Made in Ontario

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association has aligned our members and associate members to promote ‘Made in Ontario’ for all companies producing products for the convenience store industry in Ontario. Each product can use the government authorized stickers and logo to highlight Ontario products in your stores and encourage all retailers to review products and promotions […]

C Store Day

C Store Days Return Throughout Ontario

C Store Days will once again take place throughout Ontario. This year from August 15-22 with a special focus on Saturday, Aug. 22. During this annual campaign, 100% of proceeds from convenience stores will go directly to the four children’s charity hospitals in Ontario. Sick Kids’ Foundation Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation Children’s Health […]

ocsa contraband tobacco

Contraband Tobacco Survey

During Covid 19, the OCSA conducted a tobacco survey document in June 2020 during the voluntary closure of the 100’s of illegal (untaxed) tobacco outlets throughout Ontario. The study is an in house study by the OCSA and was reviewed and assisted on the final layout by our government relations firm. OCSA members have constantly […]

ocsa charity golf tournament 2020 postponed

OCSA Golf Tournament Postponed to 2021

Due to COVID 19 and out of respect for the safety of our suppliers and members we have decided to cancel this year’s OCSA golf day. We plan to launch this event in July of 2021. Thank you to everyone for your continued support!

Conveneince stores e commerce platform

OCSA and PAYGOS to Provide e-commerce Platform to Ontario Convenience Stores

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association is pleased to announce a long term business relationship with Paygos. During the last few months, convenience stores throughout Ontario have demonstrated our ability to offer essential services to consumers in every community and this new partnership with Paygos will benefit the entire industry. Retailers will soon have the ability to […]

Dear Industry Stakeholders, The Ministry of Health (‘ministry’) has recently been made aware of communications circulating among retailers from industry representatives about the implementation and enforcement of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA, 2017) regulatory amendments that came into effect on July 1, 2020. The ministry takes this opportunity to provide clarity to ensure that the industry representatives and retailers are aware of the expectations for compliance with the regulatory amendments. As previously communicated, the ministry is aware of the impact that COVID-19 is having on the normal operation of businesses. However, despite these circumstances, the Ontario government is not delaying the implementation of the regulatory amendments to the SFOA, 2017 that came into force on July 1, 2020. This means that, as of July 1, 2020, businesses are expected to comply with the regulatory amendments and Public Health Unit SFOA inspectors will be responsible for assessing compliance. As with any requirement under the SFOA, 2017, SFOA inspectors will employ a progressive enforcement approach to achieve compliance with the new regulatory amendments through a balance of education, inspection and the use of warnings and graduated charging options to reflect the frequency and severity of non-compliance. The ministry acknowledges that the timeline for achieving compliance may be impacted by the reduced or limited operational capacity of retailers during this time. Therefore, the ministry has asked SFOA inspectors to first prioritize education and awareness of the new requirements to support compliance among businesses. The ministry is encouraging SFOA inspectors to work collaboratively with non-specialty retailers to ensure prohibited vapour products are removed from stores, which may include returning flavoured vapour products and high nicotine-containing vapour products to suppliers (e.g., manufacturers and wholesalers) in order to comply with the new SFOA, 2017 regulatory requirements. SFOA inspectors are provincial offences officers under the Provincial Offences Act and exercise independence in their approach to enforcing the SFOA, 2017. This means that SFOA inspectors maintain their discretion to lay charges for non-compliance with the new regulatory requirements where circumstances warrant. The ministry hopes this information has been helpful and provides clarity with respect to enforcement of the new regulatory amendments. The ministry requests that you clarify the expectations around compliance with your respective retail partners as soon as possible. Dianne Dianne Alexander Director, Health Promotion and Prevention Policy and Programs Branch Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Public Health Ministry of Health

New Vape Regulations – Effective July 1, 2020

All convenience stores are expected to comply with the new vape regulations effective July 1, 2020. There is much confusion around these changes with various correspondences coming from other associations and manufacturers that the deadline has been extended to December 31, 2020.  It has not. The risk selling product in violation of the Smoke Free […]

OCSA Coke Convenience Stores

OCSA, Coca-Cola & Sheridan College team up with Safety Shields for Convenience Stores

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) and family run convenience stores in Ontario are proud to partner with Coca Cola Canada and  Sheridan College on protective shields for our industry. The safety of our employees and customers is our #1 priority and we appreciate the support of everyone from Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Limited. In conjunction […]

Covid 19 OCSA checklist

Covid-19 Safety Checklist

Daily reminders to keep your customers, your staff and yourself safe.   ✔️  Ask Customers to be respectful of Space and social distancing ✔️  Install and maintain a sneeze/employee safety shield ✔️  Encourage debit or credit card transactions (minimize cash handling) ✔️  Sanitize counters, Cooler doors, entrances, debit machines and lottery ticket holders and selling […]

OLG logo

OLG Issues Thank You Letter To Convenience Stores

Convenience stores sell 76% of all lottery products in Ontario and this category is our single largest traffic generator and impulse sales driver. During the last 10 weeks, our family-run independent stores have once again demonstrated their importance by continually serving lottery players in every community, working electronically with our sales contacts and responsibly driving […]

OCSA Covid face mask id checking

Age Testing and Covid-19 Masks

We encourage all convenience stores to ensure they can properly age test and identify tobacco purchasers during these COVID 19 times. The OCSA has reached out to the Ministry Health and SFOA asking for a prodigal of their expectations of identifying tobacco purchasers who are now wearing safety masks. We need all 34 Public Health […]

Buy Local – Posters for Stores

As we move into summer 2020 and through COVID 19, we have seen businesses, employment and families throughout Ontario affected. We need to work together to get our economy back on track by making a commitment to supporting the family run small business throughout Ontario in every community. Better yet make a point to support […]

Ontario Convenience Stores Association - Smoke free regulations

Smoke-Free Ontario Act – Vape Regulations July 1 2020

Amendments to Ontario Regulation 268/18 were made to address the prevalence of youth vaping. These amendments strengthen the restrictions on youth access to vapour products to protect children and youth under 19 from the harms associated with vaping and address parental, public and health stakeholder concerns about the increase in youth vaping. The following amendments […]

Safe and Responsible Community Retailers

The convenience store in your neighbourhood is there for you. They practice safe distancing, they clean and disinfect constantly and they provided the items you need on a daily basis. We would like to take a moment to thank all of the 78,000 employees who work in convenience stores throughout Ontario.  

ONtario convenience stores open during Covid19

Essential and Always Prepared

Convenience store retailers across the provide provide essential items for the community. We are up early and stay open late to be there for you. Thank you to all of the convenience stores for staying open and working hard for us.

Convenience store proud to serve in Ontario

OCSA Retailers are Proud to Serve the People of Ontario

Convenience stores in Ontario have been bringing in new items for their customers, stay open late and getting up early in the morning to be there for their community. Being part of the community is what a convenience store is all about. Stay safe everyone!        

Convenience Store Open Sign

Best Practices For Managing Store During Pandemic

Every convenience store in Ontario has the privilege of keeping their doors open to serve customers in every town, city and village in the province. It is imperative that we take this opportunity to ensure our stores are safe, sanitized and disciplined throughout this unknown crisis. Please ensure that the standards for our employees and […]


Ontario Convenience Stores Deemed Essential

The Ontario government announced yesterday that convenience stores in the province as deemed essential services as there are many who need access to these stores for food, milk and other products. Our stores serve every community in Ontario and are open to ensure shift workers, emergency personnel and other essential service employees have access to […]

OCSA Premier Ford

Premier Ford Hosts OCSA Virtual Meeting

Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) extends a special “Thank You” today to Premier Ford,  Minister Prabmeet Sakaria and Minister Vic Fideli for hosting a virtual round table meeting today for the small business sector & members of the OCSA. Many areas of concern and opportunities were discussed and supported by the Premier. Convenience stores are […]

COVID-19 Ontario Convenience Stores Association

Special Notice COVID-19

The convenience store channel must show leadership and disciplines on the cleanliness of our stores. Canada is going though the unknown daily on the potential threats to our society of the COVID-19 on our health, customers and businesses. Ontario has declared a ‘State of Emergency’ closing restaurants (except take out), bars and venues of 50 […]

OCSA video on germs

Convenience Retailer Training – How to Prevent the Spread of Illness

For store operators, NACS e-learning partner Ready Training Online (RTO), which provides online training solutions for the convenience, restaurant, and retail industries, has created a free seven-minute training module on how to help prevent the spread of illness and disease at businesses. The training covers best practices and the basic techniques frontline staff can implement […]

Beer bottles

Beer And Wine Still On Target For Convenience Stores

Beer and wine is still on target for Ontario convenience stores, will you be one of the first to sell as we begin the roll out in Ontario? We encourage you to start thinking, reading, visiting grocers with beer and start asking question. Those that are engaged in their stores have the best chance of […]

vaping smoke

Government To Limit Vaping Options In Ontario

Minister of Health MPP Christine Elliott has decided to only allow convenience stores to sell three authorized vape flavours (tobacco, mint and menthol) going forward and only in the minimal strength that will drive our vape customers to the underground market or see them return to cigarette sales post consultation. Retailers all over Ontario should […]


OCSA Plans Big Year For Members

The OCSA represents independent retailers and regional chains in the areas of issues management, age training, responsibility and continues to negotiate the roll out of beer and wine in the convenience store channel. The OCSA is putting together services that will be communicated to our members in the next couple of months. Among the items […]

2020 Premier Doug Ford OCSA Dave Bryans

Premier Ford Guest of the OCSA at Convenience Show

Day one of the Convenience U show had an exciting end to the day when Premier Ford a guest of the OCSA accompanied by Minister Small Business MPP Prabmeet Sakaria and MPP Stan Cho made a special effort to meet the many retailers of the OCSA for a meet and greet as well as some […]

Vape Unfairness and Misconceptions by Government

The vape file continues to take many different twists and turns with little communication or consultation by the Ministry of Health from the convenience store sector. Today adult smokers buy their cigarette needs in various sizes, strengths and brands with the convenience stores demonstrating a 96%+ pass rate for age testing responsibility as declared by […]


Ministry Consulting OCSA on Unregulated Tobacco

The Ministry of Finance is consulting on addressing unregulated tobacco in Ontario. The OCSA will be participating in round tables and providing recommendations to the Ministry of Finance  on ways to address illegal tobacco issues in Ontario. The OCSA estimates that over one third of cigarette sales are unregulated and do not comply with federal […]

OLG logo

Lottery Represents Opportunity For Convenience Stores

Convenience stores sell 75% of all lottery products in Ontario with this category representing our single largest traffic generator in conjunction with the OLG. Many new games are regularly launched by our partners at the OLG, creating customer interest and excitement while allowing for additional impulse sales. Large Lotto Max and 649 jackpots have brought […]

Beer in Ontario convenience stores

OCSA Remains Committed To Adding Beer And Wine

We are sure many are disappointed with the slow down on the roll out of beer and to the convenience store sector and want to assure everyone that this government is still committed to the channel and customer convenience for beer and wine. The OCSA has informed the government of our customers’ expectations as well as […]

Person smoking an e-cigarette

Confusion Around Vaping Products Remains

The vape category remains under scrutiny from all levels of government and this can be attributed to the various health groups targeting the convenience store channel by creating confusion within the category. Health Canada actually made a statement as follows: “Between July and December 2019, Health Canada inspectors visited more than 3,000 specialty vape shops […]

OCSA Supper 2020 Rick Rabba

OCSA Gala Supper & Networking Event

The Board of Directors of the OCSA are pleased to announce our keynote speaker at the 2020 OCSA Gala is Rick Rabba – President of Rabba Fine Foods & CJR Wholesale at upcoming convenience store industry Gala. We encourage you to join us at the conclusion of the Convenience U show on opening day to […]

credit cards

Credit Card Fees To Drop For Canadian Retailers

In an effort to reduce credit card fees, the federal government has committed to having credit card companies drop the amount they charge retailers starting in April, 2020 as part of an agreement with Visa and MasterCard. The fees will drop from 1.5% down to 1.4% on averaged. As well they have promised to remove […]

Person smoking an e-cigarette

Clarifying New Rules Regarding Vaping Products

There have been a number of clarifications around vaping laws recently and the onus falls on convenience store operators to comply with ongoing changes required by the government as issues continue to surface. The convenience store channel is  already the best at ensuring youth have no access to either tobacco or vape products so let’s […]

OCSA CEO Dave Bryans

Progress Toward Beer/Wine Continues

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association is recognized by this government as the representative and largest convenience store advocacy group in Ontario. This is a result of 35 years representing your interests, both manufacturers and retailers on all issue that affect our ability to serve Ontarians in every community. Beverage alcohol or the introduction of beer/wine […]


9 Tips For Handling The Transition To Plain Packaging

By now many convenience stores will have started to receive some of their higher volume cigarettes and tobacco products in the new plain packaging. These have arrived while much of the previous stock remains on the shelf, causing confusion. Retailers have until February 1, 2020 to sell through their slower moving coloured products and the […]

free our beer ontario

Ontario Beverage Alcohol Oversight and Changes

The Minister of Finance tabled the fall economic statement yesterday in an Omnibus bill that has gone through first reading. There were many references throughout the Bill that referred to the beverage alcohol oversight and changes. The OCSA along with several different stakeholders were invited to a technical briefing last week for a review and […]

Robber with Gun

Retail Robbery Prevention Tips

At OCSA we believe good safety management is only achieved when it becomes a normal part of our daily routines as owners, managers and staff — when it becomes habitual. In order to create stores where safety is the norm for everyone, good habits have to start at the top. In other words, safety needs […]

OCSA CStore Day

Ontario CStore Day Thanks You!

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association along with the 1000’s of family run convenience stores, would like to thank everyone for coming out and supporting CStore Day. The event showed the support of our retailers and their communities to the needs of the children’s hospitals in Ontario. We were proud to support Sick Kids Foundation, CHEO […]

ontario carbon tax stickers for gas stations

Gas Retailers – Federal Carbon Tax Transparency Stickers

Starting August 30, 2019, gasoline retailers in Ontario must display a Federal Carbon Tax Transparency Sticker on each gasoline pump. The Ontario government is mailing out stickers to gas stations, but most retailers have not yet received their stickers. Gas stations can order stickers,  free of charge, through Publications Ontario. or by calling… Toronto:  416-326-5300 […]

Ontario CStore Day is Here!

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association members are thrilled to be supporting the childrens hospitals of Ontario. Sick Kids Foundation, McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation,  CHEO Foundation and Children’s Health Foundation.

convenience store week in Ontario

CStore Day – That’s Entertainment Collecting for McMaster Children’s Hospital

Please stop by and donate for McMaster Children’s Hospital. The folks at That’s Entertainment are waiting for you! 353 Lake Street, St. Catherines

CSTORE DAY in Ontario

Ontario Convenience Store Day – OCSA & SickKids Foundation

Ontario Convenience Stores Association teams up with SickKids Foundation to give back to local communities on C-Store Day   Ontario Convenience Stores Association teams up with SickKids Foundation to give back to local communities on C-Store Day On August 28, stop by your local convenience store to support children’s healthcare and enjoy fun activities. The […]


Ontario’s Employment Standards Policy and Interpretation Manual

The Ministry of Labour’s goal is to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses, while promoting and enforcing employment standards and helping settle workplace disputes and collective agreements in Ontario. They’ve recently released new resources to employers in Ontario. Below is an excerpt of a press release they’ve shared with us: In line with the government’s commitment […]

Discipline Required As Vaping Market Grows

The vaping category has seen many new players enter the market and has grown quickly over the last year. Now there is the potential of federal legislation due to aggressive in-store promotions by an array of companies after the election and ask our members to be vigilant with age-testing for these products and disciplined in […]

Beer bottles

Open Beer Market Closer Than Ever

The Minster of Finance has started to end the Beer Store controls at the end of June and the first two steps in an open market were easy to implement by allowing an additional 87 grocery stores to sell beer as part of the MFA agreement of 450 grocery stores allowed to sell beer in […]


Change On The Horizon For Convenience Store Sector

Hard-working families running a convenience stores in Ontario 365 days a year, are in every community and we appreciate the long hours they put in. In this past year, the convenience sector has changed drastically with the arrival of vaping products.  We are seeing more and more tobacco users moving over to vape. The time […]

CSTORE DAY in Ontario

Ontario Convenience Store Days

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) is proud to be the founder of C Store Day in Ontario. The independent retailers and regional chains of Ontario work with community leaders (local MPPs, MPs, Mayors, Police and Fire Departments) to fundraise for the Children. This year, C Store Day is Thursday, August 28, 2019 Come out […]

2019 OCSA Charity Golf Tournament

OCSA Charity Golf Tournament

The OCSA Charity Golf Tournament was proud to support Children’s Wish Foundation this year. The event was sold out as the vendors, distributors and retailers all came together for a full day golf, sampling and support for Children’s Wish. Big shout out to all of our sponsors for the event.  Thank you so very much! […]

Ontario convenience stores association beer

OCSA Applauds Passage of Bill 115

Bringing Choice and Convenience to Customers June 6, 2019 – Oakville, Ontario – The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) and the 6,000 neighborhood and family-run businesses it represents is thrilled at the passage of Bill 115, the Bringing Choice and Fairness to the People Act (Beverage Alcohol Retail Sales), 2019.   “This is fantastic news […]

Beer in Ontario convenience stores

OCSA Supports Province’s Plan to Modernize Beer and Wine Retailing

Bringing Choice and Convenience to Customers May 27, 2019 – Oakville, Ontario – The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) and the 6,000 neighborhood and family-run businesses it represents supports the Ford government’s work to allow convenience stores to support Ontario craft brewers and wineries, create jobs and deliver more choice and convenience to customers. Today’s […]

Get Educated About Modernizing Alcohol Sales in the Ontario

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association and are supporting the Ontario Government with an educational web site to educate Ontarians about modernizing how alcohol is solid in this province. Beer and wine are sold responsibly in thousands of Convenience Stores in North America and could finally arrive in Ontario. Please visit for more information […]

Cannabis accessories in convenience stores

Cannabis accessories now legal for non-medical purposes

Cannabis accessories are now legal to sell for non-medical purposes. This means they may be sold specifically for the purposes of consuming cannabis as long as they are sold within the rules outlined in the Cannabis Act and the cannabis legislation in each Province. The Federal Government has decided to regulate cannabis accessories very similar […]

OCSA Weighs In On Proposed Vaping Regulations

Proposed changes to regulations surrounding the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act were revealed by Health Canada recently. Among them, changes to how retailers such as convenience stores would be permitted to advertise products. The Ontario Convenience Stores Association takes pride in working alongside government to provide practical solutions to identified problems in ways that are […]

contraband cigarette smoking

Plain Packaging Regulations To Take Effect In November

New plain packaging regulations for Canadian tobacco products are coming into effect in November 2019 for manufacturers and February 2020 for Retailers. Among the regulations: Brand colours, graphics and logos on packages are prohibited, and a drab brown colour is required to appear as the base colour for all brands; brand names can still appear […]

Beer Bottles

How the Convenience Store Channel Will Roll Out Beer and Wine

We continue to hear more about opening the beer and wine markets in Ontario to corner stores, big box retailers and grocery stores. The OCSA has spent seven years working with governments, stakeholders and researchers to encourage a move to an open beer retailing market that will forever change the convenience store business model going […]

ocsa age testing

Ontario Convenience Stores Show They’re Ready for Responsible Beer and Wine Sales with New Data Showing Pass Rate of Government Age-Check Inspections of 96.2%

New results from data obtained from the Ontario Ministries of the Attorney General and Health and Long-Term Care show that Ontario convenience stores consistently sell age-restricted products like tobacco, lottery tickets, alcohol, and vaping products responsibly. And they’ll bring that same diligence to the expansion of beer and wine sales to convenience stores. In 2018, […]

Canada’s Plain Packaging Regulation

We have been waiting for information from the Federal Government regarding the Plain Packaging changes in store for tobacco products. With permission from DepQuebec, we can share the following information… ” Much awaited by the Canadian c-store industry, the approved and final regulation on plain and standardized packaging of tobacco products is scheduled to be […]

Beer in Ontario convenience stores

2019 Ontario Budget regarding Convenience Stores

The Ontario budget was well received yesterday and very well presented by the Hon. Vic Fideli, Minister of Finance. Some highlights for the convenience store sector are as follows: A firm announcement and commitment to roll beer and wine into corner stores was the highlight for the OCSA. In addition, the government announced: – Reaffirming […]

OCSA's 2019 Race Is On Gala

16th Annual OCSA Gala Enjoyed By All

On March 5 the OCSA held our 16th annual dinner gala at the Congress Centre immediately following the very successful day first day of the Convenience U show. The networking hour was sponsored by our friends at the Great Canadian Meat company while the OCSA dinner was sponsored by Juul Labs. Over 225 retailers and […]

Food Preparation

Resources For Managing Food On Premises

Managing food on premises is no small task but our responsible retailers are diligent to meet every lofty standard set forth for them by the government of Ontario. Below are references set forth by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that all retailers that manage food on premises can consult. Ministry of Health and […]

Person smoking an e-cigarette

OCSA Response To Health Canada’s Notice of Intent Regarding Vaping Advertisements

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) was pleased to present a submission regarding the Government of Canada’s Notice of Intent – Potential Measures to Reduce the Impact of Vaping Products Advertising on Youth and Non-users of Tobacco Products, which was published by Health Canada on February 7, 2019 and in Canada Gazette Part I on […]

Vic Fedeli and Dave Bryans

Beer And Wine In Convenience Stores This Year?

The Ontario government has announced plans to bring beer and wine to the convenience sector. You can read about Minister Finance Vic Fedeli’s announce in the Toronto Star here. Below is an update from OCSA CEO Dave Bryans detailing what retailers can expect and how to best prepare for the new channel. The time has […]

2019 Queens Park Day - Ontario Convenience Stores Association

Queen’s Park Day 2019, A Great Success

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) held our annual Queens Park Day meeting with MPPs from all political parties on opportunities for the family run businesses in Ontario. Thank you to the 17 retailers who attended & presented to the many MPPs. Special thanks to Hon. Vic Fideli for your warm words at our reception […]

AGCO Issues Bulletin On CBD Oil

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has issued a bulletin declaring that unauthorized retailers currently selling Cannabidiol oil are required to immediately cease the sale and remove the product from their premises. The bulletin states that CBD oil is made from the cannabis plant and is thus captured under the definition of cannabis in […]

OCSA Round Table, Jan. 2019

MPP Stan Cho Meets With OCSA Members

The OCSA held a great and productive meeting this week with Willowdale MPP Stan Cho and a number of independent retailers and OCSA members. These hard working retailers represent the faces of over 6,000 family-run convenience stores in Ontario. During the meeting we discussed issues and opportunities with the current PC government including red tape, […]

OCSA Race is On Gala Networking Event

2019 OCSA Gala

The OCSA is proud to bring you one of the biggest networking events in Canada for the convenience store industry. The OCSA has worked hard for all retailers, manufacturers and the industry at building a strong business relationship with the Ontario government and this is the opportunity for us to show the strength of our […]

Doug Ford and Dave Bryans

The OCSA’s Annual Outlook: 2019

As 2018 comes to a close, I am proud of the many files the OCSA has worked through on behalf of all our members. The OCSA is appreciative of the support we have received from association members, board members, members of the Ontario government, not to mention manufacturer trade and retail associations. We will continue […]

Cashier accepts parcel

PUDO Seeks Convenience Store Partnerships

Convenience store operators of PUDOpoint locations are enjoying high return on investment for joining the PUDO parcel pick-up and return Network, on no capital investment. “It is gratifying to know that our PUDOpoint partners are benefitting tangibly from membership, “ says PUDO CEO Kurtis Arnold. “Convenience stores, particularly independent and family-run stores not affiliated with […]

contraband cigarette smoking

Tobacco Tax Freeze Heading Into 2019

The OCSA has been actively working with the provincial government to address the issue of contraband tobacco. As we have discussed in the past, one of the key reasons contraband flourishes is due to high tobacco taxes. For this reason, the OCSA greatly appreciates the Ontario government recognizing this issue and halting the proposed $4.00 […]

Cashier Closed Sign

Minimum Wage Hike Cancelled Along With Other Bill 148 Amendments

Update: The Ontario government has formally announced which amendments to Bill 148 it will repeal. Chief among the previous government’s modifications to the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 was a plan to raise minimum wage up to $15.00 per hour in 2019. While the current government won’t roll back the increase to $14.00 that took […]

Bill 36 Ontario Vaping Regulations

The Ontario government has come out with regulations on the selling of vape products in convenience stores (October 18, 2018) The regulations have banned the display of vape products on the counter and back wall and they must be hidden from view (like tobacco) but will be allowed to promote and communicate the product benefits […]

Ontario convenience stores best at age testing

Ontario Convenience Stores Pass Government Age-Check Inspections With 95.7% Success Rate

New results from data obtained from the Ontario Ministries of the Attorney General and Health and Long-Term Care show that Ontario convenience stores consistently sell age-restricted products like tobacco, lottery tickets, alcohol, and vaping products responsibly. In 2017, 19,822 mystery shopping checks were conducted by public health units in support of the Smoke Free Ontario […]

Plain Packaging Bill S-5

Retailer Action Needed on Bill S-5

On May 23rd, 2018, Bill S-5, An Act to Amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-Smokers Health Act became law, laying the groundwork for plain packaging and other standardization measures. Convenience stores operate a legal, respected and trusted business that serves and employs people from the community. It’s time to speak up and be heard: […]

Free Our Beer Campaign

Latest on Beer in Ontario Convenience Stores

UPDATE: Convenience stores throughout Ontario are asking the same question as we work with the Ontario government to create a new category for our members: where is our beer? Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Finance Vic Fideli continue to assure us that they are committed to living up to their election promise of beer in […]

Surveillance outside of a Building

Robbery Prevention Tips

Robbery and shoplifting are unfortunate realities in our industry but there are ways of mitigating the risks. Below are a handful of tips that all clerks and store owners should be aware of to ensure the safety of all employees and customers. What’s the Difference Between Robbery and Shoplifting? Shoplifting is when a person takes […]


Government Analysis of Plain Packaging Regulations

Update: We wrote in July that the the federal government was open to public consultation regarding proposed plain packaging changes. Unfortunately for OCSA members and other small retailers, the government has decided to proceed with the changes despite the potential risk that they pose to businesses. As outlined below, the federal government believes that plain […]

Quickie and Children's Wish Cheque

Convenience Store Day 2018 another success

Another summer has come and gone and with it, another successful Convenience Store Day. We would like to extend a major thank you to all the convenience stores who made our August 29 festivities possible by supporting the Children’s Wish Foundation and working together as an industry for a great cause. We’d also like to […]

OCSA Welcomes JUUL to Canada

August 30, 2018 The Ontario Convenience Stores Association is pleased to welcome JUUL Labs as its newest associate member. JUUL Labs is a technology company dedicated to eliminating cigarettes by offering existing adult smokers an alternative to combustible cigarettes. Their product, JUUL, is a closed-pod nicotine vaping system, which will be available for purchase in […]

OLG Campaigns Available this Summer

Here are the latest campaigns and promotions available for Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation retailers.

OCSA talks contraband with Crime Stoppers

OCSA, Crime Stoppers Unite to Curb Contraband

The OCSA has teamed up with Crime Stoppers to work on issues members encounter with regard to contraband in Ontario. By spreading awareness, the two parties hope to limit the opportunities organized crime has to profit off of the illegal tobacco market. As illegal activity grows, the OCSA will meet with the newly elected government […]

Person smoking an e-cigarette

Launch of New Vaping Rules Postponed

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act that was scheduled to be updated to include new rules for the sale, display and promotion of vaping products as of July 1, 2018 has been put on hold (at the last minute) by the new Ford government. The OCSA is pleased with this decision as we have always advocated for […]

Circle K celebrates Convenience Store Day

C-Store Day Returns to Raise Funds for Charity

The OCSA was presented a plaque from Children’s Wish Foundation for its role in last summer’s C-Store Day. The event held on August 30, 2017 raised $82,000 to be donated to the organization. At this year’s event, on August 29, we hope to break the $100,000 mark throughout Canada as Ontario convenience store once again […]

Milano Italy coffee and food expo

Host Milano – Italy – Equipment, Coffee and Food Expo

Host Milano is the favourite destination of top players for offering a preview of innovations in technologies in food equipment, food products (ingredients, semi-prepared items), the world of coffee as well as in terms of formats, design and lifestyle. It is also a unique marketplace for doing quality international business with professionals who have been carefully selected […]

Beer in Ontario convenience stores

Ontario PCs Announce Beer and Wine for Convenience Stores if Elected

Dave Bryans (CEO of the OCSA) met with Doug Ford last week and  Mr Ford said …’ Dave, help is on way for small business and I am going to give your channel beer very shortly’ and he made the announcement on Friday. Backgrounder – Modernize Beer and Wine Sales Alcohol reform is something long […]

Queens Park in Toronto, Ontario

Summary of OCSA Conversation with Ministry of Small Business

The OCSA recently spoke at Queen’s Park to lobby on behalf of small businesses across the province. We were pleased to discuss some of the most pertinent issues facing our sector with Ontario’s small business minister Jeff Leal. Below is a letter that we received back from the Ministry, recapping the conversation. Dear Mr. Bryans: […]

Person smoking marijuana

Protecting The Cannabis-Associated Product Market

As Ontario prepares for the launch of Ontario Cannabis Stores across the province, we have been vocal about protecting the interests of convenience stores that sell cannabis-related products. The OCSA is of the belief that allowing exclusively licensed Ontario Cannabis Stores to also sell these secondary products would be unfair to small businesses who already […]

Menu labeling graphic

Menu Labelling: Questions and Answers

The intent of the Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2015 (HMCA) is to provide Ontarians with calorie information relating to standard food and drink items, when they eat out at, or order in from, regulated food service premises. Minister-appointed inspectors are responsible for inspecting regulated food service premises and enforcing compliance with the HMCA and its […]

OCSA Responds to Ontario Budget; Calls for Comprehensive Plan to Address Illegal Tobacco Market

TORONTO, April 28th, 2017 /CNW/ – The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) was disappointed that the recent Ontario budget did not include a comprehensive, holistic solution to the growing threat of illegal tobacco. While the government did announce an increase to the tobacco tax, this increase is just a band aid – while the legal […]

Doug Rosencrans of 7-Eleven

New challenges bring new opportunity for industry

The convenience store industry is rapidly changing, with unexpected competitors emerging daily and technological advancements front and centre. Speaking to a sold-out audience at this year’s Race Is On Gala, 7-Eleven Canada’s Doug Rosencrans spoke about how now more than ever, retailers need to be flexible and resilient in order to navigate the new conditions, […]

Ontario election, 2018

Industry issues worth discussing as election nears

Ontario is now heading into an election to decide the political party that will lead us over next four years. The last few years have been a rough ride for small businesses through the province and the convenience store industry has seen many new challenges, downloaded costs and disappointments. The OCSA is not endorsing any […]

Kids jumping

Youth Job Connection to help offset wage increase

An increase to the provincial minimum wage presents a challenge for small businesses in Ontario. Fortunately, there are government incentives like the Youth Job Connection program that can help offset these costs. One such incentive involves hiring young workers. Here’s some guidance should you wish to participate in one of these employment programs and reap […]

OCSA community retailers

The Faces of Responsible Retailing

We are proud of the many members we have at the OCSA and here are the faces of a few of the convenience store retailers who put in long hours to serve the 3 million people who come through our stores every day.

Person smoking an e-cigarette

Changes Coming To Smoke-Free Ontario Act

Changes to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act are on the way. The new piece of legislature will regulate the sale, supply, use, display and promotion of both tobacco and vapour products while also regulating the smoking and vaping of medical cannabis. Furthermore, the comprehensive Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 will replace the previous Smoke-Free Ontario Act as […]

2018 Race Is On graphic

2018 OCSA Race is On Gala and Networking Event

Attend the largest industry networking event in Canada and hear what 7-Eleven has planned for 2018 and beyond. Monday, March 5, 2018 Woodbine Entertainment Centre 4:30 pm – Registration and Networking 6:00 pm – Guest Speaker and Supper 7:30 pm – Races begin ** You must purchase your tickets in advance as this event sells […]

Convenience U CARWACS 2018

Peel Regional Police Crime Prevention Seminar at Convenience U 2018

Once again the OCSA is proud to be a supporter of the 2018 Convenience U Show being held at the Toronto Congress Centre on March 6 & 7th, 2018. Opening ceremonies will begin at 8:30 am on March 6 and you don’t want to miss the key note speaker: David Coletta (CEO Abacus Research) where […]

Ontario labour laws graphic

[NEW] Employee Standards Poster 2018

January 2, 2018, a new version of the Ministry of Labour’s Employment Standards Poster will be published (version 7.0).  This replaces version 6.0.    The poster describes important rights and requirements under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and must be posted in the workplace where it is likely that employees will see it. Employers are […]

Contraband tobacco study, 2017

Contraband Tobacco Levels in Ontario Reaching Alarming Rates According to New Study

  Government Failure to Tackle Contraband Tobacco Highlights Double Standard Around Proposed Regulations for Marijuana The latest contraband study, conducted on behalf of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA), reveals that the volume of contraband tobacco being consumed by Ontario residents continues to rise at an alarming rate in every region across the province. The […]

7-Eleven healthy food options

7-Eleven Canada to give Consumers more Nutrition Information

7-Eleven Boosts the Informed Dining Program by 600 Locations October 11, 2017 – Vancouver, B.C. – 7-Eleven Canada is making it easier for customers to make informed purchasing choices. Today, 7-Eleven joins the B.C. government’s Informed Dining program, adding 600 participating locations across Canada. 7-Eleven customers will have in-store access to information on calories, sodium and […]

Plain packaging graphic

Plain Packaging Issues

The Canadian federal government wants to remove all logos, colors, fonts and other stylistic features that let customers know just exactly what tobacco product they are buying. The impact on retailers is huge (security issues, customer service issues, etc). Tobacco products will be easier to counterfeit. In Ontario, every 1 in 3 cigarettes smoked are […]

Biker vest

Crime Stoppers: Sale of Illegal Cigarettes is Funding Bikers, Street Gangs and Terrorists

Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers Launches Hard-Hitting Public Awareness Campaign TORONTO – Monday, September 18, 2017 – Today, Crime Stoppers programs across Ontario officially launched a province-wide public awareness campaign to highlight the threats to our communities posed by the sale of illegal cigarettes. The campaign features a series of 30-second radio and print advertisements […]

Independent convenience store

Convenience Retailers concerned with effect of Ontario Labour Changes on Community Stores and Part-time Jobs

In a new member survey published this week, the Ontario Convenience Store Association (OCSA) found widespread concern among retailers about the unintended consequences resulting from Ontario’s surprise minimum wage increase, as well as other proposed labour changes. As a result of the legislation introduced by the Government of Ontario earlier this year, 83 per cent […]

Save Our Stores video screengrab

Save Our Convenience Stores – OKBA

The OKBA has launched  a campaign in Ontario called SOS – Save Our Stores that will be featured in a different community every month leading up to the June 7, 2018 Ontario election. The video highlights the hardships their members are facing in Ontario due to contraband tobacco, punishing hydro rates, minimum wages (too much too soon […]

Ontario tobacco permit graphic

Tobacco Retail Dealer’s Permit – Mandatory Registration

As announced in the 2017 Ontario Budget, tobacco retail dealers that currently hold a permit under the Retail Sales Tax Act (RSTA) are required to transition to the Tobacco Retail Dealer’s Permit (TRDP) before July 1, 2018. There is no cost to apply for the TRDP. Retail dealers can mail or fax a completed TRDP application […]

Circle K celebrates Convenience Store Day

National Convenience Store Day – August 30, 2017

C-Store Day to launch nationwide on August 30th, featuring retailers, customers and politicians  Sixth annual event to recognize convenience stores, support Children’s Wish goes national               An Atlantic Canada event established in 2012 has been launched nationwide, coast to coast, and will take place on August.30th. Ontario will be the biggest growth market for the event […]

Red caution tape

Province Aims To Help Businesses Avoid Red Tape

The Ministry of Small Business has shown a commitment to reducing costs and red tape for small businesses in Ontario. Proposed measures to help small businesses grow and cut red tape, to be introduced this fall, include: Reducing regulatory costs: Requiring all ministries to offset every dollar of new administrative costs to business, by removing […]

Europe storefront

Toronto Okays Sidewalk Marketing

The City of Toronto has agreed to accommodate small businesses by modifying its sidewalk marketing by-law. Now stores will be able to showcase things like fruit and flower out in front of their stores, perfect for the summer months ahead. Below is a transcript of OCSA CEO Dave Bryans’ comments to the Councillors who approved […]

A mall during the holidays

OCSA Opposed To Proposed Stat Holiday By-Law Changes

The City of Toronto has contemplated changes to the statutory holiday by-law that prohibits the majority of stores from opening on those days. The Retail Business Holidays Act allows convenience stores to serve a vital role in their communities on these nine dates and to build a rapport with customers who may otherwise not be aware of their […]

Customer and cashier

Ministry of Labour Workplace Blitz Begins

This summer the Ministry of Labour aims to execute a series of summer blitzes to ensure that businesses are adhering to rules pertaining to the rights of workers. We would like to remind all association members to dutifully track the hours of new and young works to make certain that no employees are working more […]

Minimum Wage Increase Will Lead to Fewer Part-Time Jobs

Ontario’s jump to a $15-dollar minimum wage is out-of-step with economy and puts jobs at risk May 31, 2017 – TORONTO, Ontario – The Government of Ontario’s decision to increase the minimum wage well beyond the rate of inflation will lead to fewer jobs in the convenience sector.  The jump to $15 dollars per hour […]

Can rolling papers be displayed in Ontario Convenience stores

Rolling Papers and Blunts – Can They Be Displayed?

The OCSA has seen some controversy from certain Public Health Units in Ontario around the interpretation of displaying all types cigarette papers and blunts in plain view of the consumer. Some Public Health Units were ready to fine retailers who had these products on display, so the Ontario Convenience Stores Association went to the Ministry of […]

Ontario Budget

Response to Ontario Budget – Need for Comprehensive Plan to Address Illegal Tobacco Market

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) was disappointed that the recent Ontario budget did not include a comprehensive, holistic solution to the growing threat of illegal tobacco. While the government did announce an increase to the tobacco tax, this increase is just a band aid – while the legal tobacco market will pay it, the […]

city of toronto energy drink ban-min

OCSA Discusses Energy Drinks with City of Toronto

As you may know by now, the City of Toronto has ruled against implementing any age-restrictions on energy drinks. Prior to their decision, they had contemplated limiting the sale of the beverages out of concerns for youth consumption, consumption with alcohol and the general caffeine level. We believe, as Health Canada believes, that it’s imperative […]

Costco Business centre Ontario

First in Canada: Costco Wholesale Business Centre Opens

Unique concept benefits businesses of all sizes, from retailers to restaurants to offices. Scarborough, ON – Costco Wholesale today opened its first Canadian Business Centre in Scarborough, located at 50 Thermos Rd. in the Warden-Eglinton area. The Costco Wholesale Business Centre concept is new to Canada.  The location is vastly different from any current Costco […]

Celebrating Our Neighbourhood Corner Stores

Convenience Stories We found this great story over at about a video project focusing on the different convenience stores in Toronto. Stina Dios is a student at OCAD who found the stories behind each of the convenience stores that she entered and she wanted to share them with everyone. About her project….  A collection […]

Ontario Minimum Wage Increase

2017 Ontario Minimum Wage Increase set for Oct 1st

Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn made the announcement that the increase will come into effect on October 1, 2017, and continues the government’s efforts to ensure more workers and their families are able to benefit from the province’s growing economy. As a result, full-time minimum wage earners in Ontario are now taking home $2,782 more […]

Convenience U Toronto

Convenience U 2017 – A Great Success

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 […]

Ontario Convenience Store Hall of Fame - Retailer of the Year

2016 Retailers of the Year Awards

At this year’s Hall of Fame Awards two retailers were celebrated for their commitment to the industry. The 2017 recipients of the Retailers of the Year come from both the independent side and the chain sector. PHOTO: (L-R) Dave Bryans, CEO OCSA; Chris Wilcox, Vice-president and General Manager Quickie Convenience Stores; Gino Vecia, Manager New […]

SIAL 80% Discount – Special Coupon Code for OCSA Retailers

Register now for the SIAL Food Show get an 80% discount promo code SIALPROMOBK17 ==> Click here to register for the show SIAL in an international food and beverage trade show with more than 850 national and international exhibitors from 50 countries. SIAL Canada is the only national trade show that offers a complete range […]

ITSA Flavour cards in Ontario

Smoke Free Ontario Advice on ITSA Flavour Cards

There has been some confusion in the Ontario market place whether the ITSA flavour cards are a tobacco product and should be governed by the Ontario Smoke Free Act or not. As a background, ITSA is a way to infuse any dry food and dry beverage products with flavor and aroma.  To use it, the consumer would […]

Plain packaging laws in Canada

Plain Packaging May Not Be Best Option

Proposed changes to the packaging of tobacco products could have a direct impact on convenience stores throughout Canada. Recently, JTI-Macdonald Corp. Vice President Simon Grenier has penned a letter discussing why plain packaging may not have the positive impact that some officials believe it will. In fact, the downside of such regulation are significant in […]

The OCSA Welcomes Minister of Small Business

The province has introduced a new position, the Minister of Small Business. We’ve advocated for such a position and welcome Hon. Jeff Leal.

Ontario Minimum Wage Increase

Tax Deductions for Small Businesses

Small businesses in Canada can be eligible for a significant tax deduction. Find out how your company can save at tax time.

Voluntary Recall In Place For Some Smokeless Tobacco Products

The NSTC is suggesting retailers voluntarily recall smokeless tobacco products with specific ID numbers.

Holiday Shopping Laws - Ontario

OCSA Addresses Holiday Shopping By-Law Review

The City of Toronto plans to review the Holiday Shopping By-Law. The OCSA is of the belief that the current by-law should stand.

2017 Race is On Gala - OCSA-min

OCSA Race is On Gala and Networking Event

Join us at Canada’s largest convenience store industry event – the Race is On Gala which kicks off the night before Convenience U. Convenience store owners, executives and buyers will be in attendance along with industry suppliers for an evening of networking and racing. THE 14TH ANNUAL OCSA GALA “THE RACE IS ON” Networking Event […]

OCSA Queen’s Park Lobby Day

Lobby Day is an event that allows the OCSA and its many members to engage with elected officials (MPPs and Ministers) develop and enhance relationships and demonstrate a coordinated, united industry on issues of interest. Why We Do It…. Benefits of Lobby Day include the following… Enhanced awareness of the association by key policy decision […]

city of toronto energy drink ban-min

City of Toronto Potential Energy Drink Ban

Toronto Public Health is currently reviewing the idea of imposing bans on the sale and marketing of energy drinks at both City-owned venues and private businesses. We know that such restrictions will have a direct economic impact on City facilities as well as retailers. Our members sell energy drinks. The various measures that are currently […]

Age Testing in Ontario Convenience stores

‘Be the Best’ Age Verification Campaign

Responsible Retailing through Age Testing The OCSA is excited to launch an additional step for in-store employee age challenges of youthful customers to insure they don’t make mistakes when it comes to asking for ID for lottery and tobacco and more importantly they conduct one last question to protect themselves. As an example, employees caught […]

Protect Your Convenience Store – Advice from the OPP

It is every business owner’s responsibility to protect their business and employees from theft, loss and personal injury.

Contraband Tobaccoo Usage Rises Even Higher in 2016

Illegal Tobacco Use in Ontario Surpasses 30% New regulations on legal tobacco products could see contraband rate increase further The Ontario Convenience Store Association (OCSA), has released an updated study on illegal tobacco use across Ontario. For the third year in a row, the use of illegal tobacco has increased in most surveyed locations, and […]

Convenience and Community – What a Convenience Store is All About

The OCSA’s Recommendations for Canada’s Plain Packaging Initiative

The OCSA represents over 6,000 Ontario family run convenience stores in every community. Tobacco is our largest customer category; representing 40-60% of daily sales. Convenience stores have a high reliance on tobacco sales as we sell 95% of all tobacco in Ontario and speed of service is an expectation of all customers. Our industry wants to work with […]

Toronto’s Potential Parking Space Levy Reaches Council

A proposed parking spot levy for Toronto could generate millions of dollars for the city. According to KPMG estimates, even $1 per day applied across each commercial spot could net upwards of $383 million. Alternatively, a 5% parking sales tax could yield $32.8 million if given the greenlight. The proposition was initially put forth last December by […]

Menu Labeling Changes and What They Mean

Why are these menu labeling changes happening? Changes are on the horizon for food retailers, as Canadians embrace healthier lifestyles and make more concerted efforts to manage their diets responsibly. At the beginning of next year, new changes to how retail menus are displayed in-store will provide customers with more information than ever before. What follows is an excerpt […]

Energy Drinks: Local Regulations with Big Implications

Since their introduction into the marketplace over a decade ago, energy drinks have been a vibrant category, drawing the attention of convenience store patrons through unique marketing and robust products. Based on a high price point and increasing popularity, energy drinks are a profitable category for store owners. With about the same amount of caffeine […]

Rising Rural Hydro Rates Hurt Small Business

Discrepancy in hydro rates across the country are punishing small business, especially those located in designated rural areas with exorbitant delivery charges. This higher delivery rate puts businesses on an unlevel playing field and it’s this that needs to stop. The Ontario government continues to subsidize large industrial businesses to reduce their costs while ignoring […]

OCSA illegal tobacco awareness campaign

Find out if your tobacco is illegal.

OCSA Submission on E-Cigarette Regulation

The OCSA is a not-for-profit trade association that represents the interests of over 6,000 convenience store retailers operating throughout Ontario. The convenience store (c-store) sector is an integral part of the business community of Ontario. Our stores are vital economic and social hubs in the communities they serve, including providing services to some areas that […]

Tobacco Tax Rate Increases

Ontario’s tobacco tax rates are increasing. Official details of the changes published are available here.

Enforcement Team Created to Fight Contraband Tobacco in Ontario

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Create a New Contraband Task Force Located within the OPP’s Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau, the new team will be dedicated to investigating the smuggling and trafficking of contraband tobacco and will work closely with local, provincial, national and international enforcement agencies to combat and eliminate sophisticated contraband tobacco networks across Ontario. […]

13th Annual Race is On Networking Event 2016

THE 13TH ANNUAL OCSA GALA “THE RACE IS ON” Networking Event Woodbine Race Track Woodbine Entertainment Centre Monday, March 7, 2016 Reception: 4:30 pm Special Guest Speaker – Dr. Terry Flynn- Managing Risk in Your Business – 6:00 pm Dinner: 6:30 pm Racing/Slots: 7:30 pm Tickets: 8 at $4,000 per table, plus HST = $4,520 […]

Ontario Bill # 45 Updates and Clarification

The OCSA has completed a meeting with the Ministry of Health and Wellness on Friday December 4th to clarify areas of concern under bill #45 that take effect on January 1st 2016 as well as E Cigarettes and vapour for our members as follows: Flavour Bans: Effective January 1, 2016 all tobacco products with flavours […]

Convenience Store Retailers Welcome Measures in Bill 139 to Address Illegal Tobacco

  CONVENIENCE STORE RETAILERS WELCOME MEASURES IN BILL 139 TO ADDRESS ILLEGAL TOBACCO TORONTO, ONTARIO – (Marketwire – November 17th  2015) – Ontario’s convenience store retailers are welcoming a private member’s bill introduced by MPP Todd Smith (Prince Edward-Hastings) which seeks to address illegal tobacco through new measures for policing agencies and a public education […]

Commemerative 20 bank note - Canada

New Commemerative $20 Note

A Commemorative $20 Note On 10 September 2015, the Bank of Canada unveiled and issued a commemorative $20 note to mark the historic reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. This commemorative note has the same security features as notes in the current Polymer series. The difference is that the large window contains new visual […]

2016 Convenience U CARWACS Show

The 2016 Convenience U CARWACS Show Tuesday March 8 & Wednesday March 9, 2016 The International Centre | Toronto Retailer registration for the event can be done through this link (click here).  Use promo code OCSA to get in for free!

Queen’s Park Lobby Day

The third annual OCSA Queen’s Park Day was once again a great success, from the initial briefings by Sussex and Summa to the Question Period, MPP meetings and OCSA reception. I strongly believe our relationship at Queen’s Park with key decision makers – including 28 Members of Provincial Parliament – is strengthening both on an […]

Buy illegal tobacco and it will cost you in the long run.

Find out if your tobacco is illegal.

Bill 45 – Menthol Flavour Ban in Tobacco Products

On Monday, April 20th at 5:15 pm the CEO of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association spoke to the Standing Committee on General Government regarding Bill 45. Bill 45 has three components: Menu Labeling Ban on Menthol Tobacco Vapour and E-Cigarette   Below is is a copy of the presentation that Mr. Bryans delivered to the […]

Required: New Ministry of Labour Employment Standards Poster

On May 1, 2015, a new version of the Ministry of Labour’s Employment Standards Poster will be published (version 6.0).  This replaces version 5.0. The poster describes important rights and requirements under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and must be posted in the workplace where it is likely that employees will see it.  If […]

Ontario’s grocery store beer retailing plan unfairly tips the competitive balance toward the largest grocery companies

Chain convenience stores say Ontario’s grocery store beer retailing plan unfairly tips the competitive balance toward the largest grocery companies April 15, 2015 – Oakville, Ontario – The Ontario Convenience Store Association (OCSA) expressed its disappointment today in the alcohol retailing recommendations from the Premier’s Advisory Council on Government Assets. The chain convenience store members […]

Ontarians support proposal to have large convenience stores and grocery stores sell beer under the LCBO banner

Significant majority of Ontarians support proposal to have large convenience stores and grocery stores sell beer under the LCBO banner  March 4, 2015 – Oakville, Ontario – A new poll of Ontarians, conducted by Abacus Data Inc., revealed that 72% support a proposal that would see an expansion of the LCBO’s Agency Store program to […]

Convenience Store Show – Con U 2015

Register today!   TORONTO March 10 & 11, 2015 The International Centre   Don’t miss YOUR INDUSTRY’S biggest event of the year! NEW networking opportunities with suppliers NEW products on the trade show floor NEW education sessions and workshops   Register before February 27, 2015 and receive a COMPLIMENTARY full day pass.   Visit  and use promo code OCSA

OCSA Annual Golf Tournament – July 23, 2015

The 2015 annual OCSA Golf Tournament will take place on Thursday, July 23rd at Blue Springs Golf course in Acton, Ontario commencing at 8:00 am. We always have a sold out event with a very large contingent of C Store retailers /category managers attending and ask that you register early so we can accommodate your […]

Stop the Menthol Ban in Ontario

  A recent survey commissioned by the Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) reveals almost half of Ontario smokers would purchase untaxed, illegal tobacco products if the government were to ban their product of choice. This is causing alarm for retailers who are worried the Ontario government’s proposed menthol tobacco ban will send their customers to […]

Race Is On – Register Early

The 12th annual Race Is On is just around the corner. We are pleased to announce that Brian Hannasch, President and CEO of Couche-Tard will be our special guest speaker at this year’s event. With over 300 industry friends attending last year, we expect to sell out so register early! Order your tickets online!   […]

Code of Conduct for E-Cigarettes and Vapour Products

Ontario C stores applaud the  Canadian Convenience Stores association for launching the Code of Conduct for C stores in Canada on the handling of both ‘E’ cigarettes and Vapour products. We support the code and encourage all OCSA members to embrace this code as responsible community retailer. OCSA works with the CCSA on policies pertaining […]

CD Howe Institute – Report on Beer and Wine in Ontario

CD Howe Institute: Lack of competition in Ontario allows The Beer Store to earn as much as $630 million in additional profits   Report calls for more competition in alcohol retailing from private firms – including convenience stores   Uncorking Competition for Beer and Wine in Ontario August 20, 2014 – The lack of competition […]

Ontario Convenience Stores Association continues to support prohibition on sale of illegal drug paraphernalia

  TORONTO, July 17, 2013 – The Ontario Convenience Store Association (OCSA) reiterated its support for the Ontario Safety League’s objectives regarding illegal drug paraphernalia. OCSA believes the League’s aims can best be achieved through Canada’s existing federal law (Criminal Code section 462.2), which came into force in 2013. “The members of the Ontario Convenience […]

Ontario Convenience Stores – Responsible Retailing – Don’t Drink and Drive

Free Our Beer Petition – Largest Petition in Ontario History

403,412 Ontarians say it’s time The Beer Store had some competition and voice support for beer in convenience stores petition unveiled in Toronto is the largest in Ontario history Amid a “fear mongering”i ad blitz launched by The Beer Store to protect its near-monopoly on beer sales in Ontario, The Ontario Convenience Stores Association […]

Dear Premier Wynne: It’s Time for Some Adult Supervision of The Beer Store

April 17, 2014 Premier Kathleen Wynne Premier Wynne: It’s time for some adult supervision of The Beer Store Dear Premier Wynne, There’s a healthy debate ongoing in Ontario about modernizing our 87 year-old system of alcohol retailing.  That’s a good thing. Debate about public policy issues that are important to Ontarians should be welcomed. In […]

Thousands Ask Premier Not to Raise Taxes, Correct Illegal Tobacco

TORONTO (April 15th, 2014) –Over 20,000 Ontario voters have asked Premier Kathleen Wynne not to raise taxes on legal tobacco products in the 2014 budget, because of the impact this would have on contraband tobacco. The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) launched the “Act Now” postcard campaign one month ago, to educate consumers on the […]

Educate Yourself on the Impact of Contraband Tobacco

Government needs to be responsible. Government needs to solve contraband tobacco. Visit for more information.

Response To LCBO Expansion Stores In Grocery

Ontario’s modest LCBO kiosk plan fails to tackle 87-year-old Beer Store monopoly However OCSA retailers agree that principle of expanded alcohol retailing a good one The Ontario government’s alcohol retailing plan, where it will entertain opening a handful of new LCBO kiosks in grocery stores, was conspicuous for failing to break the stranglehold the foreign-owned […]

Crime Stoppers Contraband Campaign

Toronto Crime Stopper launched a contraband awareness campaign to help protect communities from the distribution of illegal untaxed tobacco and other products.  Please click on the following link to view the campaign poster.  Toronto Crime Stoppers

Canada Post Increases Prices Of Stamps

Canada Post announced an increase of stamps to $1.00.  For customers wishing to buy stamps in booklets or coils, the new cost will be $0.85. These measures were required given declining volume of mail.

CRA – Tobacco Tax Increase

Federal Tobacco Tax Increase: CRA Communiacation On February 11, 2014, the Government of Canada announced in its Budget, proposals to amend the Excise Act, 2001 to increase the excise duty rates on tobacco products and to impose a tax on stamped duty-paid cigarettes held in inventory at 12:01am on February 12, 2014. For more information, […]

Tobacco Sales Bulletin

Ontario is making it easier for clerks to verify the age of customer who want to purchase tobacco products.  Effective January this year, Ontario driver’s licenses and phto ID cards issued to persons under 19 years of age will show the date that they turn 19.  The words AGE 19/ANS followed by the date the […]

Race is On Gala – Monday, March 17th

11th Annual OCSA Race is On Gala Monday, March 17, 2014 – Woodbine Race Track Tickets:  $500.00 per person Guest speaker:  Dr. Eric Hoskins – Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) is pleased to kick off the week with their annual gala event known as ‘The Race is On’. This […]

Angus Reid Opinion Poll – 69% of Ontarians Want Beer Sold in More than the Beer Store

A newly-released study of Ontarians attitudes toward beer sales shows that seven out of ten (69%) want to see more private retailers, like convenience stores, offer competition to The Beer Store.  The study, conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion, concluded that support for allowing private retailers to compete with both the LCBO and The Beer […]

Shocking Contraband Butt Study Results

The Ontario Convenience Store Association, the OCSA,  released an updated study of contraband cigarette butts found in random locations. Research firm NIRIC identified 136 sites in Ontario where people smoked, including outside hospitals, schools, casinos, government offices, shopping centres and GO Train and other public transit stops.  NIRIC swept up cigarette butts and then sent them […]

British Columbia Looks To Modernize Alcohol Sales

The government of British Columbia is pondering whether residents should be able to add liquor to their weekly grocery list, as the provincial government looks to modernize provincial liquor laws. Allowing alcohol sales at grocery stores is one of 70 recommendations in a report submitted this week to the provincial justice minister by John Yap, […]

Changes in the Smoke Free Tobacco Act in Ontario

The Minister of Health made announcements today concerning changes to the Smoke Free Tobacco Act in Ontario and below please find the highlights of this announcement as well as link to the announcement and the OCSA press release of late today. We will have the opportunity to meet with various MPP’s and present options as […]

Ontario’s Tobacco Strategy

In the 2013 Budget, the government reaffirmed its commitment to the Smoke- Free Ontario Strategy aimed at protecting the health of Ontarians from tobacco use. Ontario is determined to have the lowest smoking rates in Canada and to reduce the supply of low-cost, illegal tobacco available to young people. Building stronger partnerships with First Nation […]

OCSA Lobby Day at Queen’s Park

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association hosted a very successful lobby day at Queen’s Park on Wednesday, October 30th. Retailers from across the province had one-on-one meetings with over 32 MPPs to discuss key issues the convenience store sector faces in Ontario.  The four areas addressed were:  contraband tobacco, the ability to sell beer and wine […]

MPP Statement on Contraband

As a result of the OCSA Lobby Day where we discussed contraband tobacco with all 32 MPP’s on the day, MPP Vic Fedeli of Nippissing contacted North Bay and asked for a copy of the resolution sent to Queen’s Park. Today MPP Fedeli read a member statement in the house about contraband tobacco ask he […]

Convenience Store Chains Pledge to Dedicate One-Third of Retailing Space to Ontario Craft Beer and Ontario Wines

The convenience store sector is saying that if the government will now open up beer and wine to convenience stores, they have a strong commitment from all the chain stores in Ontario to support Ontario-made wine and craft beer. We are committing our stores to voluntarily set aside at least 30% of beer and wine […]

Making the case for beer and wine in corner stores – The Globe and Mail

Today the Globe and Mail did an article on why convenience stores in Ontario should be able to sell beer and wine in their local communities. The complete article is available online at the Globe and Mail – click here.  

OCSA Submission to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario

  Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) Submission to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) “Regulatory Modernization in Ontario’s Beverage Alcohol Industry” September 20, 2013   For the benefit of all small businesses in Ontario’s retail sector, the Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) strongly recommends that the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) […]

OCSA Healthy Kids Panel Recommendations

The OCSA is strongly committed to working with governments to ensure healthier living for Ontario communities and the families who reside within them. OCSA president, Dave Bryans, is a member of the Ontario Healthy Kid’s Panel which is made up of 18 members who’s goal is to develop recommendations on how Ontario can best make […]

OCSA Fighting Contraband Tobacco with Technology

  The OCSA is connection retailers and customers with their local politicians through an in-store campaign that gives insights into the threats of contraband tobacco through an iPad. Placed at the point of sale, an iPad with information about contraband’s effects on small business owners, the losses of government revenue, and public safety concerns related […]

The Case for Expanded Alcohol Retailing in Ontario

Tom Moher Vice President and General Manager of Mac’s Ontario will be the Board of Trade luncheon speaker on Monday September 9th, 2013. Tom will be addressing the luncheon crowd on the following key points: Explore how a growing majority of Ontario consumers place a high value on convenience purchases Learn how an ‘adult’ alcohol […]

Consumer Survey On Contraband Tobacco In Ontario CStores

Dave Bryans was demonstrating new iPad technology that captures convenience store customer’s opinions on the issues caused by contraband tobacco being sold in communities. As a pilot, the OCSA has selected 60 stores to use these iPads to capture attitudes real-time and will use this information to better inform government and other stakeholders’ of Ontarian’s […]

2013 Free Our Beer Promotion

Retailers Sign Up For Free Our Beer Petitions

Retailers signed up for the OCSA’s free our beer petition that seeks 1 million signatures from Ontarian’s to lobby government to make beer and wine more accessible. At the Ontario Convenience Store Association’s trade booth, over 700 retailers pledged their support to receive a Free Our Beer Petition kit and set it up in their […]

Contraband Consequences In Our Communities

Contraband Campaigns By The OCSA Contraband Campaigns By The OCSA Contraband Campaigns By The OCSA

Ontario New Tobacco Tax Stamp

Ontario Adopts Federal Tobacco Stamp Effective April 1, 2013, and subject to a transition period, Ontario will adopt the federal tobacco stamping system for marking packages of cigarettes and packages of fine cut tobacco that are sold in Ontario, as announced in the 2012 Ontario Budget. The Ontario-adapted federal stamp will replace the yellow tear […]

Federal Crackdown On Illicit Tobacco Distributors

Federal Government Takes Tough Stance On Distributors Of Contraband Cigarettes OTTAWA — The federal government is cracking down on the contraband tobacco trade with new legislation that would impose tough penalties for selling, distributing and transporting the substance. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq made the announcement Tuesday after the bill […]

UK Lobbiests Argue Plain Packaging Will Not Increase Illicit Trade

There is “no good evidence” that the introduction of standardised cigarette packs would lead to an increase in smuggling, according to a group of MPs and peers. Tobacco companies have argued that there would be an increase in illicit trade if standardised packs were introduced because they would be easy to counterfeit. But the All […]

Generic Packaging Interim Comments From Australia

CONVENIENCE stores are fuming because their staff can no longer tell their Benson & Hedges from their Peter Stuyvesants. A new survey on the impact of plain cigarette packaging on small retailers found three quarters believed the mandatory olive green packaging had had a negative impact on their businesses. The Roy Morgan survey of 450 […]

Latest Beer And Wine Agency Convenience Store

The beer cave is show here in the new LCBO Agency store inside a greenfield build Mac’s Milk Store. The full service convenience store build at an approximate cost of $3 million in this rural community. Dave Bryans, CEO of OCSA is pictures here opening the single serve cooler door for a happy customer.

Retailer That Started Free Our Beer

Retailer In Ontario That Started The Free Our Beer Petition Free Our Beer Petition Started In This Convenience Store Dave with Joanne in her convenience store with new Free Our Beer Petition Kit

Beer Cave In Your Convenience Store

In a new LCBO agency store in Thamesford, Ontario, this Mac’s Milk new build features approximately 3,000 square feet. With an approximate cost of $3 million, this new site features all the conveniences for customers located in this small rural town.

Free Our Beer In-Store Petition Kits Now Available

Free Our Beer Campaign Elements We are launching Canada’s biggest petition ever and encourage all OCSA members to get involved and participate! Our goal is obtain 1-million signatures supporting our cause to sell Beer and Wine in Ontario Convenience Stores. To Download a PDF copy of the Petition that you can print, click here

Ontario Healthy Kids Panel Report Released

Report From Healthy Kids Panel Appointed By Government of Ontario Ontario has an ambitious goal to reduce childhood obesity by 20 per cent over five years. Achieving this goal will help to keep Ontario healthy and is part of the Ontario government’s Action Plan for Health Care. By helping kids and their families lead healthier […]

New Criminal Penalties For Contraband Tobacco

The Government of Canada introduced new get-tough penalties to help stop the distribution of contraband tobacco in Canada. From the government Public Safety Canada website – OTTAWA, March 5, 2013 – The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, and the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today announced increased efforts to keep our streets […]

OCSA Convenience Connect – December Issue

The December 2012 edition of our popular newsletter is now available. Read about key issues including the status of the controversial plastic bag ban in Toronto; how our ongoing fight against contraband tobacco has been taken to Ottawa; a progress report on our Free Our Beer campaign – and much more! To Download a PDF […]

Beer Store Rules And Regulations In Ontario

Here is the Ontario government document outlining the rules and regulations for Beer Stores operations in Ontario The OCSA and its members have been increasingly concerned about the foreign-owned Beer Store selling products that are typically found in convenience stores. The OCSA have expressed their concerns to government. Thank you to members for their active […]

Toronto Crime Stoppers Launches Gas Theft Awareness Campaign

Crimestoppers partners with Canadian Fuels Association, Ontario Convenience Stores Association and Canadian Independent Petroleum Marketers Association on province-wide initiative. October 16, 2012 — If you ever thought stealing gas was not a crime, think again. Today it was announced that Toronto Crime Stoppers in cooperation with the Canadian Fuels Association, the Ontario Convenience Stores Association […]

Convenience stores take legal action against City of Toronto plastic bag by-law

November 15, 2012 – Toronto – Citing the harm to Toronto businesses, the Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) has moved forward with legal action against the City of Toronto to halt the implementation of the City’s proposed plastic bag by-law, which is set to take effect on January 1, 2013. On behalf of its members […]

Toronto Council Withdraws Bag Ban

November 28, 2012 – Toronto – The Ontario Convenience Stores Association announced today it was pleased that Toronto City Council has decided to withdraw its controversial plastic bag by-law, which was set to go into effect January 1, 2013. While the OCSA is still studying the impact of the Council decision and the resolutions it […]

National Non-Smoking Week

Two things Ontario convenience stores are doing to keep tobacco from kids – and two things the Government can do to help. Convenience stores are on the front lines keeping cigarettes from youth. With the spotlight on smoking prevention during National Non-Smoking Week, the Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) is highlighting the ways in which […]

The End of the Penny in Canada

On Monday, February 4, 2013 Canada’s one cent coin will be officially discontinued and this presents certain issues for retailers that must be addressed. A guide for C-Store operators to help your associates understand how to manage this changeover. Many C-store retailers have been wondering about the demise of the penny and how it is […]

OCSA 10th Annual Gathering “The Race Is On”

This event will be held once again at Woodbine Entertainment with a five (5) star dining experience – it is the C-Store Industry’s greatest networking and retailer event. Every year we are sold out, so please register early. To preview and download the form, click here

New Credit Card Rules

NEW CREDIT CARD RULES New regulations that apply to credit cards and loans offered by federally regulated financial institutions are now in effect. The regulations enhance consumers’ access to clear information about key details of these financial products, such as interest rates, fees and penalty charges. They also strengthen consumers’ rights by limiting certain business […]

Pay At The Pump Consequences

Reverse The Bag Ban Coalition

A 15 year old tree yields 700 paper bags On Monday October 29th, the fight against the plastic bag ban was assembled at City Hall to announce that a coalition has been formed to challenge Toronto’s City Hall’s decision to ban plastic bags effective January 1, 2013.  The coalition is comprised of environmentalists, manufacturers, recyclers, […]

Provincial Regulations Prevent Federal Signage

The federal police in Canada, the RCMP, have and continue to spend considerable resources fighting the illegal trade of untaxed cigarettes. In their recent marketing initiative, the RCMP has created posters for stores, billboards, etc., that warn the Canadian public of the societal consequences of purchasing contraband tobacco. The Ontario government has regulations called the […]

Prepaid Credit Card Changes

The federal government introduced new regulations on October 24, 2012 on prepaid credit cards. In a largely unregulated market, the government is creating regulations that will not allow issuers of prepaid cards to impose expiry dates. New regulations will also require issuers to be up front about hidden fees and conditions. This small but growing […]

Help Us Cut Red Tape

The 2012 CCSA State of the Industry Report describes in detail the amount of regulations and policies that convenience store retailers face in their small business. Please read the following report that describes in detail the regulations across Canada and the cost to the small business owners. Click here to view the 2012 State Of […]

What Happens Next With Beer In Ontario

What happens next in Ontario with the Liberal leader resigning and forcing an election sooner than planned.

Paper Bags Cost More

Paper bags that will replace plastic t-shirt bags will cost substantially more to retailers.  Some estimate that the current charge of 5 cents per bag will be increased to as high as 15 cents per bag.  Retailers that have experimented with paper bags made from recycled fibres had to discontinue their use because of paper […]

Credit Card Fees

Update on credit card fees.

Beer Stores Cannot Sell Convenience Items

One of the many challenges facing the OCSA this year has been members complaining about local beer stores selling convenience items.  The attached government document clearly describes the items that can be sold in beer stores.  As you may know, beer stores have the exclusive right to sell beer in the province of Ontario and […]

City of Toronto’s Bag Ban Hurry Up Offense

The City of Toronto’s attempt to push through legislation to ban t-shirt and other plastic bags provided at convenience and grocery stores was what is called in football “hurry up offense”. Characterized by a strategy when time is running out or the other side of the fence (the opposing team) is completely unready, the team […]

Drive Off Safety Training Kits

Updated drive-off safety training kits are now available from the Ontario Convenience Store Association.  These new kits feature large in-store posters that will help as a deterrent to fuel theft.  The new kits come in a more mail-friendly envelope that saves distribution costs.  Call (905) 845 -3512 for your kit today.

Sign Of The Times

Many consumers think competition is good as it creates a competitive pricing for the general public.  In most cases, I agree. The economics of supply and demand are simple. Take the petroleum industry for example. People closely watch the price of gas knowing that it typically increases as weekends approach (more travellers – more demand). […]

Retailers Creativity Wins A Perfect 10

A few retailers got creative on helping the campaign “free our beer” in the Province of Ontario. Writing a song and then performing it in front of a general store in high definition video is certainly a first for retailers taking a “viral” approach to spread the message. Retailers Win The Academy Award For Creativity. […]

Investing In Beer Stores

Most stores go through reinvestment to attract and retain their customers. Fast food franchisees mandate that owners must upgrade their stores every 5 to 7 years. More …

The Shopkeeper Hero

The Lucky Moose, in the heart of Toronto’s Chinatown, would score high on any secret shopper report. The produce could not be fresher—purchased daily from wholesalers—and the staff of 14 is friendly and helpful. The owner is right there among them, and open to talking with customers. And reporters. On May 23, 2009, a “career” […]

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