Torontonians who live in the Corso Italia neighbourhood refer to this store as Consiglio’s, but local Italians from across the city call it the “U Save Centre” because that’s what the huge lights flashing across the front of the store say.
Consiglio, the last name of the owner, can be found working in the store on most days. With three floors of jam-packed goodies - kitchenware, linens, specialty Italian food, and small appliances – this family-run business has been a fixture in the area for over 35 years.
Carrying well-known brand names at reduced rates, I never walk out of this shop empty-handed. Whether it’s a stove-stop espresso machine for less than $20, pasta and chocolates imported from Italy, tableware and embroidered tea towels, or the latest kitchen accessory, I am always thrilled with my finds.
My mum and I visit the U Save Centre at least once a month, and the place is always packed with local Italians looking for a bargain. On many occasions, we’ve seen tour buses unloading Italians from as far away as Buffalo right in front of the store! One of the salespeople tells me they get tour buses from various border cities in the US coming about once a month during the year, and more often in the summer months.
Corso Italia is perhaps one of the city’s most authentic Italian neighbourhoods, with most store owners speaking Italian as their mother tongue and most of the patrons frequenting the shops being Italian. The neighbourhood covers only a few blocks, with Mexican, Caribbean, and African shops nearby, but the area celebrates its Italian heritage with a huge Italian festival in July.
1219 St. Clair Ave. West (near Dufferin Street)
+1 416 653 6622
Google map: bit.ly/GPRug9
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