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Fashion & Style

The best and worst HomeSense stores in Toronto

Posted by Staff / June 24, 2014

homesense torontoHomeSense stores in Toronto get a fair amount of traffic from GTA residents looking to furnish their homes without dropping a small fortune. You can always go the Ikea cheap and cheerful route, but if you're looking to add a little more personality, just head to HomeSense and grab that Union Jack-patterned beanbag.

Being an offshoot of the similarly-hit-and-miss Winners, not all HomeSense locations are created equal. Some carry more dishes and kitchenware, while others put a higher emphasis on linens and bath items - and, if you venture out of the downtown, you might find a decent selection of furniture. With their inventories changing constantly, there may be no such thing as a truly bad HomeSense - but they vary widely in terms of reliability, cleanliness, organization, and customer service.

Here are the best and worst HomeSense stores in Toronto.


Leaside (957 Eglinton Ave. East)
Bring a car if you're going shopping because this location is one of the biggest in the GTA. If you're looking for something to sit on, this is the store to check. There is a huge selection of chairs, settees, chaises and ottomans in this location, as well your choice of bird cages, sheets and plates. It's clean and well-organized. Basically, you're spoiled for choice.

Stockyards (75 Gunns Rd.)
Our unscientific survey of blogTO Twitter followers placed the new Stockyards store as a new favourite. This is one of the newer stores, so it's fairly clean, and the selection is vast and well-curated. Bonus points for good customer service.

Queensway (1840 The Queensway, Etobicoke)
It's big, it's spacious, and fans say it has a great selection of items such as bath towels and those little extras like vases. It's kept clean, and shoppers say the customer service is very helpful and accommodating.

Lakeshore (1865 Lakeshore Rd. West)
The Lakeshore HomeSense has great customer service, isn't crowded - even on weekends - and has a huge selection of everything, especially china. Like most stores in the GTA, it's pretty big and light, allowing for shoppers to wander through the aisles.

Dixie Road (4141 Dixie Rd.)
Looking for a present? Then this is the HomeSense you'll want to hit up - ditto if you want cute accessories for events or just to add that extra oomph to your home. It has a selection of vases (good for weddings), glasses (perfect for parties), and lighting to help create a mood.


Spadina (80 Spadina Ave.)
This downtown store, located - oddly - in an aging hub for contemporary art, is pretty love-it-or-hate-it. Depending on who you talk to, the store has absolutely nothing to offer - or a great selection of rugs and bedding. Whatever your take on the inventory, though, the customer service isn't great at this location.

Yonge (195 Yonge St.)
This two-storey location is a bit hit-and-miss, but is filled (to the brim, sometimes to the hindrance of your shopping experience) with home-related knickknacks. There isn't much furniture for sale at this location, but it is a mecca for cushions, food and cookware, if that's your goal. A downside: store is a little on the haphazard side, and has been described by shoppers as untidy and cluttered.

Scarborough (50 Ashtonbee Rd.)
The Scarborough location is an older store, but it still has a few die-hard fans who like the inventory - especially the pet supplies. It's clean and well-organized, but the customer service could be a bit better.

Heartland (6075 Mavis Rd.)
This store is crammed with stuff - either a selling point or a drawback, depending on your shopping style. It's recommended that you check out the entire store as stuff may not be categorized properly - a common issue with most HomeSense stores.

Oakville (2341 Trafalgar Rd.)
This HomeSense is integrated with Winners, their parent store. The HomeSense part of the store has the usual home furnishings and kitchen tools but you do have to dig to find the good stuff. Some of the furnishings do need to be touched up, but that's usually the deal for a deal.

Agree? Disagree? What is your favourite HomeSense store and what was your best buy? Tell us in the comments.

Writing by Renee Sylvestre-Williams.



Deric / June 24, 2014 at 08:41 am
Two of the best, and two of the worst stores aren't even in Toronto (Mississauga and Oakville). I don't see how you can post things like this. Next up - 'The Best Mississauga Public Libraries in Toronto'.

That being said - definitely love the Leaside Homesense
Annoyed replying to a comment from Deric / June 24, 2014 at 09:31 am
I don't see how they can publish things like articles ranking chain stores. Next up - 'The Best Shoppers Drug Marts in Toronto', or 'The Best Gap Stores in Toronto'.

Jeremy replying to a comment from Deric / June 24, 2014 at 09:44 am
How does this, in ANY way, make the article worse?
cara / June 24, 2014 at 09:45 am
this list is dumb. blogto is getting very lame
Steve replying to a comment from Annoyed / June 24, 2014 at 09:45 am
These lists are really rather pointless.
Paultee / June 24, 2014 at 09:55 am
Next up: An Unranked List of Ten Stores Called Walmart.

Agree? Disagree? What is your favourite store with Walmart in the name? Tell us in the comments.
iliveattheverve replying to a comment from Annoyed / June 24, 2014 at 10:12 am
Yes, Homesense is a chain store, but the merchandise in them is not identical - you can't call one store and ask if they have something that's in another store. If you read the article, some stores are better for chairs than others.
Jennabee83 / June 24, 2014 at 10:20 am
Leaside is the place to go to find the best finds - on an average day.

I would however argue the location on the Queensway is much bigger than the Leaside location.

The location out in Scarborough oddly has better luxury items - not sure if it's the demographics in the area - but if you're looking for something name brand and luxury it isn't scooped up as fast here (and sometimes marked down on clearance bc it's been on the floor for too long.)

But hands down, the best location in the GTA would be the HomeSense at Burlington Mall.
Sarah replying to a comment from cara / June 24, 2014 at 10:23 am
How can you say this list is dumb? Homsense, like a Winners is a discount store where you have to search for good finds because not every store has the same items in stock. I think this article is fantastic! Homesense has great products but of course since they're limited they can't reach all stores. Also, BlogTO considers the GTA and I think that's better because they reach a bigger audience and please more people. If you don't like their articles don't read them, I think they do an excellent job. I'd love to see a post on the best Winner stores too!
tracy replying to a comment from Deric / June 24, 2014 at 11:12 am
What are the best Mississauga Libraries in Toronto?!?!?!
bjamest replying to a comment from Annoyed / June 24, 2014 at 12:01 pm
And yet you read it.
Cheap for The Masses / June 24, 2014 at 02:33 pm
This chain is putting all indepent and locally owned businesses belly flop. Their inventory consits of bulk discounted below wholesale cost to dead stock from distributors and factories. If you want to open a decor or furniture business I would think twice! This platform should be used to promote indepent businesses that need exposure, but you help corporate chains that are not locally based that hurt Canadian businesses instead!
Joseph / June 24, 2014 at 04:29 pm
you went to mississauga but why not north york or thornhill and vaughan where some of the larger locations are?
cara replying to a comment from Sarah / June 24, 2014 at 11:01 pm
You're dumb too. If you don't like my comment, don't read it too.
V replying to a comment from Deric / June 25, 2014 at 09:28 am
girlpublisher / June 27, 2014 at 03:39 pm
I asked if this was paid content. The comment was deleted.

I am asking again. Is this paid content?

Do you not think it should be disclosed?
Aubrey replying to a comment from girlpublisher / June 27, 2014 at 04:20 pm
Your comment was deleted because it added nothing to a conversation about the best/worst HomeSense stores. But since you're so persistent: No, this is not paid content.
G / November 7, 2014 at 07:29 am
As an avid Homesense and winners shopper. I've always wanted to know other opinions on which store was larger and had more of certain items so I don't have to drive to all of them. And actually there is a difference with the Walmart stores and places like The Bay. It has nothing to do with putting the small guy out of business its allowing for consumers to make smarter choices need to get hot headed. Shopping is suppose to be fun!
TGen / June 18, 2015 at 01:09 pm
Please report on Toronto, not GTA. Very few people who will go from the city there, unless they're going to the airport or to visit someone. Toronto is Toronto. Like NYC is NYC--it's not Jersey City.
M Fanold / June 26, 2015 at 09:34 pm
agree Scarborough is the worst location, the staff accusatory of shoppers when they make errors pricing and refuse to give you the price marked. Such a bad experience, go to Leaside, better staff and cleaner location. And more pleasant experience.
LMG / July 5, 2015 at 02:23 pm
TGen... Reporting on HOMESENSE locations in the GTA and beyond allows this information to reach a larger range of people who don't necessarily live in Toronto. It's great to have some info on which store has a wider selection of what you may be looking for. People from toronto might wish to travel to another area outside the GTA or they may now- likewise those living outside the GTA may not wish to travel to a toronto location. This article is helpful and reaches a broader audience.
Janet / February 18, 2016 at 05:04 pm
I just bought Great Britain tagged and stamped dishes (plates and soup bowls) costing $60 mix and match. A deal - not! The Royal Whatever stamp washed off in the first scrub. Clearly fake. I threw out the bill never dreaming this would happen. How do I know that these dishes are safe on the Microwave when the stamp washes off? Dishes can contain lead. I am really angry because I like the dishes and I haven't bought any since 1992. I can only speculate which big country has a hand on this. Homes ensemble trades in knock offs. My first and last time shopping there.
Vee / February 22, 2016 at 04:33 pm
i LOVE HomeSense and stores like it. I often find wonderful items for the best price that i wouldn't be able to anywhere else. And i refuse to shop at IKEA where everything is generic. I live close to the Spadina location, and yes it's pretty limited with the merchandise and it's quite small, but since i'm in every other week there are always new things to see.
For the person who says these 'chains' put local boutique stores out of business - well i should think so. Why would I buy an item for $80 when I can get it for $20? Would I love to support local business? absolutely! But they gotta give a little too. Any reasonable, budget oriented person would clearly go for the cheaper option regardless of who's selling it. Sorry.
Kerrie / February 25, 2016 at 10:34 am
Having just moved to Toronto from Boston I LOVE lists like this! I'm more than happy to drive a bit if it saves me from wasting my time on a small store with a limited selection. And if be equally thrilled with best/worst shoppers drug mart! After visiting three shoppers looking for diapers with NO luck I started to lose my mind! (Schlepping a baby in and out of a car seat for diapers and failing three times was wildly frustrating! I googled best shoppers bit your blog hadn't written that one yet.). I live in the summer hill area so I was looking for quick and easy , I eventually gave up went to Walmart.
debs / March 10, 2016 at 11:40 am
I love Homesense. I frequent the one in Woodbridge and it's pretty good. I've heard Newmarket is great. However, the one in Thornhill is terrible. There is very little room for furniture and it comes and goes very quickly. What bothers me, is that I saw a floor lamp. It had a Ralph Lauren hanging tag on it. This clearly was not Ralph Lauren. If you go on the Ralph Lauren website, there are NO LAMPS UNDER $1000 ! This lamp was marked at $99. There is no RL stamp or anything, so something took a RL tag and was able to wrap it onto the pole of the lamp. Besides, the "compared at" price was only $169. Definitely NOT Ralph Lauren product. That bothers me because they lie, just like the person above commented about the dishes.
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