July 2020 - Toronto ON
Kim's Convenience is a Canadian television sitcom that premiered on CBC Television in October 2016. It depicts the Korean Canadian Kim family that runs a convenience store in the Moss Park neighbourhood of Toronto: parents "Appa" (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) and "Umma" (Jean Yoon) – Korean for dad and mom, respectively – along with their daughter Janet (Andrea Bang) and estranged son Jung (Simu Liu). Other characters include Jung's friend and coworker Kimchee (Andrew Phung) and his manager Shannon (Nicole Power). The series is based on Ins Choi's 2011 play of the same name.
Simu Liu will portray the superhero Shang-Chi in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, beginning with the film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021). He will be Marvel's fist Asian superhero.
In 2018, the show was made available for an international audience on Netflix. Critic Inkoo Kang called the series “a word-of-mouth phenomenon among Asian Americans since its arrival on Netflix.”
We have watched three seasons this year and love it. Season 4 is currently airing on CBC and two more seasons were recently announced.
Video discusses the impact of season one.
We headed out recently and finding the store was on our agenda.
The interior of the store is shot on a soundstage at Toronto’s Showline Studios. For the exterior, a CBC location manager chose a real convenience store on Queen Street East, originally called Mimi Variety. The store’s Korean owners, Yong and Kyung Chung, were hesitant to participate in the series until their daughter informed them that the show would feature a positive depiction of Korean Canadians. Set designers created a new sign for the store, which the owners decided to leave up permanently.
Mural by Birdo but in the opening clips below you will see a mural that was commissioned by Elicer in 2016.
Elicer's mural as featured. Image found online.
Season 1 and 2 opening features OCAD Ontario College of Arts and Design University.
Season 3 and 4 opening features Grange Park.
One of Toronto's most popular markets, Kensington, was used in the first episode of season two. There are dozens of stores you can browse through while feeling like you're in the show.