My haunt in Toronto was The Pit, which was owned by a moodiest of the moody Belgian by the name of Paul Van Toss. It was called Tranceatlantic before that, but basically he was the only shop that had a solid connection with Intergroove, Unique, Prime, etc. and would get their stuff in directly - unlike most other Toronto shops who would get their stuff through another North American-based distributor like Watts who would resell the European imports. He'd frequently keep a bottle of whisky on hand underneath the counter and offer me up a snifter whilst I shopped, while unknown punters were unceremoniously ejected from the premises for not having good tastes in music or accidentally scratching a record. Although he was never a cunt to me, I saw him behave as such to loads of others and later found out that his slapped his missus about for years.
Later on Mitch Winthrop would work for him and man the progressive house section, so when The Pit closed and he moved on to Release, that's where I'd drop a fair penny too. They were pretty much the shop for prog when it came to North America and did mailouts to a lot of the big North American-based jocks. Release was a great shop with an amazing selection.
Reading this makes me miss going in to the shops when the imports came in on Thursdays or even just walking into random shops and doing some crate-digging. There's something lost shopping online for mp3s or even vinyl.