June 9, 2020 Laisa Lopes

Henry’s opened its doors all the way back in 1909 in Toronto, Ontario. Over the decades, they have become the go-to-store when it comes to cameras, for beginners, enthusiasts and professionals alike. And some of you have probably heard their name pop in the news lately.

That is why this month is extra special for us over here at Shopbot, we’re proud to count Henry’s, Canada’s Greatest Camera Store among us since the beginning. They are Shopbot’s Merchant of the Month.

Proud to be Canadian

Henry’s a Canadian family-owned and operated business. You must be familiar with their gigantic stores downtown, recognizable from a distance and part of the iconic landscape in Toronto. Our Ontario headquarters is just next door, we’re practically neighbours.

Henry’s began with several stores located in different parts of the city, eventually settling at 113 Queen St. W. in 1945. Since then, the business has relocated several times, each time growing more and more, not only physically, but also in the heart of all Canadians. 


Henry’s moved to this location, at 113 Queen St. W., in 1945. Source: Archive Photo / Henry’s

This century-old business (111 years to be more precise), is now on a journey to restructure and strengthen the company. Among the devastating impacts of the coronavirus, Henry’s is one of the businesses that felt the financial strain of having to close their retail stores. They recently filed a Notice of Intention to Make a Proposal (NOI) to creditors. 

Gillian Stein, Chief Executive Officer at Henry’s, explained: 

“The effect of COVID-19 on the economy is unprecedented. The Canadian retail industry has been one of the hardest-hit sectors, and Henry’s has felt a dramatic impact.  We closed our brick-and-mortar locations to keep our customers and employees safe due to the pandemic, which resulted in a significant impact on sales while still bearing the ongoing operating costs.” 

Seven of Henry’s stores will close; however, they intend to reopen 22 stores when the COVID-19 situation allows non-essential businesses to open again. Online shopping is still operating normally. The word of the day for Henry’s is to reorganize and restructure in order to emerge from this crisis stronger.

They’ve always supported local and national initiatives, transmitting their values as a family business to communities, employees and customers. Heck, they’re like family to us too! They’re our person when we need the right lens to capture the right moment. Or when we’re looking to restore our parents’ wedding photo that’s gone a bit grey.


The founder, Harry Himelstein, in front of Henry’s first store in Toronto. Photo by Henry’s – Cranbrook Glen Enterprises Ltd.

Henry’s trusted us at Shopbot as the number 1 price comparison website in Canada for almost 20 years. They were one of the first merchants to join us. Shopbot supports Henry’s through these times, and we call on all Canadians to do the same. Let’s be there when all of this is over, stronger and together.



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