Deps and 7-Eleven

Street food outside 7-Eleven, Phetchaburi, Bangkok Dépanneurs — the Montreal convenience stores that are a favourite topic of mine — are big in the news lately with the publication of a new book by Judith Lussier, Sacré dépanneur! The latest contribution to the spate of media coverage is a profile by Montreal Gazette reporter Jeff […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Canada, Interior Space, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Deps and 7-Eleven , , , ,

Montreal in a Minute

When it first launched, Urbania magazine had a pretty useless Flash-based website that replicated selected content from its print magazine. I’m glad to see it has embraced the full potential of the web. 14 “channels” of video, images and text add a new, more dynamic aspect to the quarterly magazine. One of my favourite features […]

Dépanneurs Beyond the Beer Ads

I’ve long been fascinated by dépanneurs, the ubiquitous Montreal convenience store that are usually owner-operated and ramshackle in appearance. They’re an integral part of life in Montreal—most people visit them at least once or twice a day for beer, milk, lotto tickets, cigarettes or a snack—and they occupy a vital place in the social and […]

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No-Name Deps

The old axiom “build it and they will come” certainly applies to dépanneurs. You don’t need an attractive façade, windows or even a sign — as long as people know that it’s a dep, and that they can purchase there the holy trinity of Montreal needs (beer, lotto and cigarettes), they will come. The city […]

Bière Froide

Chicoutimi, Quebec

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Dep City: Montreal’s Convenience Stores

If Montreal seems saturated with dépanneurs, that’s because it is: 1,127 crowd the island, about one for every 1,500 people. Since they emerged in their current form in the 1970s, the descendants of tobacconists and once-ubiquitous corner grocery stores, dépanneurs have become an inextricable part of life in Montreal. They also are an important but […]

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A Day in the Life of a Dépanneur

Owning a dépanneur has a big impact on your social life, says Yodh Ubhi, standing behind the counter of Dépanneur PMS at the corner of Park Ave. and Villeneuve St. “You have none,” Ubhi said. He’s not kidding. Ubhi’s hours—14 hours a day, seven days a week—would make most office workers weep. Every morning, he […]

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Ethnic Depanneurs

Although most depanneurs are owned by immigrants or people from what Quebec politicians like to call “cultural communities,” they typically bear few traces of their proprietor’s ethnic origin. Sometimes there might be a heater on the counter containing churros or samosas but, for the most part, deps focus on the holy trinity of beer, tobacco […]

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Dépanneur Weijia

I can’t remember what was there before Weijia. Another depanneur, sure, but obviously not a remarkable one. I’m not even sure it had a sign. But then, a couple of years ago, a friendly, middle-aged couple from the northern Chinese province of Shandong bought the depanneur and mounted a large vinyl banner that clearly announced […]

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An Introduction to Depanneurs

“Salut, monsieur!” Running in to grab a couple of beers, I’m greeted by the clerk. He’s an odd guy, with a closely shaved crop of black hair and a self-important, Duddy Kravitzesque charm that comes across whether he’s addressing you in English or French. There’s a bit of irony in his greeting, and in the […]