toms dairy freeze

One of Toronto's most iconic ice cream joints turns 50

A notoriously delicious ice cream spot in Toronto is celebrating its half-century anniversary today.

Since 1969, Tom’s Dairy Freeze has been swirling high-stacked soft serve on The Queensway in south Etobicoke.

When the shop first opened, Tom only served three classic flavours: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.

“This is the real stuff,” co-owner Guido Di Piazza said. They use genuine ingredients, including ice cream made out of real cream and strawberry flavour with actual strawberries in it.

Di Piazza has owned the shop with his brother-in-law Sebastian Distefano for 17-years. Their uncle Tom opened it 50-years ago and the business has stayed in the family ever since.

The original layout remains retro. The shop is a white stand with a counter that customers line up at. Blue picnic tables are laid out on a vacant parking lot.

toms dairy freeze

Tom's Dairy Freeze. Photo credit: Hector Vasquez. 

But the new ownership has made some changes over the years. Di Piazza and Distefano added 22 hard ice cream flavours to the menu, including Central Smith, Scotsburn and London Dairy.

They’ve also revamped their original soft serve with dips and toppings. One of their most popular orders is the Cookie Monster – vanilla soft serve dipped in blue raspberry sauce and rolled in crushed Oreos.

“I think we’ve gotten more popular over the years,” Di Piazza said. The shop is known for its summer lineups, which last the entire season, from March to November.

To celebrate the anniversary, Tom’s Dairy Freeze is setting up a bouncy castle, face paint, dunk tank, and is giving out free hot dogs and cotton candy today.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Eat & Drink

10 new restaurants that opened in Toronto last month

Popular vegan restaurant has closed its only Toronto location

Toronto now has a vending machine for sweet treats and more could be on the way

How RendezViews went from parking lot to Toronto's most epic outdoor patio ever

This vegetarian restaurant in Toronto has been a low-key hidden gem for 30 years

This new Toronto restaurant is a partnership between Israelis and Palestinians

Toronto is obsessing over the outrageous footlong soft serve at this new ice cream joint

Farms for pick-your-own peaches in Ontario are now open for the season