Popeyes toronto

Popeyes is taking over in downtown Toronto

Have you noticed a lot of Popeyes in Toronto lately? Not the vitamin store (or the Sailor Man, for that matter), but the fried chicken joint, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.

New locations of the 45-year-old American multinational fast food chain are popping up downtown with some regularity these days, leading both lovers and haters in Toronto to question why. 

Is fried chicken on the up and up? Was it ever on the down and down? Is everyone sick of KFC? It's those catchy commercials, right? Are buttermilk biscuits actually addictive?

Yes, no, yes, maybe, and I don't think so, but anything's possible.

Most likely, the fast Canadian expansion has something to do with Restaurant Brands International — the Oakville-based parent company of Burger King and Tim Hortons.

You see, RBI acquired Popeyes last year for US$1.8 billion, hinting at the time that it was interested in the franchise-based business' "international prospects for growth."

"Popeyes currently has more than 2,600 restaurants, with 621 international locations," reported the Canadian Press in March of 2017 when the deal closed.

"RBI has said it plans to accelerate Popeyes' growth in the U.S. and beyond, using an approach used by Burger King."

With about 50 Popeyes locations now open in Toronto, and more on the way — including one opening soon across the street from St. Lawrence Market at Front and Jarvis — it's safe to say that Lousiana could soon be the new Kentucky. At least when it comes to fried chicken in Canada.

Lead photo by

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