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Toronto is more like a typical Noth American city. Everything is controlled by the corporations. If you look around Toronto you don't find many mom-and-pop shops. People shop in big chains like Wal-Mart. But things are quite different in Montreal. Montreal is very much like a European city. It has well functioning subways and bus lines. People don't need a car for their everyday life. The result is that there are many local corner stores surviving in Montreal. About 80% of the population in Montreal are French. In my opinion, they are more friendlier than the English people. I don't know much about the English population, but for the French, they enjoy an easy life style, which means they like to drink coffee, beer and wine and such. These consumers don't usually have a car. They just visit the coner store and buy whatever they need from these small shops. That's why running a small grocery store is more profitable in Montreal.
I am an IT guy and I have no interest in running business like this. The above analysis is based on my travelling experience and observation, and on the information from a friend of mine. He is a guy from GZ, about 26 years old maybe, graduated from Foreign Language Institute of GZ, majoring in French. That's why he went to Montreal. He was once very close to taking over such a store. The total initial investment was about 30 or 40 thousand Canadian dollars (I am not exactly sure about that). The deal includes all the inventory. He didn't take on it because his partner backed off at the last minute. But he also told me that competition is getting tougher and tougher recently because of the inflow of new immigrants.
I can give you more detailed info if you need it. Just post here on this BBS board and I would check it. But please keep in mind that I have no personal or business interest in any of these deals. I can't endorse anyone or any business at the moment.
To save time, I wrote this message in English. Hope I put it clear as it is.
Cheer up! My best wishes to you and your family.
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