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Where to buy propane for your BBQ in Toronto

Propane in Toronto is a hot commodity now that barbecue season is here. For those not fortunate enough to be endowed with an outdoor gas hook-up, propane is the fuel for a a good steak, and finding the closest and cheapest supplier is sure to come in handy.

What's most remarkable about propane is that the price is wildly inconsistent across the city, even from location to location of the same chain. Calling ahead is advised, as tank exchanges can run out during peak BBQ season, especially approaching long weekends.

Here are your best bets to fill up on propane mapped out across Toronto.

Metro Grocery Stores
Only select stores (mapped below) offer the Tank Trader program and you'll find that prices are inconsistent by location. A tank exchange was quoted to me as low as $22 (on Front St. and St. Clair & Keele, and Yong & Eg.), while other locations are charging $24+ (looking at you Little Italy and Liberty Village). Buying the tank canister outright starts at $55.

The convenience stores with the gas bars are most likely to sell propane too. Select locations stock trade-in tanks for $26, while new tanks cost $60+.

While Walmarts are plentiful in the GTA, they happen to be scarce in Toronto proper. The propane swap at Dufferin Mall keeps the tanks caged outside, but you'll still have to visit customer service to pay. Tank exchange costs $23.60, while a new canister goes for $55.

Canadian Tire
Find new propane tanks at pretty much every Canadian Tire, where new 20lb canisters start at $36 and you can check which locations are in stock. Propane fill or swap options are searchable in the store locator.

This prolific chain of gas stations (and propane purveyors) makes it easy to search which locations offer propane via exchange program, and even, a handful that still do refills by volume the old school way. All in, exchanges cost $29.37, while new tanks are $55.55

Plenty of Esso gas stations offer tank exchanges too. Expect exchanges to run between $26 and $30, while new tanks hover around $70.

Propane availability is spotty at Shell locations. Calling ahead is advised. Prices for a refill were quoted on the high end at $25, but picking up a new canister is especially pricey - The location at Birchmount and St. Clair sells the whole shebang for $74+.

Home Depot
You won't find a Home Depot in the city's core but on the outskirts and throughout the GTA swap your empty canister for a full one for $27, or start from scratch for $55.

Found only in a handful of neighbourhoods in Toronto, RONA offers trade-ins for $27, while new tanks cost $38.

You can't get any cheaper than this members-only club. Propane exchanges for members hover around the $10 mark.

Independent retailers
A smattering of independent gas stations and hardware stores do trade-ins too. For great value, head to Orion Technologies (4270 Weston Rd.), the one off gas station might be the best deal in town sans Costco membership. The BYO-Tank refill is just $15. New canisters are not available.

Where do you fill up on propane? Let us know in the comments.

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