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Eat & Drink

Historic Maple Leaf Tavern to be reborn as gastropub

Posted by Staff / June 3, 2014

Maple leaf tavernThe historic Maple Leaf Tavern across from Gerrard Square is about to be reborn as a gastropub. The tavern, built in 1910 and converted into a hotel in 1935, is one of the many lodgings long neglected on Toronto's east side. In the 1980s it changed hands multiple times and became a dive bar known locally as the "kick and stab" after a number of unsavoury incidents transpired within its walls. In recent times the building has been shuttered and has been spotted with a for lease sign.

But finally there is change coming to the tavern. Todd Morgan, owner of The Port restaurant in Pickering has gutted the space and will transform it into a gastropub with a menu not too dissimilar from his other spot. According to a spokesperson for the tavern, Morgan plans to recreate the feel of the era when the space was in its prime. The opening is targeted sometime this fall.

Photo by Dominic Bugatto in the blogTO Flickr pool



eastsidetillidie / June 3, 2014 at 03:33 pm
No BlogTO, The Kick and Stab is further east along Gerrard.
Marie / June 3, 2014 at 03:35 pm
I think this will be a great addition to the neighbourhood! Its much needed! The east side of the city really needs to kick it up a notch in regards to entertainment needs - theres not much to do there and I always find myself having to go out west of the city. I will likely check this place out when it opens!
look a bit south replying to a comment from Marie / June 3, 2014 at 03:45 pm
Go down to Queen St.
There is a plethora of fine establishments from Leslie to Broadview.
Linda Saint John / June 3, 2014 at 04:24 pm
Right, Jenny's is the latest "kick and stab "... But like to try the new Maple Leaf .
KJM / June 3, 2014 at 04:37 pm
What exactly makes this historic?
Jordan / June 3, 2014 at 04:39 pm
Port is a great little restaurant if you ever find yourself in the South end of Pickering. Nice to be getting some more class spots on the East side. Hopefully they pick up some of the local brewers.
Robert PROWSE replying to a comment from KJM / June 3, 2014 at 05:03 pm
Maybe the fact that it's 102 years old and isn't a condo....
seen this before / June 3, 2014 at 05:14 pm
Looks like it should be a bath house.
Bob / June 3, 2014 at 05:31 pm
Too bad Jeff Stober didn't take it over
Steve replying to a comment from Robert PROWSE / June 3, 2014 at 05:58 pm
That makes no sense.
Age has nothing to with history. Please enlighten us about the historic aspects of this building.
If your using age to define historic a condo will become historic, it will old too one day.
hotsizzle / June 3, 2014 at 06:03 pm
This is a shame. The bar has been a staple in the area for ever.

My parents remember it being there. Though its a bit seedy, I have had some of the best times there doing Karaoke.
nameguy / June 3, 2014 at 06:58 pm
I'm a highly paid business consultant. With a name like 'Kicky McStabby's' you'd be sure to attract a nice cross section of both poor undesirables to lend character and irony seeking hipsters to infuse cash. I love it!
Randy replying to a comment from hotsizzle / June 3, 2014 at 07:43 pm
Better that someone does something with it now. Leave it as is for another 10 years and it'll end up in the hands of developers that will flatten the building to rebuild it as something out.
Minion / June 3, 2014 at 09:36 pm
There's aLOT of stank to get out of there!!
Brian / June 3, 2014 at 09:58 pm
Although we enjoy seeing new energy coming into the community we need to think of the implications of the loss of the accommodation for many individuals who have no other choice for housing. Places like the Maple Leaf and the New Broadview hotel are the only housing choice for many. The alternatives are shelters an expensive solution or more individuals living
rough on the streets. We need leadership to provide positive alternatives.
seanm replying to a comment from Steve / June 3, 2014 at 11:51 pm
Historical would've been the correct term to use, but that's semantics.

Sure the Maple Leaf Tavern and its building aren't historic in a significant sense like Fort York or the Legislative Buildings, but it has its place in the history of Toronto's east side. It's also an attractive Edwardian building of which we have few remaining, and in a city whose built heritage is under constant siege, any adaptive re-use of older buildings is greatly appreciated. Fabric and variety are very important to the built form.
okokok replying to a comment from KJM / June 4, 2014 at 12:23 am
Before you got your loan or whatever so you could go to Rye High, some people used to drink here.

I don't dis your family's farming heritage, so don't dis my city's, ok?
Richard S replying to a comment from Brian / June 4, 2014 at 03:25 pm
not to be a jerk, but this is part of the natural cycle of gentrification.
Little India will be dead in 5 years. should we cry that the Indian community's moved to Thornhill? No. it just happens.
Kensington Market used to be Jewish. Then it was Chinese. It's now the new food hotspot and Chinatown will be less Chinese in 12 months.
I could go on and on, but the honest truth is that people owning $600 000 to $1.2 million dollar homes do not want to live next to or near low income housing. It makes them feel unsafe, decreases their property value and doesn't create the neighbourhood vibe they desire.
the people living upstairs in the Tavern will move somewhere. Maybe in Toronto, maybe to Oshawa...who knows. but that's what will happen.
Phil replying to a comment from Richard S / June 11, 2014 at 05:10 pm
And there are indeed many places for these people to go, even in Leslieville. Gerrard is changing for the better, while Queen is getting worse. Fine establishments, someone said, is not true.
Jamaal / June 29, 2014 at 07:11 pm
I'm right outside this place now and it's ugly as hell. I don't care what generation it's from or who Edwarian refers to, it's an eyesore.
jacqueline cook / September 4, 2014 at 08:37 pm
l use to go to the maple leaf tavern in the 60 and 70 ad 80.the maple leaf was the first hotel to have dancing.we went to meet our friends on friday nites. there was very little fighting. we knew just about every one in there, l stopped going there in the 80s. it was getting bad then. but l will come down when it opens and to see if any of the old crowed will be there. went with george cameron.
She1984 / November 8, 2015 at 07:32 am
Actually the Maple Leaf Tavern use to be a funeral home before it become a bar. The building is over a100 years old, and with that kind of history. I would say it is historical. Interested to see what they do with this place in regards to bringing it back to the original era.
jerjapan / November 10, 2015 at 01:48 pm
Yeah, this place is not the 'kick and stab' - Jenny's in Little India still holds that title, although they've made some nice upgrades themselves. I've been there many times and witnessed neither kicks nor stabs.
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