HomeSense 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.
by Staff via blogTO