Too many Toronto restaurants and bars have closed since the start of the pandemic, many of them facing impossible financial strain in the face of inadequate government support or landlords who wouldn’t apply for rent relief.
With this many places shuttering this year, it’s important to go out and support your faves while you still can.
Here are some notable bars and restaurants that have permanently closed in Toronto since the start of the pandemic.
Brunch and cocktails will be missed from this itty bitty restaurant on Roncesvalles.
Despite this Latin American restaurant’s name, it couldn’t stick around West Queen West forever, closing in August. However, their empanadas and chori-pan sandwiches made a long-lasting impression.
This diner ended its 50-year reign of serving affordable greasy spoon fare to the Annex this year.
L’Arc en Ciel
Artistic gelato creations were only available at this Little Italy parlour for under a year, the shop closing its doors in July.
Known for its loukoumades and other Greek goods, this Danforth bakery went up for lease this year.
College and Dovercourt was home to this shop known for its birthday cakes and tons of other pretty baked goods for a decade before saying goodbye in September.
The Yonge and Eglinton location of this Italian empire was evicted this summer, unable to pay their bills.
This Liberty Village bar and restaurant with a rooftop patio closed temporarily in March, and now apparently isn’t going to be reopening.
Little Italy lost a cute Filipino diner this year when this spot for fried chicken, sweet spaghetti and brunch items closed this year.
This one hurt: Parkdale lost not only a bar but a queer gathering space for karaoke nights when this place shuttered.
You’ll no longer be able to stuff gigantic sushi rolls into your mouth at this Annex Japanese restaurant.
Kensington lost a longstanding venue with an eccentric past when this bar complete with portholes for a true “boat” look that hosted lots of DJ nights, live music and parties officially closed in November.
Little Italy brunch lovers will have to go elsewhere for eggs now that their neighbourhood’s location of this breakfast chain has closed.
Brass Taps Danforth
This self-proclaimed “pizza pub” and hangout for catching up over a pint of beer closed after 30 years, though a Little Italy location remains open.
Brunch, wine and French fare from this Little India restaurant that closed at the end of August will be missed.
Yorkville lost this intimate, award-winning restaurant known for its accolades and fine wines this July, and the neighbourhood will never be the same.
The beginning of August claimed this restaurant in Little Italy serving epic burgers, which actually started out as a food truck.
Buster’s Fish House
Nov. 27 was the last day for this Etobicoke fish n’ chips restaurant that was around for eight years, but the owners still have Black Goat in the same neighbourhood.
You can no longer head to this bakery at Queen and Spadina for some of the city’s most fantastic macarons in whimsical flavours.
The iconic glowing sign and alluring smell of this crepe takeout window is now missing from the Queen West landscape. Around for 20 years, the restaurant closed in July.
This restaurant on West Queen West known for its tasting menus closed in March, but never reopened.
West Queen West was home to this Spanish restaurant for around seven years, but it was apparently abandoned this year.
Cauldron Ice Cream
Ice cream shaped like roses in signature “puffle” cones can’t be obtained from this Queen West location of an international parlour anymore.
The Chase Fish & Oyster
Epic seafood dishes have been replaced by vegan Mexican cuisine at this Financial District space, though The Chase lives on.
Clove Apple Cafe
This cute Parkdale cafe for baked goods, coffee and a relaxing atmosphere didn’t survive the pandemic.
Club 120 and 120 Diner
This groundbreaking inclusive club known as a “pansexual playground” in Church Wellesley Village made its exit at the end of May after 14 years. The comedy bar also said goodbye.
DJs and partiers in Kensington have had to deal with lots of losses, but the closure of this hidden bar that was around for 10 years hit hard.
After 30 years of “crockin’ good times” and inspiring long lineups, this Entertainment District bar couldn’t survive the pandemic.
Dark Horse John
As a neighbourhood full of offices, it sadly makes sense that the Entertainment District lost its location of this coffee shop.
St. Clair West lost a neighbourhood gem this year when this restaurant closed down in May.
This Bloorcourt bar unfortunately didn’t last long, but is being replaced by something called Port Light, a project from the people behind Shameful Tiki.
The Junction location of this pizza chain was the newest, but sadly it had to close down in May.
Seafood was only available for a brief while at this restaurant in the Danforth area that announced they were closing in September.
The Dock on Queen
This cafe in Leslieville that brought the cottage vibes temporarily closed in March, but sadly appears to have abandoned the space.
Don Alfonso 1890
Tasting menus that reached into the hundreds of dollars and a ritzy interior didn’t translate during the pandemic, and this Financial District restaurant with a rent of $50K was forced to announce its closure in August.
The Yonge location of this popular bakery chain closed at the beginning of May after 18 years.
By the end of the summer, the owners of this Danforth East restaurant decided to call it quits for the sake of their quality of life.
This Mediterranean restaurant near Yonge and Dundas sadly had to close its doors.
Elvy & Flo
It wasn’t around for long, but this cafe that closed in March never to reopen was fiercely loved by the East Chinatown community.
Bloordale lost this kitschy ice cream joint, but the cafe it was attached to, Daily Grind, is still open and has started serving brunch.
Unfortunately, it seems this cafe beloved by Little India closed under mysterious circumstances.
Friday Roots and Vibes
This Dundas West spot for soul food and live music had to close, but it’s turned into cafe and bar The Cottage, which will hopefully be able to survive.
Furama Cake & Dessert Garden
Chinatown lost this adored bakery and community hub that’s been around for 30 years at the end of September.
This legendary staple for roti with Indian fillings on Queen West may be gone, but it’s been replaced by another roti spot run by one of the chefs.
November saw the end of this super eccentric cartoon-themed eatery in Bloorcourt, but the company continues to sell Garfield’s favourite food: frozen lasagna.
Genghis Khan Mongolian Grill
For obvious reasons, this self-serve buffet restaurant in Don Mills wasn’t able to remain open.
This restaurant that was one of the first to bring Thai classics to Toronto and had been doing so for 25 years permanently closed in June.
This bistro in the Annex from Anthony Rose has transitioned back into a more pandemic-appropriate BBQ concept.
The Annex said goodbye to this central coffee destination that had been around for 12 years at the end of March.
This venue had already moved locations to Little Italy, but had to close after 13 years total.
Gamers were sad to see this esports centre near St. Clair station go, but unlike many at least they were able to throw a farewell party in September.
The Colborne location of this BBQ joint had to close because the lease was terminated by the landlord.
This Danforth East brunch spot once smothered all manner of bennies in their nominal hollandaise, but closed their doors in October.
The future demolition of the building where this Yorkville cafe was located coupled with the stress of the pandemic caused this European-style cafe to close after three years.
I’ll Be Seeing You
A pair of sisters ran this Riverside bar for snacks and cocktails until it closed on October 24.
Il Gatto Nero
This Little Italy restaurant known for its patio closed down after an incredible 60 years in business.
Toronto locations of this coffee chain were closed this year, though others still operate in different parts of the country.
The original Spadina location of this much-loved French bistro had to close down after over 20 years in April, though they still have a West Queen West location that needs your support.
Summer saw the official end of this Italian restaurant that’s been a fixture on King West for over 30 years.
This cafe where you could design your own bubble tea announced they’d be closing locations near Yonge and College as well as in the PATH in June, though they’re still around in Montreal.
This ice cream parlour with a community mission closed their location right at Lansdowne and Bloor this summer, but they’ve reopened in Regent Park.
This dessert spot in Little Italy was evicted in the spring after owing almost $35,000 in rent.
Live Organic Food Bar
This vegetarian spot closed in the spring after spending almost 20 years catering to plant eaters in the Annex and beyond.
After nearly a decade, this Italian restaurant in Etobicoke closed their doors.
Canadian Chinese food was tasty and reliably priced at this Riverside restaurant for 30 years until it closed down recently.
Kensington lost this relatively new Caribbean restaurant due to disputes with the landlord and a neighbour.
St. Clair and Yonge as well as Roncesvalles locations of this Asian chain had to close, but Annex Food Hall, Queen and Bathurst, Village by the Grange and Bay Adelaide Centre locations remain open.
The Dundas West community was sad to see this restaurant for Korean small plates and cocktails fade from existence during the pandemic.
This Entertainment District restaurant popular with TIFF-goers had to close on Nov. 10.
This spot had been serving Kensington some of the city’s most delicious fries for over five years until they announced their closure this summer.
Brookfield Place and Concourse Level locations of this cafe chain shuttered in Toronto in the spring.
This jazz bar called King West home for a quarter of a century before announcing its closure this summer.
There was some controversy surrounding the shuttering of a Danforth location of this chicken chain this spring.
New York Cafe
This low key Danforth spot faded into obscurity as the pandemic raged on.
Koreatown sadly wasn’t able to hold onto this Indigenous-owned brunch spot that closed after three years.
August saw the end of this sophisticated Corktown cafe known for its breathtaking interior design.
The pandemic saw the closure of locations of this popular pub on both John and King West.
This beloved pub on the Danforth closed its doors after 15 years, unable to reopen after temporarily shuttering in March.
Music lovers were heartbroken when this Little Italy venue that’s been around for 25 years announced in July they wouldn’t be reopening.
Comedians, poets and plain old drinkers were deeply saddened to see this Ossington bar go after ten years in business.
Pancho y Emiliano
King West’s location of this Mexican restaurant shut down, but a Kensington Market location remains open.
The Danforth said goodbye to this Greek restaurant after 30 years when it went up for lease.
Pete’s Corner Grill
Parkdale suddenly lost this destination for a reasonably priced breakfast in the fall.
The only informal announcement that Toronto’s location of this chain restaurant near Yonge and Dundas was closed was a sale of its many chattels.
This Parkdale cafe for a spot of tea permanently closed its doors on May 31.
Parkdale is no longer home to this joint once known for pumping out some of the city’s best poutine, but popular fried chicken joint PG Cluck’s has quickly taken their place.
Prairie Girl Bakery
This bakery known for their cute-as-a-button cupcakes once had five locations, but their Financial District spot is now the only one left.
The owners of this Little Italy cocktail bar were already planning to sell the place, but its closure during the pandemic is no less sad for its regulars.
This moody cocktail bar was unfortunately locked out of its Parkdale space for not paying rent.
This Riverside restaurant wasn’t able to keep things going, but it’s been replaced by very similar project Prohibition Social House.
This Annex pub was one of the first to go in the spring due to an uncooperative landlord.
The Red Light
After almost a decade, it’s lights out at this darling Dundas West watering hole.
This Asian street food restaurant on Queen West recently announced its closure after five years in business.
After almost 30 years, this Cantonese restaurant in Harbord Village closed its doors.
This Little Italy restaurant known for their mac n’ cheese burgers announced its closure in September.
This patisserie opened up a brand new West Queen West location this year only to have it close after less than a year.
Known for its dance parties, this Kensington venue was sadly evicted by its landlord.
Despite its splashy reputation, this Riverside restaurant helmed by a celeb chef quietly closed down in the fall.
The Financial District lost this fast casual counter for Sri Lankan food affiliated with The Office Pub in the spring of this year
It was some of the worst timing ever when this pub with an epic rooftop patio near Yonge and St. Clair closed down near the beginning of summer.
After almost 60 years in business, this Chinese restaurant closed for good at the end of February.
The Shore Leave
This Danforth East bar was one of the first to be evicted for nonpayment of rent in the spring.
The Six Brewhouse
Though this Dundas West brewery is no longer, it’s quickly been replaced by a Toronto location of Ontario brewer Collective Arts.
Sorelle and Co.
This Yorkville destination for allergen-free sweets closed in November, though their products are still available through other avenues.
SoSo Food Club
The people behind this now-closed Chinese restaurant on Dundas West have transformed it into a wine shop.
Near the beginning of the pandemic, this restaurant that brought Cajun food to Toronto closed after 40 years.
Spice Indian Bistro
It wasn’t entirely clear why this Indian restaurant helmed by an experienced chef closed in October, but there were reports of a dispute with the landlord.
This bar in Parkdale with a Rolling Stones theme made the decision to permanently close after 20 years.
A low-waste cocktail dream was cut short when this bar in the Financial District had to close less than a year after opening.
Sweat & Soda
Leslieville runners lost this cafe and community hub during the summertime.
A popular Yonge and Gerrard location of this chain restaurant famous for rotisserie chicken closed without warning in October.
Vegan taco lovers were sad to see this restaurant across from Trinity Bellwoods go. It’s since been replaced by meaty burger joint Matty’s Patty’s, though they do sell Impossible burgers.
The end of July saw the end of Toronto’s only location for soft serve in fish shaped cones near Yonge and Dundas.
Taste of Empanada
Scarborough was only able to hold on to this spot for delicious empanadas for less than a year.
Tasty Chicken House
The closure of this Leslieville dive bar was as murky and mysterious as the joint itself, though it should soon be replaced by a similar venture.
Parkdale said goodbye this Eastern European tavern during the pandemic, but the same team quickly turned it into Gianna’s.
Roncesvalles mysteriously lost this Thai restaurant that had long served the community, the space appearing empty suddenly.
Torteria San Cosme
This Kensington joint specializing in sandwiches has closed, but you can still get their grub through their other operation Milagro.
Little Italy was home to this restaurant for 30 years, but it announced it would be closing in early June.
True Love Cafe
The disappearance of this no frills joint left the area surrounding Sherbourne and Dundas brokenhearted.
True True Diner
The closure of this King East diner was one of the most tragic, as owner and Black female chef Suzanne Barr said it was due to unfair circumstances.
This buffet chain was forced to shutter all Canadian locations, including ones in Toronto.
The locks were changed at this multi-level King West party spot near the end of March.
This Annex diner closed its doors temporarily at the beginning of the pandemic, never to reopen them for the first time in 24 years.
The Junction neighbourhood came out in droves to support this pizza place that had been around for over 60 years during its last days.
Vicino Italian Kitchen
This restaurant only got to serve Regent Park its Italian fare for under a year.
Scarborough locals used to gather at this steampunk bar that announced in October that they had closed permanently.
A little Italy location of this vegan pizza place closed permanently on Jun. 14.
This Dundas West space won’t be a bar any longer, but has transformed into a Filipino-inspired Detroit-style pizza place.
There will be no more basking in the sun and sipping cocktails at this little Italy bar that closed oct. 3 after five years in business.
A blowout food sale with everything on the menu for $5 accompanied the closure of this entertainment district restaurant on oct. 8.
Roncesvalles has one less brunch spot now that this place has shuttered, closing its doors temporary at the start of the pandemic never to open them again.
Scarborough was where to find this diner for over 60 years, but in May they announced they’d be closing.
White Brick Kitchen
We lost a spot for the best fried chicken in koreatown when this place announced in the summer that they’d never be reopening.
The Wickson Social
The team behind this pub near Yonge and Wellesley have turned it into an Italian restaurant called Salvo.
Little Italy may have lost this restaurant for sourdough and fine dining, but it’s been replaced by Harry’s Charbroiled HQ.
Queen and Spadina didn’t get to enjoy this Korean small plates gem for long, the restaurant closing only a couple months after it opened.
This Leslieville spot doling out affordable eats had to make the difficult choice to close.