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Eat & Drink

It's so long (but not goodbye) for Alternative Grounds

Posted by Staff / December 15, 2013

Alternative GroundsOn the second day of this month Roncesvalles stalwart Alternative Grounds served their last customer. Some might remember the cafe as one of the first in Toronto to offer 100% fair-trade beans. They set up on Roncey back when it was still identifiable as Little Poland and before the street became over-caffeinated with nearby competitors such as Lit Espresso, Belljar and Cherry Bomb. Shortly after opening they also began roasting beans in house, joining the Coffee Tree and Everyday Gourmet as one of the first local roasters in the city.

The decision to shut the cafe's doors had as much to do with the increased competition as the evolution of the business. In recent years, Alternative Grounds owner Linda Burnside has been spending more of her time growing the roasting and wholesale business and she felt now was the time to pursue it full throttle.

Roncesvalles residents might lament the loss of another neighbourhood stalwart, especially given the impending arrival of Tim Hortons in the old Granowska space. But sometimes change has a silver lining. Fans of Alternative Grounds beans will still be able to find or savour them at numerous spots around town including Good Catch General Store, Sunny Joe's, the West End Food Hub, Appletree Natural Foods, The Big Carrot, Noah's, the Nuthouse, Saving Grace, Flying Pony and a whole lot more.

Photo from Alternative Grounds on Facebook



JF / December 15, 2013 at 10:37 am
WHAT???? NO!!!

How did I miss this? :( Good night, sweet cafe...
Susy Alvarez / December 15, 2013 at 05:58 pm
Just one correction: I'm a coffee roaster with AG, not the owner - that credit goes to founder, master roaster and all-round wonder gal Linda Burnside :)
jill / December 15, 2013 at 06:43 pm
UGH. this is sad.
Nash / December 15, 2013 at 07:38 pm
No way... Unpretentious place, will miss the patio in the back.
Jack / December 15, 2013 at 11:58 pm
Alternative Grounds was a wonderful place to stop and warm up while grocery shopping in winter (and a great place to cool down in summer). And they had great sweets with a little something for everybody. Damn.
JH / December 16, 2013 at 06:17 pm
Very sad news, such a great spot in the neighbourhood.
loraxx / December 17, 2013 at 02:57 am
this place had a warmth & charm like no other. definitely the best cafe on the strip, hands down

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