If you’ve ever wandered through Leslieville, chances are you’ve strolled past a quaint historic house that holds more than meets the eye. This unassuming abode is a treasure trove known as Good Neighbour.
Described as a “smaller version of a department store,” Good Neighbour is a lifestyle store that aims to blend a luxury experience with a convenient store concept, while selling thousands of different items.
Now, the beloved lifestyle shop is expanding with its third location in Toronto’s Summerhill-Rosedale neighbourhood in the spring of this year.
And for owner Aziz Alam, it really is only the beginning.
Good Neighbour’s roots began in 2014 from a genuine need within the community. Living not far from Leslieville, as a new dad, Alam noticed the neighbourhood lacked accessible retail options for families. This prompted him to envision a store that would enhance convenience.
“Back then, there wasn’t much here,” he says. “That’s why we chose the name ‘Good Neighbour.’”
And it’s a name the store has lived up to over the years. Since that day, Good Neighbour has steadily expanded its reach, opening a second location in Roncesvalles back in 2021. Now, the upcoming Summerhill location is poised to become the brand’s largest store, spanning an impressive 6,000 square feet.
“If shoppers have never been to a Good Neighbour they’re going to see how much they can explore and peruse,” says Alam. “A lot of what we sell is what we believe a community or an area needs from us.”
Drawing from his travel experiences and extensive retail background, Alam — alongside his dedicated team — has significantly broadened the shop’s offerings. From hot sauce and the latest denim trends to adorable toys, extraordinary gift options, creative birthday and holiday cards and the freshest sneaker styles, Good Neighbour takes immense pride in curating a diverse range of high-quality goods.
But according to Alam, one of his favourite things the store sells is its wide selection of candles and soaps.
“I just love how our store smells because of them,” he says. In fact, his love for the candles his team of buyers sourced is one reason Good Neighbour launched its own candle called House Candle.
The name is fitting, mirroring the warm and welcoming ambiance the store cultivates. For Alam, it’s not just about selling products—it’s about creating an unmatched, enjoyable shopping experience. That’s why, maybe one day, Alam hopes to expand to outside of just Toronto.
“I always love pushing the envelope and try something completely different. I’m always learning, even after so many years,” says Alam. “So that’s my favourite part: there’s always something that I’m learning that I can bring to the table here and whether it works or not, we learn from it.”
Good Neighbour’s Summerhill store will be located at 1212 Yonge St. and is set to open in spring 2024.