Economists say this holiday shopping season should be good for retailers big and small as it starts to kick into high gear.

A new west Ottawa Toys R Us brought lines out into the parking lot, while local retailer Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s says it’s been stocking up for a few weeks.

“It's kind of the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season this weekend,” said Cecily Blaine of Mrs. Tiggy Winkles.

“(There’s) a big difference between last weekend and this weekend and it’s going to be crazy here on out.”

Ottawa’s mayor and one councillor said the Toys R Us opening comes at a good time for shoppers and the city.

“Anytime we can open a new store, it's obviously creating dozens of jobs both full time and part-time,” said Mayor Jim Watson.

“We know there's some downsizing taking place in the federal public service . . . and we can't always replace those jobs, but it's important for us to encourage businesses to open.”

“Stittsville is a very young community with a good sprinkling of seniors and grandparents, a perfect combination for this store to be successful,” said councillor Shad Qadri.

A Bank of Montreal outlook says Canadian spending spirits appear to have improved, projecting an increase of 15 per cent for holiday spending on average.

“I find the economy’s a bit better,” said one shopper. “I just find people are spending more money these days than last year.”

The bank’s economists say overall spending will go up $200 per family, with $100 of that spent on gifts.

With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Natalie Duddridge

CTV Ottawa's consumer reporter Michael O'Byrne will have a full report on this year's top toys on Monday.