Convenience U Toronto

This year’s Toronto edition of The Convenience U CARWACS Show really delivered the goods.

More attendees and more opportunities to discover products, services and industry insight made the 2017 Convenience U CARWACS event a valuable date for Canada’s c-gas and car wash operators. Sited at the Toronto Congress Centre (March 7-8), the show’s new venue offered elbow room and ease of access with the Dixon Road facility close to the 427 highway and Pearson Airport.

Ontario Convenience Stores Association OCSA


Crowds were strong right from the opening bell. In fact, many exhibitors were caught off guard by the strong attendance on the first day when poor weather had large numbers of local car wash operators flock to the show. This helped to swell the hall that was already packed with those from c-store and related industries.

On the floor, new exhibitors joined long time participants from the tobacco, beverage, confectionary, and service sectors as well as car wash and fuelling system manufacturers to create a massive one-stop-shop for all things convenience.

“This is where we come to find new things for our store and talk to suppliers. Having everything under one roof makes it easy for us to slip away for an afternoon to find out what’s new and make a deal or two,” says attendees Gurpreet and Bajit of S&C Gas and Convenience in Chatham, ON.

Following the opening presentation by consumer behaviour specialist John Young (It’s the experience – How to use the consumer-experience learning of highly successful organizations in your small business), Day One’s morning was dedicated to industry get togethers where speakers corralled guests in break out rooms for discussions on leading topics.

Here, Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) (Leveraging the lottery opportunity), and the Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) (Protecting your store against robbery and theft) discussed best practises with c-store managers and their staff.

ontario convenience stores association ocsa

At the end of Day One’s busy schedule was the annual Hall of Fame Awards. This year’s inductees were Mic’s Kwik Way of Blind River, ON (Jim Smith accepting) and Quickie Convenience (Chris Wilcox accepting), a 53 store operation head officed in Ottawa.

Day Two kept the ball rolling with presentations by industry mavins Hugh Large and George Anastasopoulos (Foodservice excellence: Which model is right for you? and Staffing solutions: Training, incentives and performance management). Both presentations drew full rooms and saw sessions go slightly overtime due to the number of questions from participants who were able to take away insights and use them to score points and prizes in a fun filled industry-focused quiz.

The Convenience U CARWACS Show is also where companies come to gather their staff for company specific sessions. This year Gulf Oil, Petro Canada and the Ontario Korean Business Association (OKBA) organized side events. Mac’s was also front and centre with the group holding their Spring MM Conference with over 100 staff participating in a custom curriculum setting featuring business updates, workshops, seminars, and networking.

Next year’s show is March 6 & 7, 2018 at The Toronto Congress Centre. Stay in touch by visiting