BET U DIDNT KNOW: QUANG
In the middle of Marlee Avenue, nestled between a spa advertising massage services and a wedding photography studio, next to two zip car spots and a long-forgotten payphone booth sits Quang’s store: Yes! Convenience.
Quang, who came to Canada from Vietnam with his family in 2005, is the owner and operator of this eclectic convenience store. He sells the normal items one would expect in a convenience store: cigarettes, lottery tickets, TTC tokens, pop and candy, and a nice selection of junk food. But that is not all; if you walk through the store, you will find screwdrivers and pasta and notebooks and padlocks and detergent and all kinds of household grocery products. And if you walk further back into his store, you will come upon this….
…an amazing collection of hand-made wooden models of historic transportation. He explained that these replicas are made in Vietnam, and he has them shipped over to Canada to sell in his store. You will find Cadillacs from the early 1900s, planes from World War 2, and sail boats and ships from across history. I asked Quang which one was his favourite, and he pointed at a large, nicely-detailed model of a large, magnificent ship that sank on its maiden voyage and became a national symbol. No, its not the Titanic. Quang’s favorite model is of the Wasa, a 15th century ship that sank near Stockholm harbour and is now a symbol of Sweden’s Great Power Period.
Like the rest of Quang’s collection, the Wasa is also up for sale, and priced quite reasonably at $250 (he has other ships for much lower). The detail on this model is quite intricate, and it is easy to see why this is his favourite.
Yes! Convenience is definitely worth checking out if you are in the area. Quang is a welcoming owner, and enjoys company. In the early evening, his store becomes a bit of a local hangout, with people talking about the latest lottery jackpots, the weather, and politics. It is a few doors down from a bakery with decent espresso, and a short walk from the TTC subway.