Both Toronto restaurant owners and industry groups have said coronavirus would spell the end of countless restaurants, and as pandemic closures remain in place for Ontario restaurants, that prediction appears to be already coming true.
Despite stopgap measures like government relief and new takeout and delivery offerings, many Toronto restaurants and bars have closed their doors for good during the pandemic.
The trend is Canada-wide: A recent survey by Restaurants Canada said one in 10 restaurants in Canada have closed permanently, with the group adding that number is expected to double. And as restaurants eye new distancing and sanitary measures that will further curb revenue, there’s no telling how many more restaurants will shut down by the time the pandemic ends.
Below are the Toronto restaurants we’ve lost so far during COVID-19. The list will be continually updated as more closures are confirmed.
120 Diner & Club 120
The queer and trans-inclusive music/comedy bar and nightclub shut down in early May, along with its ground-floor restaurant.
The Queen West patisserie shut down in mid-May sister store Butter Baker is still operating.
Cauldron Ice Cream
The U.S. ice cream chain shut down its Queen West location in June.
After 30 years of debauchery, the downtown dive bar shut down in early May.
The beloved St. Clair West pub threw in the towel in May after 10 years. “With prospects for a full restaurant and a sufficient level of business to cover my costs very unlikely for what could be a year or more to come … I have no choice but to call an end to this journey,” the bar’s owner wrote on Facebook.
The uptown location of this long-running patisserie closed in late May after 18 years.
The roti shop credited with inventing the butter chicken roti has closed after decades on Queen West – but one of the business’s cooks is taking over the location, adding a new name and keeping some old recipes.
The Annex cafe, which also served as a fundraising arm for a group that denies the existence of climate change, shut down in mid-March after 10 years. Their online store is still active.
Il Gatto Nero
The College Street fixture for 61 years, beloved for its corner patio, closed after more than six decades in mid-May.
The lab-themed bubble tea spot has closed its Toronto location at Bay and Gerrard – though you can still visit them in Montreal.
The five-year-old Roncesvalles pizzeria, which had been in the middle of a protracted battle with its landlord, shut down in early May after being denied rent help, the owners said. (UPDATE: Lambretta reopened on Roncy at the end of May after the owners and landlord came to an agreement on reduced rate.)
The only Canadian location of the Japanese cheesecake brand, located on College, was evicted in May.
The Etobicoke restaurant closed in May after nine years. “We have no idea of how or when business operations will return to normal once COVID-19 regulations allow us to. We are also without guarantees that we will be able to pull through this while maintaining social distancing,” the owners wrote on their website.
The Portuguese chicken chain’s Danforth location was shuttered due to non-payment of rent shortly thereafter, the company announced it would shut 21 locations across Canada.
After three years, the Indigenous cafe and marketplace has shut down its Christie Pits storefront, though the business will continue in a different form.
Pancho y Emiliano
The Mexican restaurant closed down its King and John location at the end of April the Kensington location remains in operation.
The Parkdale tea spot is closing on May 31 after four years the company’s online store is still active and the business plans to stay active after the storefront closes.
After several years on College, the greenery-filled cocktail and snack bar shut down in mid-June.
After being locked out by their landlord and trying (unsuccessfully) to reach an agreement, the Grant van Gameren-owned cocktail bar threw in the towel for good in late June.
The Queen East bar and restaurant, which shut down its Yonge and Eglinton sister location before the pandemic, closed for good in April.
The last remaining location of the poutine joint – the subject of an employee walkout over “unsafe conditions” in 2017 – closed in June, with for-lease signs appearing on the Queen West property.
Roselle Desserts (West)
The Corktown patisserie’s satellite location on Dovercourt – which only launched just before the pandemic – is closing soon.
Yonge and St. Clair’s favourite soccer bar – also home to a rooftop patio – closed in June after 23 years.
The popular Danforth tiki bar was seized by its landlord in April.
Sorelle & Co.
The gluten-free bakery shut down its its final remaining location (in Vaughn) in late June.
After nearly four decades in Toronto, including a move away from the original Mirvish Village location, the restaurant that introduced Cajun food to Toronto threw in the towel in early May.
The Parkdale tavern is jettisoning its name and Eastern European-inspired menu for a new burger-and-pizza-focused concept called Gianna’s.
The Dock On Queen
The cottage-inspired Queen East cafe closed quietly in May.
After 13 years, the music venue announced it would be calling it quits due to the financial effects of the pandemic.
The Annex sportsbar was evicted by its landlord in mid-April.
The Red Light
After 11 years on Dundas West, the popular whiskey bar and party spot shut down in early May. The space has already been bought and will soon be converted to a new bar concept.
The Roncesvalles brunch restaurant closed in March after eight years.
One of Toronto’s oldest pizzerias, this beloved family-run Junction spot shut down at the end of March.
The King West dive – and adjoining restaurant Tokyo Hot Fried Chicken – shut down at the end of April.
Last updated June 30, 2020.