Vegans in Toronto have lost a couple of their favourite spots. Apiecalypse Now! and Disgraceland have both closed.
Restaurant company the 5700 has been controversially trying to turn Parkdale into Vegandale for a few years now, but there’s a lower-key Toronto neighbourhood that already has a ton of vegan options: Bloor West.
The stretch between Christie and Lansdowne boasts a number of comfort food and punk dive-bar options, few of which are as sanitized or as sanctimonious as the “plant-based” trend that’s swept the city streets.
If you’d just been there to pre- or post-drink for a comedy show or concert (as many have) or human and animal rights events, you might not have even realized Disgraceland was vegan. Since 2008, the unpretentious local watering hole at Bloor and Dovercourt has been a neighbourhood standby.
On November 9, the bar shared a photo of the eviction notice they’d found on their locked door, alongside a big “for lease” sign. “Here is what you get after 13 years in a global pandemic,” they tweeted. Looks like I gotta talk to a lawyer.”
Ontario’s ban on commercial evictions ended at the end of October, which is already leading to a new slate of COVID-19 closures.
Apiecalypse Now! closed its Bloor and Christie location voluntarily, slinging its final cheese-less pizza from the shop on November 15.
“Everything has a season, and for nearly six years, we have been incredibly fortunate to have been open at Christie and Bloor,” the restaurant wrote on Instagram. “We have never struggled to feel loved or supported by you all. Through thick and thin, the thing we could always rely on was that you, our patrons, would be there for us, regardless of the weather, the day of the week, or even the state of the world, you have been there. For the last 6 months we have tried equally hard to be here too, while balancing the fact that our whole operation and everything we knew about doing it was turned on its head.
“This is not goodbye,” they continue. “We are not closing the business. What we are doing, is pulling back while we deal with the ongoing realities of the pandemic, as that has become the clearest path for us to emerge on the other side of this. To do so, we are going to stop doing live-orders and dinner service, and we will be closing our Bloor Street location to the public, and retooling to a model where we can be more in control of our day-to-day, offer safe and consistent employment, provide reliable and high quality product, and reach more of you than the borders of a delivery app define. We are excited about what comes next, and think you will be too.
Apiecalypse was a favourite of NOW readers, winning in a number of different categories in past Readers’ Choice issues.
Aside from the delicious pizza options for vegans and punk blaring on the stereo, the shop has also made news for owner Jen Bundock’s confrontation of anti-choice protesters outside the shop.
Though the Bloor shop is closed, it sounds like you will still be able to eat your favourite slices in some way or another in the future.