Calls to support Black-owned business in Toronto have risen in recent days, as a wave of anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests have spurred efforts – in Toronto and elsewhere – to uplift Black organizations and community members.
If you’re looking to support a business in your neighbourhood, we’ve put together a (by no means exhaustive) list of Black-owned restaurants and stores located all over the GTA, as well as a number of Toronto businesses that focus their operations primarily online.
Read on for the full list, as well as some broader resources and listings of Black-owned businesses in Toronto. (We’ve also created a list of local Black organizations and fundraising drives you can support now.)
Black-owned businesses in downtown Toronto
- Adrift Shop: Apparel and skatewear off King West. 116 Spadina, adriftshop.com
- Allwyn’s: Jerk takeout spot with three locations in the GTA. 404 Queen West, 4750 Yonge, 81 Underhill facebook.com
- A Different Booklist: Black-owned bookstore specializing in books from the African Caribbean diaspora. 779 Bathurst, adifferentbooklist.com
- Blooming Flower Bar: Flower shop offering DIY and custom bouquets plus plants and pots. 559 Parliament, bloomingflowerbar.com
- Caribbean Corner: Long-running Kensington source for African and Caribbean grocery items. 171 Baldwin
- Dirty Bird Chicken and Waffles: The name says it all at this Kensington shop from chef Adrian Forte. 79 Kensington, thedirtybird.ca
- Get Fresh Company: Streetwear and lifestyle brand on Queen West. 498 Queen West, gfctoronto.com
- Jerk King: Local jerk chain with numerous franchises around the city. 275 Dundas West, 522 Bloor and others, jerkkingfood.com
- King Rustic: Laid-back King West spot focused on upscale comfort food and craft cocktails. 905 King West, kingrustic.ca
- One Love Vegetarian: Long-running Annex vegetarian eatery famed for its corn soup. 854 Bathurst, oneloveveg.tel
- Pat’s Homestyle Jamaican: Beloved Queen and Bathurst roti spot. 558 Queen West, facebook.com
- Rasta Pasta: Two-in-one Jamaican and Italian restaurant(s) in Kensington with great daily jerk lunch specials. 61 Kensington, eatrastapasta.ca
- Ragga Beauty Supply: Beauty supply store and salon a stone’s throw from Yonge and Dundas. 135 Dundas East, raggahairandbeautysupply.com
- True True: Upscale diner fare from Toronto chef Suzanne Barr. 169 King East, truetruediner.com
- Veggie D’Light: Kensington takeout spot for vegan and non-GMO eats. 160 Baldwin, veggiedlight.com
The jerk chicken at Rap’s.
Black-owned businesses in north Toronto
- Albert’s Real Jamaican Foods: Albert Wiggan’s legendary spot for jerk on St. Clair. 542 St Clair West, albertsrealjamaican.ca
- Celebrity Pure Vegetarian: Vegan and vegetarian Caribbean takeout counter. instagram.com/celebritypureveggie
- Green Jar: A waste-free grocery and personal care store doing local delivery. 1061 St. Clair West, thegreenjarshop.com
- Mofer Coffee: Ethiopian coffee, roasted in small batches in-store. 1040 St. Clair West, 1577 Danforth, mofercoffee.com
- Rap’s: Late-night jerk spot on the Eglinton strip. 1541 Eglinton West, facebook.com/rapsoneglinton
- Treajah Isle: Long-running record shop (with a recently added juice bar).
- Stockyards: Carolina-style BBQ and comfort food on St. Clair. 699 St. Clair West, thestockyards.ca
- Vegwood: Cozy vegan spot in Oakwood Village with accessibly priced meal combos. 540 Oakwood, vegwood.ca
The showroom at Allwood Mrkt.
Black-owned businesses in east Toronto
- Allwood Mrkt: Gallery and lifestyle boutique run by Kevin Allwood. 185 Carlaw, allwoodmrkt.com
- Boukan: Upper Beaches spot offering “a taste of Haiti in Toronto”. 452 Kingston, boukan.ca
- Beach Hill Smokehouse: Beaches BBQ joint offering a to-die-for brisket. 172 Main, beachhillsmokehouse.com
- Caribbean Dutchpot: Small takeout counter for roti, jerk and more near Broadview station. 751 Broadview, facebook.com
- Fresh Paint TO: Danforth studio dedicated to paint parties and classes. 1849 Danforth, freshpaintstudio.ca
- Kaspace Cafe: Allwood Mrkt’s sister cafe. 1183 Queen East, kaspacecafe.com
- Lalibela: A favourite spot (along with its Bloordale counterpart) for bountiful, delicious Ethiopian eats. 1202 Danforth, 869 Bloor West, lalibelaethiopianrestaurant.com
- Mary’s Brigadeiro: Handcrafted Brazilian-style chocolates and sweets. 1912 Danforth, marysbsweets.com
- Old’s Cool General Store: East York source for art, books and all manner of other finds. Say it out loud. 250 Westlake, oldscoolgeneralstore.com
Lily Pottinger, co-owner/chef of The Real Jerk.
- Real Jerk: Drake and Rihanna-approved east-end jerk spot with two locations. 842 Gerrard East, 1004 Kingston, therealjerk.com
- Simone’s: This Caribbean spot is an east-end sleeper hit. 596 Danforth, facebook.com
- SugarKane: Cajun and Caribbean-style eats and cocktails in a chill, loungey space. 699 Danforth, sugarkanerestaurant.ca
- Tata’s Hot Sauce Emporium: Sure, they have awesome hot sauce – but the sandwiches at this East York spot also deserve a mention. 219 Rexleigh, tatahotse.com
- Tropical Joe’s: Normally in Gerrard Square, this jerk spot is currently delivery-only. 1000 Gerrard East, facebook.com
Pam’s Roti has been a west-side Toronto favourite for years.
Black-owned businesses in west Toronto
- Ali’s Roti: Ali Algour has operated this roti counter in Parkdale since 1976. 1446 Queen West, alisroti.ca
- African Palace: Eritrean and Ethiopian food in Bloordale. 977 Bloor, africanpalacetoronto.wordpress.com
- Aunty Lucy’s Burgers: Brand-new burger counter in Parkdale by Extra Burger and Undisposable. @auntylucysburgers
- Buna Coffee: The next-door sister cafe to Nunu. 176 Queen West, @bunathesoulofcoffee
- Caribbean Queen of Patties: From oxtail to jerk to roti, this Caribbean place does so much more than patties.1294 Bloor West.
- Councillor: Low-key Queen West sportsbar. @councillorqueenwest
- Heartbreak Chef: Comfort food is what chef Jerome Robinson does best. 1316 Queen West, @theheartbreakchef
- Loveless: One of the coolest, most low-key bars and cafes on Dundas West. 1430 Dundas West, facebook.com
- Nunu: This minimalist spot for Ethiopian food has been in business for over a decade. 1178 Queen West, nunuethiopian.com
- Pam’s Roti: Pam Singh’s Bloordale roti spot is so beloved, the community recently rallied to save it. 1089 Bloor West, facebook.com
The Junction’s Roux does Creole fare with flair.
- Roux: Creole and Southern food in the Junction. 2790 Dundas West, rouxstir.ca
- Selam: The newly-merged Pero and Selam Vegan do some of the best Ethiopian in an area filled with competition. 812 Bloor West, selamtoronto.com
- T Dot Jerk: Simple spot at the foot of Roncesvalles specializing in jerk. 26 Roncesvalles, tdotjerk.com
- The Palms Jerk & Grill: Family-style Jamaican and Caribbean spot offering takeout and catering. 2419 St. Clair West, thepalmsjerkandgrill.ca
- Vena’s: Since 1991, this roti spot has been building up a loyal clientele. 1263 Bloor West, venas.ca
- Young Animal: Chef Adisa Glasgow serves Trinidadian fare out of Laylow Brewery. 1133 College, facebook.com
Art of BBQ
Art of BBQ does stellar smoked meats in Scarborough.
Black-owned businesses in the GTA
- All Star Beauty: Black-owned beauty supply store (online sales available). 2406 Eglinton East, Scarborough. allstarbeauty.ca
- Art of BBQ: Pitmaster Trevor David does BBQ and Southern fare at this Scarborough smokehouse. 2328 Kingston, Scarborough, artofbbq.ca
- Aunt Elsie’s Caribbean Kitchen: Caribbean grocery store with a popular takeout counter. 2689 Scarborough.
- Bilal: Somali restaurant in Etobicoke offering takeout and delivery. 321 Rexdale, Etobicoke.
- Chris Jerk Caribbean Bistro: Jerk chicken and shawarma are a match made in heaven at Chris Taylor’s quick service spot. 2570 Birchmount, Scarborough.
- Drupati’s: A classic fave for roti and doubles in Scarborough. 35 Woodbine Downs, drupatis.com
- Ital Vital: This mom and pop joint offers juices, vegan eats and desserts. 741 Pharmacy, Scarborough. italvitaltoronto.ca
- Istar: 24-hour Somali cuisine in Etobicoke. 235 Dixon, Etobicoke. istarrestaurant.com
- Jamaica Stamp: Low-key takeout spot with classic Jamaican specialties.1053 Midland
- Xawaash: Traditional and fusion Somali cuisine with locations in Mississauga and Etobicoke. 130 Queen’s Plate, Etobicoke 80 Courtneypark East, Mississauga, xawaashrestaurant.com
Bold brass earrings by Enarmoured.
Toronto Black-owned businesses you can shop online
- Afrodelik: Funky pop culture tees featuring Black icons (plus a newly-launched graphic novel). afrodelik.com
- Bellurelle: Natural, vegan and cruelty-free skincare. @bellurelle
- Broke&Living: Streetwear line making edgy unisex staples. @brokeandliving
- Cherry Gardens: Athleisure-inspired women’s loungewear and basics. shopcherrygardens.com
- Dr. Liza Shoes: Practical-yet-cute boots and pumps designed with ergonomics in mind. drlizashoes.com
- Enarmoured: Bold, sculptural brass jewelry. etsy.com/shop/enarmoured
- Essentials By Temi: Mists, oils, scrubs and more skincare products. essentialsbytemi.com
- Fresh Rejects: Tees, face masks and more. freshrejects.com
- Greta Constantine: This nationally beloved designer duo has probably dressed your favourite Canadian celeb. gretaconstantine.com
- Jean-Marie Candle Co.: Handmade soy wax candles with natural scents. @jeanmariecandle.co
- Kemsi: Vegan, cruelty-free skincare with no parabens or sulfates. @kem_si
- L’Uomo Strano: Binary-pushing designer Mic. Carter has designed for local icons like Vivek Shraya. luomostrano.com
Mike Paul Atelier
Designer Mike-Paul Neufville specializes in custom formalwear and leather goods.
- Mike Paul Atelier: Custom formalwear and leather goods. @mikepaulstyles
- Nykwale: This emerging brand has won several awards at African Fashion Week Toronto. @nykwale
- Omi Woods: Gorgeous nature-inspired fine jewelry, including wedding bands. omiwoods.com
- Nerpy’s Hot Sauce: This line of hot sauces, marinades and seasonings has been a TO favourite for years. nerpys.com
- Perfect Tees: Graphic tees, including a number of BLM slogans. perfectteesonline.com
- Pseudonym: Secondhand and consignment clothing and accessories. bypseudonym.com
- Quantum Garden: T-shirts and art by QPOC tattoo artist Tee Fergus. thequantumgarden.bigcartel.com
- Shop Lost In: Tees devoted to cities, including Toronto and Brooklyn. shoplostin.com
- Snapback Tiara: Jewelry and queer slogan tees (a sample: “Them Fatale”). snapbacktiara.com
- Spencer Badu: Minimalist, ungendered activewear by an alum of NOW’s Black Futures Month issue. spencerbadu.com
- Street Shak: Queen West Caribbean spot offering prepackaged meals during COVID. streetshak.com
- Summa Vybz Punch: Get rum punch delivered around the GTA. @summapunch
- Takeupspace: Technically, this company’s based in Hamilton, but their graphic tees were too good to not include. @shoptakeupspace
- Toni Marlow Co.: Apparel, including TOM (“time-of-month”) boxer briefs, designed with gender neutrality in mind. tonimarlowco.com
Looking for more?
Here are more resources devoted to Black-owned businesses in Toronto and beyond:
- Black Canada
- Black Owned Businesses In The GTA Open During COVID: Spreadsheet moderated by @j.a.l.i.l or @desperateidiot, with user-submitted suggestions.
Got more suggestions? Let us know in the comments.