10468 82nd Avenue, which is the address of Burlington Tobacconist on a Whyte Avenue. Just last Saturday I had the opportunity to step into Burlington on Whyte Ave. and take in the stupendous sight that is probably the last great brick and mortar tobacconist in Edmonton, and can even be compared to any great tobacconist in Western Canada.
Greeted like almost a celebrity by Aaron, Stephen, and Tyler, the three employees left in charge of the store, I immediately felt at home. And if I thought I was treated like a celebrity when I entered, it became even more pronounced when they found out who I was. The three men made such an effort to make me feel at home, that I immediately commented that this was the sort of shop that if Canadian law allowed, would have seats for sitting and smoking, only to have Stephen point them out to me, and say they did not have the heart to remove them.
Everywhere I looked in the shop there was something to take in, from pipes, to humidors, to cigars, to tinned and bulk tobacco, all carefully laid out and inventoried. Their products, except tobacco, run at comparable prices to our American competitors, and they can ship pretty much anywhere, except that Canadian law forbids them from shipping tobacco across borders.
Which, is probably OK any ways, as Canadian taxes makes buying tobacco in Canada as painful as dental work. So, if you’re unable to order online, this B & M, with their many custom blends, is a great place to buy tobacco, but Canadian law will have you giving your right leg below the knee for it. Though they do allow you to buy in ½ ounce lots, in order to try the tobaccos.
The price on accessories, however, is among the best I’ve seen in Canada, with pipes ranging from Brigham to Dunhill, and $50.00 CAD to $750 CAD, including three pipes from local artisan, Cody Perkins, with value ranging on the upper end of scale at about $450 to $650, but well worth it.
I am told that Cody has his own website, but that Burlington Tobacconist on Whyte is the exclusive dealer of Cody Perkins artisan pipes, and Burlington has pictures of all Cody’s pipes on their website.
As a matter of fact, I am told that every pipe over $100 has been pictured on their site, individually numbered, an updated at least once a week. That means, that if you see a pipe on their website, all you need to do is e-mail them the product number, and that exact pipe will be yours.
I believe that Chris Hansen, the owner, did a great job by choosing these three men to run the shop in his absence.
When I returned on Sunday for a few pipe supplies, I got the chance to meet Chris in person and found him to be friendly, knowledgeable, and personable. He even keeps his own collection of pipes in the shop. And I am told that you can find Chris in his shop most days if you’re looking to talk to him.
And finally, since Burlington on Whyte is not allowed to allow you to smoke in their store (raise your hand if you think that law is ridiculous) they will allow you to fill your bowl with any bulk blend for a meager $2.50, and send you off on your way pleasing your palate with a pipe.
If you’re ever in Edmonton, make your way to Whyte avenue, and take in Burlington Tobacconist on Whyte, you won’t be disappointed, and if you’re looking to buy a pipe in Canada, their web has some of the best prices I’ve seen.
Thank you Chris for running the shop, your Assistant Manager, Aaron, does a great job, your website is top-notch (I’m given to understand that’s thanks to Stephen) and your employees made me feel like something special, I’ll be back every time I’m in Edmonton.
Hope to see all of you there;
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!