Nipigon, Ont., store is smallest Canadian Tire in Canada

Walk through the doors of the Canadian Tire store in Nipigon, Ont., and you'll notice one thing: it's the smallest big box store you've ever been in.

Store's motto is 'We may be small, but we can get it all!'

(l to r) Joe Shwetz, Service Manager, Chelsea White, Supervisor and Stephanie Carfagnini, owner/operator of the Canadian Tire in Nipigon, Ont. The store is the smallest in Canada. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

Walk through the doors of the Canadian Tire store in Nipigon, Ont., and you'll notice one thing: it's the smallest big box store you've ever been in.

The store, built in the northwestern Ontario community in 1986, is the smallest Canadian Tire in Canada.

"Very small. It's got some challenges, but it just makes you think outside the box," said Stephanie Carfagnini, the owner/operator of the store.

Carfagnini, who is from Barrie, Ont., took over the Nipigon location in February.
Stephanie Carfagnini, the owner/operator of the Canadian Tire in Nipigon, Ont., stands in the warehouse. the entire warehouse is a tight fit. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

"When I arrived, the hospitality was phenomenal. You're not too sure. You can read all the data, but when you walk in and people are saying, 'Welcome, we're so happy you're here', there's a real sense of pride and ownership that the town pours into this store."

She said she brings a new perspective to the small operation, being a woman, and wants to cater to many of the people 

"We are able to manipulate our spaces to cater to our demographic, our market."

The retail floor stands at 3,000 square feet. If the warehouse and auto garage bays are factored in, the building encompasses 8,000 sqare feet.

"I want to bring more stuff in, it's just finding a place to put it."
The aisle spacing is tight in the Canadian Tire in Nipigon, Ont. It's the smallest store in Canada. For example, housewares share the same aisle space as sporting goods. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

Carfagnini said she wants to do renovations in the store, including upgrading the office upstairs. Currently, her desk is placed in a hallway between a staircase and the warehouse.

"It's going to be a bit of a challenge because where do we go while the construction is happening, but we'll figure it out."

Carfagnini joked she would like to fit a mini fridge into her office, or perhaps have a new staff bathroom.

She also has pondered brining back t-shirts that were worn by staff, and sometimes, distributed to customers stating, "We are small but we can get it all!", and denoting Nipigon as having the smallest Canadian Tire store in Canada.

"That's something that would be really benefiting to the store, and show our pride."
Tour of the smallest Canadian Tire in Canada 1:22

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