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Rising rents set to ground the Avro for good

Posted by Derek Flack / March 25, 2013

The Avro ClosingHere's a bit of bad news for Riverside bar-goers. The Avro announced today that it will close its doors for good on Friday, April 26th, thereby following in the footsteps of the ill-fated airplane project after which the watering hole is named. The story is a familier one. Riverside is on the rise and with it is the rent that landlords are seeking from tenants. There's also more competition in the near vicinity with the arrival of Riverside Public House, An Sibin Pub and Aft (to name a few).

"We realize that in a dynamic and changing neighbourhood such as Riverside, commercial rent increases are inevitable but the rent hike demanded by our landlord is simply untenable for an establishment of our size," explain owners Bruce Dawson and Rachael Conduit in a note posted to Facebook.

Opened back in 2010, the Avro quickly won a loyal following from Riverside locals who enjoyed the laid back vibe and lack of pretention at the place. This won't mollify those folks much, but this atmosphere (not to mention some of the bar's staff) can also be found at Handelbar, its sister establishment in Kensington Market. And there are no plans to close up shop there.



ButtonsTheMonkey / March 25, 2013 at 03:33 pm
That's a shame... just moved near by and found out about the place. Quite liked it.
Sergio Medrano / March 25, 2013 at 03:33 pm
As Canada's economy continues to shift from goods-producing to service-based, rents for commercial/retail space go up. Sometimes, like in this case, they end up costing Entrepreneurs their business, since sales are not enough to cover rent plus costs plus profit margins.

This also puts inflationary pressure in the market, which has a domino-like effect in everyone's pockets.

Maybe it's time to have a discussion about a policy that will limit these rent hikes, to stimulate small business.

There's a Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) report that talks about this recent phenomenon in the GTA here:
Bob But Not Doug / March 25, 2013 at 03:40 pm
Bummer. I look forward to another organic bakery or wine bar.
Dave Murray / March 25, 2013 at 03:43 pm
This is a huge shame - not only was The Avro a fantastic bar, but the sense of community Rachel and Bruce fostered was unreal. A sad day for the patrons, but an even sadder day for the neighbourhood in general.
Ugh / March 25, 2013 at 03:59 pm
Ive lived around the corner since they opened.
And was just there this past weekend. Always a fun spot for a beer.

Starting to get the feeling our beloved Riverside is going to start to become over ridden with the douche scene.

Freddie / March 25, 2013 at 04:16 pm
It's a shame!
Chris / March 25, 2013 at 05:22 pm
hope to see it revive somewhere else. handlebar is great, but avro sure is special.
How replying to a comment from Chris / March 25, 2013 at 05:37 pm
You cant revive a bar and its vibe "somewhere else".
Once removed from its initial spot, thats it.
Its bastardized.
Kumar OMalley / March 25, 2013 at 05:57 pm
What's the loss? This footprint's ripe for a condo. Who needs a smelly bar when we can have a podium with Starbucks, an LCBO, and a Bed Bath & Beyond? Loving this world class city!
Lame / March 25, 2013 at 06:03 pm
Lame. I just discovered this place. Not too many bars like it in the area.
me / March 25, 2013 at 07:38 pm
YAAAYYYYYY!!!!!!!!! GREAT NEWS INDEED!! Thank you BlogTO!!
Aaron / March 25, 2013 at 10:30 pm
Prime spot for a $10 cupcake shop!!
Troll Lolo / March 25, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Not good.
L / March 25, 2013 at 11:54 pm
Just out of curiosity, but if a popular establishment of that size that sells alcohol can't afford to pay the inflated rent, then who does the landlord think can?
Toronto Landlords / March 26, 2013 at 12:54 am
I want it all; money, fast cars
Diamond rings, gold chains and champagne
$heet, everydamn thing
I want it all; houses, expenses
My own business, a truck, hmm, and a couple o' Benz's
I want it all; brand new socks and drawls
And I'm ballin everytime I stop and talk to y'all
I want it all, all, all, all
I want it all, all, all, all

holly replying to a comment from Toronto Landlords / March 26, 2013 at 12:26 pm
To be fair the city is also raising property taxes; here's a good article on that.

What are landlords to do when their property taxes outpace inflation if not pass that cost to their tenants?
Adam / March 27, 2013 at 05:43 am
This is a big loss for the Riverside. Not only are we losing a great bar but we're also losing great community builders. People may not know this but Rachel sits on the BIA, is chair of the streetscape committee, and does a lot of neighbourhood charity work. The whole team at the Avro are such team players and they will be missed here in Riverside.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from L / March 27, 2013 at 06:34 am
The answer to that is; another chain store that pulls in big fat money.

The city is gentrifying itself to death just like New York is, and anybody that says it isn't is as deluded as fuck.
Okay replying to a comment from Sergio Medrano / March 27, 2013 at 09:37 am
Rent/Unit Controls is what started this mess in the first place. This is simply the case of yuppies moving into a place because of cool things in the area like an AVRO and then jacking up prices that end up driving away the very establishments that made the moved there in the beginning.
Bruce Mandrake / March 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm

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It'll happen eventually if Toronto wants to sustain indie operations.
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