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Exclusive: Convenience store operates bag check for U.S. consulate

A Toronto convenience store has been profiting off visitors to the U.S. consulate by offering a bag check service.

The store, located at the corner of Simcoe and Dundas Street, charges those visiting the consulate $5 to keep their bags and personal belongings behind the counter.

Phones and bags are prohibited inside the consulate for safety reasons. The consulate told CityNews its priority is to keep the building safe, and it doesn’t have the storage capability or manpower to store personal items brought to the building for the 500 daily visitors.

In a statement, a consulate spokesperson says, “the building’s security guards often provide information to help orient visitors and make suggestions in order to assist them. They sometimes unofficially recommend a local establishment which provides storage or other business services and do not direct visitors to any particular commercial establishment.”

The consulate reserves the right to deny entry of any items deemed suspicious.

When asked, one worker at the convenience store said she has been getting business from the consulate for years.

“We’ve provided the service for the last 10 to 15 years but it was very slow until last year,” she said. “Last year they were sending most of the people here.”

Employees wouldn’t comment on how much money the service has brought in for the store over the years.