Update TV & Stereo Elevated opens in Unionville, Ontario

It's no secret that brick-and-mortar stores have had a rough time lately, with closures at an alarming rate. It's rare to encounter a new store that is devoted to high-performance audio and video. A store that fits this description opened recently in the picturesque village of Unionville, just outside Toronto. Unionville is one of the most affluent areas in the Greater Toronto Area, with an average household income of $127,900. Distinguished from the other two Toronto suburban Update TV & Stereo stores by the "Elevated" moniker, the Unionville store is in a converted church, right on Main Street, and promises old-fashioned personal service. All three stores are owned and operated by a young couple, Trevor Wong and Stacey Sniderman (above), two of the most personable and enthusiastic people you're likely to meet.

Update Stereo & TV Elevated carries some prestigious audiophile lines, including Cardas, Clearaudio, Cary Audio, Devialet, Focal, Joseph Audio, MartinLogan, MBL, ModWright, Monitor Audio, and Nordost, as well as more mainstream brands like Denon, Integra, JVC, LG, Marantz, Panasonic, and Sony. The opening event featured a visit from Jeremy Bryan, CEO of MBL North America (pictured above), who helped them set up the top-of-the-line MBL system that sells for a cool quarter-of-a-million.

Sharp-eyed readers familiar with the Canadian audio scene will recognize several reps—and at least one audio scribe—in this picture of the opning celebration.

Trevor and Stacey have highly experienced staff in their stores, including (left to right) Peter Lau, David Susilo, David Geist, Jack Bakerjian, and Matthew Wong, with the irrepressible Stacey above them. Now, doesn't that look like fun?

Missing from the previous picture are Trevor and Sean Muller, another staff member. They're included in this picture (Matthew next to Stacey, Sean second from the left), but the pose in this one looks more like high school graduation.

This Teac X-1000R tape deck —owned by Update TV & Stereo Elevated staff member, Jack Bakerjian—is the first of what is to be an in-store exhibit of classic audio components. Jack proudly pointed out that this was one of the few bidirectional three-head tape decks made, and that he has fully restored it to its original condition.

I first found out about the upcoming opening of the Unionville Update TV & Stereo Elevated store at the Montreal Salon Son & Image show, and my immediate response was "What a great idea!" My wife and I live about a 10-minute drive from Unionville, and visit there often to have an ice cream or coffee, walk our Cairn terrier (Unionville is very popular with dog owners), and look in the stores. The atmosphere is always upbeat and festive—upscale but not stuffy. If any new store offering high-performance audio and video has a chance of attracting new customers—as opposed to the hard-core audiophiles who are willing to drive to a store that's in an industrial plaza with nothing interesting around it—a store in Unionville has to be it.

Success in the audio/video business is never a certainty, but with great lines of equipment, knowledgeable staff, and with Trevor Wong and Stacey Sniderman (shown here welcoming visitors to the opening event on May 2, 2014) in charge, I think Update TV & Stereo Elevated has a good chance of succeeding even in today's challenging business climate.