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COVID-19 has not been kind to bars and restaurants in Toronto, over 60 of which have closed since the start of the pandemic.
But losing restaurants, including those famous, beloved or too easily forgotten, is nothing new in the city, and looking back at what used to feed Toronto can bring on an overwhelming sense of nostalgia for some.
It would be nearly impossible to put together a definitive list of iconic or noteworthy restaurants that have shuttered over the years, but there’s enough establishments with a photo history to warrant a look back.
The list below isn’t anything close to a definitive list, but rather a random selection of restaurants that existed in Toronto over the last number of decades.
Here are some photos of restaurants in Toronto that were once loved but no longer exist.
Flora Dew at Hanlan’s Point.
Dutch Sisters on Lake Shore Road (now Blvd).
Varsity Restaurant, Spadina and Bloor.
Sword Restaurant, Yonge and King.
Chop Suey House near Elizabeth and Dundas.
Sign of the Steet, Dupont and Davenport.
The Flame, Yonge and Heath (1950s).
Shopsy’s on Spadina north of Dundas.
Brown Derby Tavern at Yonge and Dundas (1970s).
Pickin Chicken, Lake Shore Blvd West (1980s) by Patrick Cummins.
Canary Restaurant, Cherry St. by Patrick Cummins.
Frank Vetere Pizzeria.
Bobby Orr Pizza.
Cyrano’s and Steak & Burger on King East.
Steak & Burger at Yonge and Bloor (1970s).
Bassel’s Restaurant at Yonge and Gerrard.
Ed’s Warehouse at on King West.
Lime Rickey’s near Yonge and Eglinton.
Organ Grinder, The Esplanade.
Penrose Fish & Chips, Mt. Pleasant Rd.
4D’s Diner, Yorkville.
Eddie Shack Donuts.
China House, Eglinton Avenue.
Centro, Yonge north of Eglinton.
People’s Foods near Dupont and St. George.
Mr. Greenjeans at the Eaton Centre.
Seniors Steakhouse, Yonge south of St. Clair.
The Steak Pit, Avenue Road north of Lawrence.