How to Distribute to Toronto
Toronto is the most populous city in Canada. It is home to over 6.1 million people. Since 2016, the city has seen a consistent population rise of 1.10% per annum. This makes it one of the biggest markets in North America. More, with more immigrants expected in the city, it is expected to exceed its current population estimates soon. What this means for retail is that there could be an uptick in sales every year due to immigration.
Apart from being one of the fastest-growing cities globally, another thing peculiar – maybe not totally – is the high cost of living. High, in this sense, could be relative.
Retail Economy and Cost of Living
Toronto is the most expensive city to live in Canada – not surprising as it is the most populous. However, the cost of living index in Toronto is 27.74% lower than in New York, according to Numbeo.
Prices in Toronto are generally in line with large American cities like New York City and Los Angeles. Still, as the Canadian dollar strengthened against the US dollar, the city has become a bit expensive for most tourists. Yet, the only thing that has been able to slow down movement and vacation in the city has been the COVID-19 Pandemic.
To fully understand the distribution of products in the city, it is helpful to look at places that make up the city. Toronto is popularly known as ‘the 6’ because six boroughs came together to become the Toronto of today. These six are Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, York, East York, and Toronto.
Distributing Products to Etobicoke
Etobicoke was designed as a modern, post-war suburb. Its growth coincided with the growth in automobile ownership, and this was reflected in its planning. With separate residential, industrial, and commercial zoning, broad roads and streets became a key feature of the new suburb.
Today, Etobicoke has a highly diversified population, which totaled 365,143 in 2016. It is primarily suburban in development and heavily industrialized, resulting in a lower population density than Toronto’s other districts. Much of its cityscape is characterized by larger main streets, shopping malls, and cul-de-sac housing developments.
A new distributor looking at entering the Etobicoke market area could network with members of the Retail Council of Canada. This association has an expansive membership of retailers and could be a good place to secure some distribution deals.
Manufacturers may want to consider working with experienced distributors who have built connections over time and understand how the retail market in the suburb works.
Distributing Products to North York
North York is one of the best places in Canada to live in. First of all, the place is very convenient in terms of transportation. There is an efficient transportation system that connects North York to the rest of Toronto and beyond. North York is one of the best places in Canada to live in. It is, therefore, not surprising that it has a population of about 900,000.
As with Etobicoke, there is no indigenous retail association in North York. There is, however, the Retail Council of Canada. This may seem broad, but it is not impossible to find retailers in North York to network with here.
Experienced distributors also come in handy here. They know the retail network of the city inside and out. They can be very instrumental in the success of the introduction of a new product brand in the area. This is, of course, expected to be accompanied by the internet and mass media. It is the truth that people hardly buy what they don’t know about.
Distributing Products to Scarborough
Scarborough is a popular destination for new immigrants in Canada to reside in. As a result, it is one of the most diverse and multicultural areas in the Greater Toronto Area, being home to various religious groups and worship places. It includes some natural landmarks, including the Toronto Zoo, Rouge Park, and the Scarborough Bluffs.
Scarborough is home to over 600,000 people, and it continues to remain one of the biggest tourist attraction locations in Toronto. This means that shopping and retail are constantly in the flow. The Scarborough Town Center has been noted to be a great shopping center in the city. This should be a point of focus for manufacturers and distributors.
Distributing Products to York
York has a small population in Toronto when compared to the others. With just over 100,000 residents, York is small, but with some retail opportunities.
Just as with other parts of Toronto, there are no indigenous retail associations. The Retail Council of Canada seems to be the only place to connect with the hundreds of retailers in the area.
This is where experienced distributors come in. Since they have been working in the area for years, they know the consumer behaviors, market fluctuations, what to look out for, and what not about the York retail market. Thus, networking with distributors is a good place to start for any manufacturer who is new to the area.
Distributing Products to East York
With a population of just over 100,000, East York is another small part of Toronto. However, it is one of the fastest-growing as a lot of immigrants are moving into the city.
As with all other parts of Toronto, East York has no indigenous retail association. However, the Retail Council of Canada is still a good place to start networking.
And as commonly done, working with a distributor who understands the area can be great for the brand. This is because the distributor understands the consumer patterns and patterns in East York and could take a learned approach in getting the products to shelves within the area.