tuck shop toronto

City of Toronto shuts down popular restaurant patio for having wooden fences

For all of the weird, nonsensical reasons city officials have given Toronto business owners when rejecting their patio licenses, "wood" has got to be right up there among the worst.

The owners of TuckShop Kitchen, a homey convenience store and takeout joint known for its sandwiches and burgers, turned to their neighbours in the Junction Triangle on Tuesday with a plea for help.

"We would like to ask the residents who live near DuPont and Edwin Street crossroads to please keep an eye out for a poll that the licensing department will be snail mailing you," reads a message posted by co-owner Robb Eng to a private local Facebook group.

"The poll/ballot will be asking if TuckShop Kitchen's patio is acceptable or not for our neighbourhood."

You see, TuckShop's patio was recently deemed unfit for a boulevard cafe permit, as per the City of Toronto's rules.

"As a takeaway restaurant without table service nor alcohol we originally treated our outdoor area as general public seating, and mostly a waiting area because of our small interior," explained Eng on Facebook. "The city disagreed, so we followed their process to apply for a boulevard cafe permit."

Instead of rewarding TuckShop for following procedure, the city's licensing department instead shot down their permit application on the grounds that they were "using wood planters instead of metal fencing for the entrance way."

Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão, whose ward includes TuckShop Kitchen's location at 1640 Dupont St., explained on Tuesday that this wood issue is an actual thing. 

"TuckShop Kitchen received a notice from the City in the summer of 2018 regarding their operation of a patio without a licence. The patio was removed and my office have been assisting the TuckShop Kitchen in terms of what is required to seek approval for their patio," said Bailão in an emailed statement.

"As their patio was constructed of wood, their application would be refused under current rules."

Fortunately for TuckShop, Bailão says this regulation is set to change in September following the highly-anticipated Sidewalk Café and Marketing Display Review.

Wood patios should be permitted by next summer, according to Bailão's office. Until then, the owners of TuckShop Kitchen will have to focus on getting community members to sign off in support of their right to offer guests a space to dine and drink coffee outside.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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