The shop around the corner: #BuyCanadian

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If there’s been one positive outcome of the acrimonious NAFTA and the free trade talks, it’s the renewed support for Canadian farmers, retailers and manufacturers by shopping local.

We had a great #BuyCanadian experience lately. This summer we renovated our bathroom. Our contractor took us to a bath specialty store for fixtures, but we still needed a vanity and storage.

I googled bath stores in Kingston and found Bath Depot in the Rio Can centre on Gardiner’s Road.

Bath Depot (Bain Depot in Quebec) is a Canadian success story. It was founded by four brothers from Quebec and is unique, because it’s not just a retailer, it acts as a manufacturer, distributor and retailer for its products. The result is great products, made in Canada at reasonable prices. Today it has 25 stores in Ontario and Quebec and more than 200 employees.

They were excellent to deal with and had one of the best selections of vanities, fixtures and accessories to choose from and we love our new bath room.

This summer, we also scoured the big box stores to find replacement vacuum bags for our old vacuum. We had just about given up, when Dave said let’s check John Trousdale’s hardware store in the town of Sydenham. John has one of the best selections of appliances in the area, and will match just about any price. Sure enough, he had what we were looking for.

Some economists say it’s impractical to #BuyCanadian—that there simply isn’t enough Canadian manufacturers and products and we need to keep calm and keep trading on. I say it’s time to support our local businesses and when you can, #BuyCanadian.

Not sure where to find local goods? Check out, a site created by a 17-year old Ontario student on his summer vacation that lists Canadian made goods. Not bad, eh?

My renovated bathroom with vanity and storage cabinet courtesy of Bath Depot

Enter a contest…and win it!

We need to go to Vegas, baby. This week, lady luck was in the house as the Swintons raked in three prizes.

I came home one night to a nice message on my answering machine saying one of our local councillors, John McDougall put my name in a draw for people who volunteer in our community. I won a $25 gift certificate to our local gift shop, Nicole’s gifts—thanks John!

So I’m shopping at Nicole’s yesterday for presents for my sister-in-laws for their birthdays (shop local everyone!) when Nicole says to me, did you come in to pick up your prize from Christmas? I had won another draw and came home with a stocking of gift prizes!

The jackpot came on Friday when Clare’s picture of her landing an eight-pound pike ice fishing was chosen as the Friday photo winner for Ontario Out of Doors magazine. She won a $100 Canadian Tire gift card, which will come in handy when it’s time to buy new skates and hockey equipment next year. It made my day.

This week’s #HappyAct is to enter a contest. In a world where nothing is free, but online contests are a dime a dozen, it’s easy to enter to win. Have you ever won anything? Leave a comment and share your story.