dinner with a view toronto

People are now protesting the dome dining event under a Toronto highway

What do you get when you take unused public space, a city concerned with homelessness and affordable housing, and add a limited-time dinner pop-up served inside heated domes?

A protest, of course.

It seems an organization, OCAP (the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty), has heard about the dinner taking place under the Gardiner Expressway, called Dinner With A View (that is, with a view of of the immediate area outside the transparent tent, anyway).

They're organizing their own free three-course dinner as a counter event, and they encourage protesters to come out along with their noisemakers to ensure the other diners aren't too comfortable in their immersive luxury dining experience.

Taking place Friday, April 5 at 6:30 pm, the protest event is called Dinner With A View-Of The Rich.

"They call it 'Dinner with a View,'" says the event description. "What sort of view you ask? Well not of the homeless camp, obviously. The City demolished that and evicted the people living there two weeks ago, remember?"

While many have pointed out that the tent city and Bentway location where Dinner with a View takes place aren't in the same spot, OCAP states, "For years, homeless people and advocates have also been calling for the City to open up the armouries as temporary shelter. The pop-up restaurant sits at the doorstep of the Fort York armoury."

Dining in heated domes has become a trend in Toronto and other cities this past brutal winter, as patio goers are dying to eat and drink al fresco.

OCAP is encouraging people to email mayor Tory to tell him Toronto needs adequate shelters and rent geared to income housing. 

In response to the controversy, Dinner with a View has issued a statement.

"We are aware that OCAP plans to hold a counter-event on Friday. This is in response to the City of Toronto's recent decision to remove an encampment of people experiencing homelessness under the Gardiner Expressway at a separate location (about 2km east of our event)."

"We are sympathetic to those impacted by the City’s actions and were in no way involved with the decision making process. No encampments were removed to make way for Dinner With A View. To clarify, Dinner With A View is an independently organized event."

"Our venue, The Bentway, is run by an independent charity and not an agency of the City of Toronto."

"Events like Dinner With A View generate funds that keep The Bentway safe, welcoming and beautiful. This also allows The Bentway to offer free (or low cost) year-round recreational, artistic and educational programming for the people of Toronto."

Lead photo by

Dinner with a View

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