/Worst

Dufferin Mall
Joe's No Frills in the Dufferin Mall is certainly divisive - you either love it or you hate it. Pros: fresh and varied produce, butchery and seafood stations, a decent ethnic foods section, a lot of unique items and it's cheap. Cons" the layout is chaos, they don't take Visa, line-ups can be long, the shelves are often empty by weeks' end, and shopping carts have seen better days. Is it the worst of the best, or the best of the worst?

WORST

Runnymede
Small, poor layout and cluttered are just some of the complaints of Nicholson's No Frills in the Bloor West Village, but the list goes on. Long line-ups at peak dinner hours, limited selection, and occasionally dodgy produce don't make up for the perks, which include free parking, cheap prices, and kind staff.

Parliament and Carlton
Oh dear, with no deli or dollar store, high shelving, and a decidedly slim selection, Cosimo's No Frills in Cabbagetown just can't compare to the bounty of the grocery mega-complexes we've come to expect. Covering the basics just doesn't keep you up with the Joneses anymore.

Coxwell
Despite the limited variety and rundown vibe, Rocca's No Frills in the Upper Beach is still crowded with customers desperate to get the basics for a steal. The service isn't bad, but they just don't seem to carry any of the increasingly popular items like gluten-free bread, and sell out of others such as kale quickly.

Parkdale, King and Jameson
The King and Jameson Vi's No Frills is pretty run-of-the-mill in terms of discount groceries, but decidedly shitty when it comes to produce variety and quality. It also lacks dedicated meat and seafood counters, so don't expect excellent proteins either. You can get the basics here, but that's about it.

Alberta Ave
Freddie's No Frills on Alberta Ave is often crowded at the cash, there is no butchery or fish counter and shelf-stocking takes place at busy times, making the aisles cramped and inconvenient. They have a wild selection, a lot of things you wouldn't expect; yet sometimes the basic stuff is nowhere to be found. That strange mix of offerings could help you get out of a food rut or keep you hungry -- who knows?

Photo by otherstream on Flickr

Discussion

112 Comments

East Wang / February 20, 2014 at 12:54 pm
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The No Frills at Vic Park and St. Clair is great, although since that's not part of BlogTO's Toronto, I guess it was overlooked. Ditto Carlaw and Gerrard.
JJ / February 20, 2014 at 01:01 pm
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I like the No Frills at Eglinton and Victoria Park. They have a fish and meat counter and usually the produce selection is good.

And I agree with the Coxwell No Frills. It's always very crowded and selection can be limited.
Pat / February 20, 2014 at 01:13 pm
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What happened to the No Frills locations in Scarborough and other parts of the city?
Michelle / February 20, 2014 at 01:14 pm
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Another vote for Pacific. Though I live closer to the Freshco on Dundas I travel the extra distance to this No Frills. The bonus is that if you need a few "Fancy" groceries you can swing by Sweet Potato nearby to complete your trip.

It's definitely the cleanest and freshest of the discount grocers I've been to in the west end. Thank god I don't live near the Jameson one anymore.
hmm? / February 20, 2014 at 01:15 pm
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So basically, with a name like No Frills...what this list actually is, is the best of the worst.
kyle / February 20, 2014 at 01:17 pm
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Carlaw & Gerrard is a great one also.

Mark / February 20, 2014 at 01:23 pm
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You've actually used a picture of the No Frills at Midland and Kingston Rd, without acknowledging any of the stores there. Well done, BlogDowntownTO.


SandraB / February 20, 2014 at 01:28 pm
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Eglinton & Dufferin location is pretty sad.
David C / February 20, 2014 at 01:33 pm
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The one on Front is pretty good but you do need to watch out for expiry dates. The staff are generally very pleasant there but I wish they had a "Make a suggestion" form or box as there are items they do not have but are seen in other No Frills or would simply be a 'good idea" (i.e. I would buy them!)
BillyO / February 20, 2014 at 01:33 pm
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Front St is great for those that live downtown. Accessible by car (free parking!), transit/bike or by foot. Very clean store.
Visa not accepted here / February 20, 2014 at 01:40 pm
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No Frills doesn't take Visa at any location. They will take a PC Master Card though, or any Master Card.
mikeb / February 20, 2014 at 01:41 pm
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I drive to Lansdowne and Dundas instead of the ones closer to me at Oakwood/St Clair and Dufferin Mall.

That said, just for the name and the other reasons mentioned above, Dickie's at Vic Park and Eglinton is the best one in Toronto.
Meagan / February 20, 2014 at 01:43 pm
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I miss living across the street from the Carlaw and Gerrard one, and near the Lansdowne-Dundas and Pacific Ave ones. Le sigh..But I don't know that the Lansdowne one can call itself No Frills - it has a drive through pharmacy, can't deny that's a frill or two :)
Ed / February 20, 2014 at 01:46 pm
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Dino's No Frills - Avenue Road & Deloraine (Wilson).
This was a great store a few years back, but now it's a real disappointment. Their meat section is poorly stocked, sometimes looking more like a meat counter in Eastern Europe during the Cold-War. You enter the store and have to cruise along the check-out counters, looking for a hand basket. It's simple guys, keep a stack at the entrance! I found Blue Menu, Steel-cut oats that was priced at $3.57. It sells at Loblaws for $2.99. They refused to price-match it because I could not show them the item from a Loblaws flyer. That's because the regular price at Loblaws is always lower than the same item at No Frills (ironic, isn't it?). I can't say how many times I have gone to that store to purchase some sale items and they had empty shelves.
Natalie / February 20, 2014 at 01:49 pm
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The King and Jameson No Frills only became "Vi's" about a year ago, and in that time has seen a number of improvements, including increased selection in specialty products and a brand new gluten-free section. I also noticed half-sized carts recently, which are excellent because the space is so small it makes using full-sized carts nearly impossible.

On the other hand, the store's run-down entrance is one of the grimiest spots in the city.
Lansdown rocks! / February 20, 2014 at 01:55 pm
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I looooove the Lansdown/Dundas store! I could spend hours in there going up and down each aisle because everything is so clean and organized. This is how all grocery stores should aspire to be. My only beef is the shitty placement of the entrance cuz it's so damn far away from the streetcar stop and I usually end up over-buying whenever I go there. I can't wait until we get the new streetcars on Dundas that are low to the ground so I can bring my bundle-buggy easily.
Kate / February 20, 2014 at 02:05 pm
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Another vote for Dickie's/Golden Mile No Frills. Was my go to chain store when I lived in Scarborough - by passed the closer one at Vic Park and Lawrence for groceries. Now in the west end, I agree with the top choices and at all costs avoid the Runnymede location, which is cluttered and disorienting.
Jay / February 20, 2014 at 02:49 pm
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As usual, the hipster media manages to not dip their toe too Far East of Yonge. Vic Park and Eglinton is a massive store with a fresh fish counter and underground parking.
RM / February 20, 2014 at 03:17 pm
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Love the Front St location! Their meats selection is often better than Metro's, and they have a pharmacy with great service.
RM replying to a comment from RM / February 20, 2014 at 03:18 pm
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(Also, the St. Jamestown location is awful.)
Drew / February 20, 2014 at 03:25 pm
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The Jameson No Frills burned holes in my soul when I lived in Parkdale. The produce was disgusting, the store was always filthy, and there were usually always long lines. One of the most degrading experiences I've had on a weekly basis since moving to Toronto 4 years ago.
Khristopher / February 20, 2014 at 03:28 pm
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You left out Gerrard and Carlaw!
Goldielover / February 20, 2014 at 03:46 pm
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I actually like the Dufferin Mall one, although I would never go there on a weekend. Fine on weekdays provided you go fairly early. At least it is clean and bright. Much better than the one near Dufferin and Eglinton, which is usually grubby and dark.
The Author Is Sorely Mistaken / February 20, 2014 at 03:57 pm
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This list is terrible, due to how inaccurate the facts are! No Nofrills takes visa first off. Second the carts at Dufferin mall are fine. I've seen the maintenance company working on them before and they have added more recently. They also have small ones which no other store has. They have Pavao meats as thier butcher which is a phenomenal local butcher! Best meat in the city! Also for how busy it gets it is remarkably clean and well stocked. Simply speak to the management when you need something, they always come through! Best store in the city! Also Tom's on Vic Park and the new one at Dixon and Islington are great!
McRib / February 20, 2014 at 04:04 pm
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YOU LEFT OUT MY FAVOURITE LOCAL NO FRILLS YOU UTTER BASTARDS
james / February 20, 2014 at 04:06 pm
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Golden Mile is good and so is Carlaw and I also like the Albion/Finch location...kennedy/eglinton is crap so is brimley/eglinton
Brenda / February 20, 2014 at 04:13 pm
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Your photo is of Rod & Joe's No Frills on Kingston and yet it isn't in your article. It also lacks a deli counter, butcher counter, etc

The fridges and freezers are slightly better than they used to be so you don't regularly get things that have go off immhttp://www.blogto.com/images/button-addcomment.pngediately but that's not really a perk.
ReaganFan101 / February 20, 2014 at 04:51 pm
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You'd think that the clueless clowns who write this site have never read or written a book about the history of grocery retail in Toronto!

Clueless clowns!

Read a damn book sometime!

Stéphane / February 20, 2014 at 04:53 pm
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None of the No Frills take VISA. That shouldn't be considered a con for one specific location.
Tracy / February 20, 2014 at 04:58 pm
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Morningside and Lawrence/Kingston Rd is horrible

Island rd in Scar is basic no deli counter, but is nice and clean
Shannon / February 20, 2014 at 05:01 pm
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South Etobicoke, Lakeshore and Browns Line. One to add to the list of the best!
Scarborough repping / February 20, 2014 at 05:06 pm
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What about the fantastic one at Vic park and Eglinton!! I agree, blogto is too downtown-focused.
Lori / February 20, 2014 at 05:53 pm
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In all fairness to Coxwell location I wrote to Loblaws head office and asked for more organic offerings and they responded with same! Lots of organic apples, milk, and banana's, and the Organics line of products are also available. It has a small store footprint so that cannot be changed but the metal floor in the dairy isle is not only a slip and fall risk but is an eyesore. This store services a mixed demographic of mercedes driving and bundle buggy pushing customers.
Alf / February 20, 2014 at 06:09 pm
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I live around the corner of the Alberta ave. store and for yrs. I have complained about its poor service,bad produce, rude cashiers, rude stock people, which I can never understand why in the world they would clog up the isles, during busy times, with their carts and whatever else they use to stock up!
They did some renovations a few yrs ago, but low and behold all they did was add more freezers and fridges! Why not go all the way with maybe a flower shop? Fish market. A lottery kiosk? Or even a butcher shop for fresh cuts? On and on I could go, but I think you get the drift! One more beef.......I just love it when they supply empty boxes for the consumers to pack their groceries in...........without a bottom, not just once, but always!! How sad, this location has a huge parking lot, but that is it! Until I see big changes, I will continue to go further distance to Freshco!
Alf replying to a comment from mikeb / February 20, 2014 at 06:12 pm
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I agree with you! I too do the same! What a shame as this community is growing so quickly and is in such need of a great grocery store! What a waste !
Karen / February 20, 2014 at 06:20 pm
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The one at Rathburn and Renforth has got to be the worst one. Meat always looks disgusting, the boxes of food in the freezers are often freezer-burnt, they always seem to run out of sale items, and they have somehow found a way to lay it out so that it seems even smaller than it actually is (the Red and White store that used to be there felt comparatively light and roomy).
Duckie / February 20, 2014 at 06:43 pm
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The No Frills at Sherbourne and Bloor used to be terrible. So small, so crowded, crappy selection of food. Good thing it closed.
E Grant / February 20, 2014 at 07:09 pm
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Coxwell/Gerrard has, like, insanely competent and efficient cashiers.

Selection isn't what it could be, but the staff at the registers have got it together.
Syncros / February 20, 2014 at 07:19 pm
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The Gerrard and Carlaw nofrills is great. Its in the old spacious Knob Hill Farms. Should definitely be on the list.
Blah / February 20, 2014 at 07:25 pm
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Sheriff's No Frills at Albion and Finch turns into the apocalypse when it gets crowded. Holy hell. Basket carts that never, ever work, and that you have to create another line next to a checkout line in order to get as soon as someone else takes their food out. An extremely pushy employee (or two) in the back of the store asking you to take or try something, who will step your in your way and try and force her nonsense upon you. Employees that give zero fucks about racing their pallet jacks around like the Indy 500. Some pretty disgusting smelling freezers, especially the milk fridge which I don't think has been cleaned in a very long time.
Bolo / February 20, 2014 at 07:25 pm
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No Frills at Don Mills and Finch is the worst i've been to! They won't price match Walmart of other Loblaws stores. They also have huge lineups at the end of the day with very few registers open
Cameron / February 20, 2014 at 07:26 pm
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The Landsdowne and Dundas location is probably the best grocery store in Toronto. It's better than the Loblaws which is less than a KM away. Peter's is astonishingly good.
Dean Tudor / February 20, 2014 at 07:49 pm
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The No Frills (and its large parking lot) at Runnymede and Bloor is just a holding operation until the condos roll in, probably in 2015/16. Big bucks in the future!!
Taylor / February 20, 2014 at 07:50 pm
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Relax people who don't live downtown, if none of these lists ever include your area why do you even read them? Stop getting so butthurt it's called BlogTO not BlogGTA
KaNa / February 20, 2014 at 08:14 pm
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What about the ones at Agincourt mall and Steeles/Silver Star?
The Agincourt one is very very very busy you have to wait about 10 min to line up if you go on weekends. Cheap finds though.
The one on Steeles/Silver Star is more Asian-oriented with a seafood section and a Chinese bakery. I can't remember when was the last time I've been.
dttt / February 20, 2014 at 08:21 pm
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I usually rotate between dufferin mall and the one on landsdowne. first off, neither takes visa so i don't know why that's a complaint for joe and not pete. second, while pete is generally less chaotic, joe's butcher is 1000000000 times better. so say what you want, in terms of meat selection, it's dufferin mall hands down over landsdowne.
CG / February 20, 2014 at 08:21 pm
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Agree that Alberta Ave can be sloooow to cash out, but it has improved since the store's makeover. The restocking during peak hours has to stop though. Um..duh! Produce is generally very fresh and they stock lots of 'ethnic' goodies (italian, west indian, asian, etc.)
The location at Dufferin & Eglinton however needs to be bulldozed. VERY dismal.
Rob Bi / February 20, 2014 at 08:24 pm
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Lansdowne and dundas was still the best nofrills around even years ago when it was ran by that clown Rennie and his good for nothing wife Liz. It's been taken over by a new owner who I hear is a lot better, so I can see why it's rated as one of the best. I worked at joes nofrills at dufferin mall when I was 16 for a couple months. I'm almost 30 and most of the same people still work there so he must be doing something right.
Kate / February 20, 2014 at 08:33 pm
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People complaining there's nothing rated outside of downtown (which isn't the case with this list)should keep in mind that these lists get compiled from readers' votes/poles. Vote, otherwise expect these results. I look forward to any updated lists on independent grocers (Highland Farms, Fiesta Farms, Lady York, El Premium etc).
Brent / February 20, 2014 at 08:34 pm
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The "like" stores are mostly larger-footprint stores in a more suburban model (not all... e.g. Front St. which is located within the Toronto Sun bulding) whereas the "dislike" stores are pretty much all older, smaller-footprint stores, many of which probably used to be Loblaws stores.

The larger footprint seems to be showing up as a "pro" ("spacious" / "selection") and the smaller footprint as a "con" ("crowded" / "lack of selection"). But I see larger footprint as a con. I shop at the Coxwell no frills for the 90% of my shopping that I can do there... if I ever have to set foot in the Vic Park Loblaw's for any of the remaining 10%, I feel like I am on a major expedition just walking back and forth in the store. And I don't have to trek across a giant frozen parking lot to get in from the streetcar.

How many people have an urgent need to buy kale or gluten-free bread on a regular basis, anyway?
iliveattheverve / February 20, 2014 at 08:51 pm
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the No Frills at Victoria Park & Eglinton is massive, has a great selection, good butcher, fresh fish, plenty of parking (including underground), and the "mall" it's in has a joe fresh and bulk barn.
Gasoline / February 20, 2014 at 08:51 pm
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This is why Peter's at Lansdowne and Dundas is known as the One Frill. It offers just a little more than your usual No Frills.
Kate replying to a comment from Brent / February 20, 2014 at 08:55 pm
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I've nothing against small and efficient, it's just some of these locations are almost hoarded. Loblaw would be better trying to convert them to the small/mid sized Valu-Marts.

Since we've had two lists from Loblaw in the past 2 days, I'm wondering if there's a comparative Metro and Sobeys list, or on the low end Fresh Co/Price Chopper and Food Basics.
Lansdowne War Veto / February 20, 2014 at 09:03 pm
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Bring back Knob Hill Farms and it's legendary ramp!
Seema / February 20, 2014 at 09:42 pm
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Dufferin Mall one ain't bad. Good some good hours and if you don't find what you want just walk to the other side of the mall and go to walmart. http://tinyurl.com/NoFrillsDufferin
wheresminnie / February 20, 2014 at 09:45 pm
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I have only frequented 4 No Frills stores since living in TO, and all 3 were exactly where I would put them on the list. And the 4th, as mentioned in the comments, was the hell hole on Sherbourne that thankfully closed.

Parliament - Okay if you have plenty of extra time to remember what stupid side street the parking lot hides in. And then if you're one of the lucky 8 people to get a space.

Pacific - Where I used to leisurely roam the aisles, soaking up deals, chatting with friendly staff, and finish off with a poutine at the chip truck outside.

Runnymede - Where I go now when I want to instantly put myself in a bad mood. Rude, obnoxious customers. Disturbingly long lines. Oh - and let's not forget the aisles that are only wide enough for one basket to pass at a time. Forget carts. Just forget it.
FuckYeah! / February 20, 2014 at 09:49 pm
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Bring back Knob Hill Farms with its legendary shopping carts, Card board and plastic baskets, and chips with the maple leaf on them. Giver!!!
Tanya / February 20, 2014 at 09:52 pm
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Its always great to be home.
Flashbacks / February 21, 2014 at 08:38 am
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Lol at knob hill farms. I use to love coming here with my parents as a kid. Flying down that ramp with the shopping cart was awesome! Adults use to do it too so I wonder how many people got hurt? I use to love playing Nintendo at the video game shop and I would always get excited when I saw many cat sightings in aisle's.
Joe Q. / February 21, 2014 at 10:43 am
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So much high praise for the Lansdowne / Dundas location. Never been there, though I've often driven past -- will have to check it out. I am a regular at the Alberta Ave. location, though -- lines are long, staples frequently out of stock, but what bothers me most is the fact that produce starts being packed away about an hour before store closing if things are slow. If you are grocery shopping on a Monday evening, don't even bother getting there after 8pm. The fruit and veggies will already be packed away for the night (closing time is 9pm).
Joe Q. / February 21, 2014 at 10:44 am
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Also have to add that the Dufferin / Eglinton location is abysmal. Will never go back. The Dufferin Mall one is pretty good, they have a large selection and long hours.
Symantha / February 21, 2014 at 11:16 am
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Nicholson's No Frills ROCKS - despite the "cozy" environment it is great. Where in Toronto can you park for free, see neighbours old and young, chat with the staff (Meat Department Mike and Angela are my favourites)and basically feel part of an awesome community. This is a walking neighbourhood gem. I understand space is a premium but that is what city living is all about.
Symantha replying to a comment from Symantha / February 21, 2014 at 11:16 am
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FYI - Nicholson's is referred to the Runnymede No Frills
Former NoFrills Employee replying to a comment from The Author Is Sorely Mistaken / February 21, 2014 at 11:28 am
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None of the NoFrills stores accept Visa. Mastercard only.
Chels / February 21, 2014 at 12:15 pm
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I agree with the Eglinton and Vic park comment. Great no frills. Definitely overlooked as it's not in a trendy neighbourhood. I would actually argue that it's better than the lansdowne and Dundas one, though that one is pretty good.
Dylan replying to a comment from Ed / February 21, 2014 at 02:01 pm
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I completely agree in regards to Dino's No Frills. I love the convenience and price savings of having a No Frills in a neighbourhood bookended by Pusateri's and a Bruno's Fine Foods, but the amount of times I've gone in to purchase basic meat items and discovered empty shelves littered with the occasional tray of chicken or sausages is disappointing.
Paula replying to a comment from JJ / February 21, 2014 at 06:06 pm
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We also agree with Eglinton and VP No Frills, we do all our shopping there, eventhough we live closer to the inferior Coxwell No Frills.
Wiston / February 21, 2014 at 08:07 pm
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Good article - I tend to agree. I lived in Cabbagetown when the local supermarket was Food Basics or No Frills (neither were great locations) but after shopping there I feel like I'm being robbed when I go into a Metro or a Loblaws.

The good No Frills are a better shopping experience then their more expensive cousins.
Stephanie Alverez / February 21, 2014 at 09:12 pm
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Dont go to Lawrence+ Vic Park (la rosa). The owners are super racist, they always leave the halal chicken out for like 6 hours before packin it in the bins cuz they say 'sand ni&&as should all die from food poisoning'. And they always make all the black guys do the hard shelf stocking cuz 'black ppl are too pazy to pick cotton'. And yeah they dont like jewish people so they carry like 5 kosher foods and they always almost expired. Please boycott larosas at vicpark and lawrence, they are a bunch of elitist self-entitled fuqbagz.
Parkd / February 22, 2014 at 09:27 am
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The attitude of the staff at Runnymede is terrible. The location is small and overcrowded, so a simple smile and any sort of awareness could really make a difference.
ag / February 22, 2014 at 11:01 pm
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I got to Dufferin Mall almost every other day - so I feel pretty confident when I say its more WORST than BEST. I agree with the commenters above. Fun/Disgusting fact: One time I saw a young girl with a small bird perched on her arm while waiting in line. UGH!
Kristin / February 23, 2014 at 01:16 pm
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The Coxwell location is great if you're buying staples/basics - you know, flour, sugar, rice, fresh fruit and veg (the produce quality is usually really good). I appreciate the recent addition of more organic produce but wish they'd carry more vegan products, like soy yogurt and vegan margarine. Maybe if I write the head office they will!
J / February 23, 2014 at 01:22 pm
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-Landsdowne and Dundas is the BEST!
-Dixon and Islington is also a great one.
-Dufferin Mall is too hectic and inconsistent.
-Dixie outlet mall is sad in comparison. Sadly it's now the closest to me....
JJ replying to a comment from SandraB / February 23, 2014 at 02:11 pm
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Agreed - Eglinton & Ennerdale (just west of Dufferin) is terrible. I can't believe it didn't make it onto the list. Gross and crowded store, poor selection, scary looking dairy and meat sections, old freezers in the aisles crammed with semi-cool half-frozen/half-thawed products. Shop here at your own risk!
Mark replying to a comment from Taylor / February 23, 2014 at 02:24 pm
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Newsflash, Taylor: Scarborough isn't part of the GTA. It's part of Toronto. Thanks for playing.
Mary / February 23, 2014 at 06:46 pm
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Front St is clean, but not all the staff are good. I've had several occasions when I've heard inappropriate language, refused to change displays that are mixed up, and uninformed about products. The pharmacy is excellent though. It's a shame that the store no longer carry gluten free and organic products.
NotARegular / February 24, 2014 at 12:10 am
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The Dickie's No Frills, located at Golden Mile plaza at Vic Pk. and Danforth is by far the best No Frills I've shopped.
Friendly, helpful staff, fresh produce and a fresh meat/seafood counter, and it's very clean.
I don't drive, so I'm just grateful that I live so close. Price matching is fantastic!
Blair / February 24, 2014 at 02:35 pm
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Ditto pretty much all of the above:

Coxwell - Usually has flyer specials in stock (main reason for going). Iffy meat section. (Iffy meat... tastes like chicken, try it sometime)
Golden Mile - Huge. Awesome selection. Always had a problem with Charlie's Meat counter (odd-smelling chicken), so I've given up on that. Otherwise, best in the east.
Lansdowne - Best in the west. Lousy for pedestrians, but great for packing up a carload of bargains
Carlaw/Riverdale - Large, but also dicey in terms of getting flyer specials.
Dufferin Mall - Madhouse.
King/Jameson - Run down. Captive audience. No inspiration to renovate
Sherbourne - Closed. Hallelujah!
Front Street - Nice, new, great way to top up your trip to St. Lawrence Market

And the best one in the chain......

Fort Erie - Everything you need for a week at the cottage.
bugeyedbrit / February 24, 2014 at 11:18 pm
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Another vote for Dundas/Landsdown, and the St Jamestown location has now shut as they are constructing a tower above it (because the area needs density).
Meredith / February 25, 2014 at 02:25 pm
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For the record, no No Frills takes Visa or AMEX. Just Mastercard, Debit and Cash.
vjp / March 2, 2014 at 08:15 pm
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Dufferin/Eglinton store has been renovated so it is a nicer shopping experience. Also new freezers so I don't worry about food safety as much. Products....my favourite coffee is no longer available there..large size PC Dark ...so I buy it elsewhere They were bringing in salmon cakes...a staple in my house....no longer available ...so these 2 items send me to Loblaws or Fortinos on a regular basis. It's an ok store for stocking up on soap, can goods, etc. I buy most of my produce at the new organic fruit store a few steps away and most of my meat at Nortown. As this winter has been so horribly cold...you can't beat Grocery Gateway!!!!!
t.dot replying to a comment from SandraB / March 3, 2014 at 09:05 pm
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E&D is certainly much worse than most of the ones on this worst list...
Jane / March 3, 2014 at 10:44 pm
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How does Erinn Beth Langille define "the basics"? Her positives and negatives aren't exactly objective.
Steve / April 27, 2014 at 12:10 pm
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The NO FRILLS on Keele Street north of Sheppard run by Vito is the best. I am voting them the NO. 1 No FRILLS store in
Ontario.
B Beaches / June 30, 2014 at 11:01 am
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Dufferin/Eglinton changed a few things..(renovation?),however they REMOVED FOOD!!!They REMOVED FOOD!!!It's nuts what a poor selection is left!!..It is still dismal, sketchy and fights break out frequently, cashiers cause fights as well, picking on vulnerable customers and one can always count on seeing one or three brazen thefts per visit!!!( black security guards turn away when black thieves do their "thang"!!)They make money hand over fist and show contempt for customers and community--never see THEIR sponsorship at local schools or anything!!!
Blort / July 3, 2014 at 02:34 pm
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Dickie's. Hands down the best No Frills. VP and Eg.
Black / July 18, 2014 at 07:10 am
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Racism at No Frills?? Hilarious
Customer / July 29, 2014 at 01:41 pm
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Today, I went to buy 36 tuna cans, because it was on sale. But cashier and her manager told me no frills policy has limitation to sell, and it is maximum 12.
I told them there is not any sign in the shelf to show this policy? and the manager answered they will talk with our management about this. that's it.
Anyway, I couldn't buy the things that I needed.
just want to know is there limitation for sell in the no frills policy?
thanks,
No Nicholson's / August 9, 2014 at 02:13 am
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Nicholson's no frills is the worst! Their management is horrible!
wazoo / August 16, 2014 at 04:11 pm
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There are just so many disgusting No Frills... how can you choose?
Jeff Boomer / August 16, 2014 at 04:51 pm
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Mike and lori's on island road is a dump trust me I'm related to the owners
bobby / August 16, 2014 at 05:18 pm
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No frills at VP and St clair is pretty awful.. Its small and the selection is really slim pickings. No frills at cedarbrae mall is literally Indian heaven.. I've never seen soany brown people in one store.. It stinks and the meat is all hallauh fuck I hate packies.
Longbranchgirl / August 16, 2014 at 05:57 pm
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The one at Brownsline & lakeshore is good BUT the cashiers have attitudes & in some cases quite miserable! the 2 older ladies with dark hair who look like sister are also so rude in the mornings
Pam Fontaine / August 16, 2014 at 05:59 pm
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The No Frills at Centerpoint Mall (Yonge/Steeles) is AWFUL. There are pillars in the middle of aisles making navigation impossible. The mall entrance checkout is cramped and always has long line ups. The bathroom is truly frightening. The bins of fresh rolls often contain unidentifiable bits of detritus. I can't believe this one made the BEST list. Yuck!
ZB / August 16, 2014 at 06:50 pm
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King & Jameson really isn't that bad, I live around the corner and never feel the need to treck the extra few blocks to Lansdowne.
brent replying to a comment from RM / August 16, 2014 at 06:57 pm
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This store is closed
Hardip / August 16, 2014 at 08:00 pm
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Sheriff Nofrills try to keep most the stuff required by according to the local cumminity.
Vito / August 16, 2014 at 10:29 pm
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I know it's not Toronto, but in Mississauga, Laura's No Frills is where it's at. Bloor and Fieldgate. Great staff and very helpful.
dentgal / August 17, 2014 at 07:29 am
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Vic Pk and Eglinton: it's sooo massive; nice produce section; haven't been happy with the fish--although i appreciate that they HAVE a fish counter!! absolutely HATE the huge ramp to get into the mall--i'll usually go to Vik Pk and Lawrence to avoid the ramp!!

Avenue Road & Deloraine (Dickies No Frills): close to my house; was BETTER before they renovated it--no one shopped there and there was never lineups at the check-outs!! It's small and quick--which i like; but the downside: they often don't carry national brands and only stock President's Choice products.

Bathurst & Wilson: I can't believe it's on the BEST list--i really despise this location. If you want KOSHER products, it's heaven (including kosher meat); otherwise, keep away.

NO FRILLS= NO THRILLS i slug it out at the NO FRILLS for canned goods/yoghurt and then take a deep breath and head over to PUSATERIS for produce, free coffee, and samples!!!; my kids can do blind taste tests and can taste the difference between apples at NO FRILLS and applies at PUSATERIS....and quite frankly, i need to treat myself after the NO FRILLS!!
Tre / August 17, 2014 at 07:39 am
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The Coxwell location is great for staples including produce and the staff is on the ball, friendly and they treat customers like human beings and vice-verse. I probably go back due to getting actual responses to questions to the stocking personnel and seeing the cleaning woman all the time. The place is spotless.

The size of the store makes it difficult for the variety of selection available at other locations (Golden Mile, Carlaw, VP/Lawrence) and oftentimes sale items are not available.

The area has not yet been fully gentrified so there is still the mix of more affluent shoppers with the sketch, which can be mitigated either way depending on the time of day one goes. (I wish the 'pharmacy' up the street would move.) Having the gym across the street helps to nudge the shopper demographic and hopefully the product offerings.
Val / August 17, 2014 at 05:23 pm
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The No Frills at carlton/parliment is indeed sparce, but it's one of the older stores that has a very small footprint - so small it's not really appropriate for a grocery store serving so many. I think they rotate their brands because sometimes I find, say, my brand of margarine, and sometimes it's nowhere to be found, no tag for it on the shelves and the shelves are full. I can excuse all that, if it weren't for the fact that the produce is just abysmal both in quality and variety. It USED to be nice, but as soon as the Loblaws opened at MLG it started sliding and fast - so if I have a complaint they just say "well go get it at loblaws". Yeah, and pay twice the price.

The one on sherbourne that closed was indeed awful though. It was bigger with a better variety but it was just ghetto as hell and the pillars in the checkout area made the whole deal unmanageable. The food basics around the corner is worse though.
vicky / August 17, 2014 at 10:36 pm
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Vp and St Clair is great. Everyone is always smiling and always help you right away when you ask. The only bad thing are the carts. As a mother of a two year old getting a cart is a must but some times I go though almost ten carts to find one that works right and doesn't keep stopping or is lose to the point that it's not safe. And switching carts that much on a busy street with a child of any age is really dangerous not to mention the bums outside.
abdul / August 18, 2014 at 06:07 am
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The nofrills at vic pk and Lawrence has recently improved in the produce department, I'm glad to say that I now feel comfortable buying my produce at this location as it always looks fresh and organized as oppose to before when the produce looked rotten. However when one department gets fixed it seems to be that another one suffers as the bread department has seem to take a turn for the worse and does not always look the best. Also I am pleased to say that the employees at this location are very helpful and friendly as they go out of their way to help the customer.
Sarah LaFonatine / August 18, 2014 at 08:03 am
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Rod and Joe's No Frills at Midland and Kingston Rd. in Scarborough recently refused to price match several of my items spouting that the stores are not in their area and they only price match from stores in thier area. WHAT???? That was the biggest load of BS I have ever heard. I have never heard the slogan say... "we will price match BUT we will only do so if the store is in our area". I have actually been meaning to write a letter but until now I forgot. Thank you for the reminder :)
Ellie S / August 18, 2014 at 11:19 am
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Tom's No Frills at Victoria Park and St Clair - BAD. Not clean, not friendly, outdated products and brown meat. Produce is sub par a lot of the time.

Dickie's at Victoria Park and Eglinton is Grand. Fish counter, butcher, dollar area. Clean, well organized, amazing produce.
Ellie S replying to a comment from Customer / August 18, 2014 at 11:22 am
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Anyone trying to buy 36 cans of tuna on sale, or 15 cases of water/pop is reselling!
Philip Elliott / August 18, 2014 at 12:02 pm
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I agree about the one Coxwell, the meat/poultry section has gotten progressively worse. DON'T go there after Christmas, stock is almost non-existant. The staff is GREAT at checkout, It's better to hike over to Pape and Gerrard. PROBLEM , I USE TRANSIT
Andrea Vaughan replying to a comment from Taylor / August 18, 2014 at 12:28 pm
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Dunb ass...Scarborough is part of the City ofToronto...not Gta
Bruce / August 18, 2014 at 01:47 pm
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With exception of a few of the "Organics" brand items I don't shop at No Frills. The store name suggests it's a good deal but almost everything they sell can be found much cheaper at any of the Asian markets around town... especially fruit and vegetables.
james / August 18, 2014 at 06:05 pm
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Hands down the best No Frills is Dave's No Frills @Cedarbrea Mall. They have a wide selection of exotic fruits and vegetables from all over the world, like Sour Sop, Mangosteen Banana Flower, methi leaves just to name a few. They have a fresh fish counter and a fresh butcher to pick from. They also have another section of packaged meat that also includes a separate section for Halal Meats. The store is always clean and they are always well stocked.
barb / September 10, 2014 at 04:39 pm
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the store at coxwell has the worse guard going, i've had nothing but problems. i also hear of others having problems with the same guy. i complained to them and a long time later getting some results. i have to shop there, nothing else around and no car. the results come after i posted the problems on facebook. they say they are looking into the guard problem, but now i can take my scooter inside and park. i can only walk a bit and it's easy to go through the store walking. i have trouble trying to get around with driving it inside the store.I have also found sence the new guy has taken over that the prices have gone up. The milk and fruit goes bad within a week. milk one week, fruit last only 2 days. it's not a good store like it used to be years ago.
Miranda / September 11, 2014 at 06:34 pm
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AVOID ROSS NOFRILLS AT BLACK CREEK AND EGLINTON AT ALL COSTS.
They have the worst service and selection. They refuse to price match most items even though their slogan "Won't be beat" is plastered all over the store. The owners and managers do not give a shit about customers and are extremely arrogant and rude. They also yell at employees in front of customers which I have seen multiple times.

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