cactus club racist

Cactus Club in Toronto was just accused of racist practices

Toronto tends to have mixed feelings when it comes to Vancouver, but one export restaurant from the west coast is coming under fire in the 6ix. It's not the first time.

Cactus Club Cafe, which now has two Toronto locations, is being accused of racist practices, mainly over Twitter by a local DJ. The chain has a location in the Financial District and one in Sherway Gardens

On August 11 (the last day of Caribana in Toronto this year) DJ Big Jacks tweeted that DJs had been cancelled for the big weekend and that he had been told “not to cater to the Caribana crowd.”

In a reply to his own tweet, the DJ attaches screenshots of messages from another DJ who allegedly used to work at Cactus Club as well. 

The images accuse the restaurant chain of everything from limiting the number of black customers to not allowing more than one black bouncer in the same area, staff calling customers "ratchet" and telling DJs to change the music because "it's getting too dark in here."

Cactus Club shared this statement in response: "Although we cannot specifically address individual human resources grievances through the media, any suggestion that Cactus Club is guided by considerations other than the needs of our staff, our customers and the wider public is both untrue and flatly inaccurate."

"It is our standard practice during long weekends and special events – including playoff games for professional sports teams, major conventions and cultural festivals such as the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, PRIDE and TIFF - to evaluate the suitability of our hours, our menu options and our mix of entertainment offerings.

"Sometimes we alter dining and entertainment options such as the use of DJs."

There's now a petition calling for a full investigation and an immediate change in management and policies.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Eat & Drink

Toronto's newest BBQ joint only does family and date night meals

Here's a map of heated patios in Toronto

Toronto restaurants frustrated and confused after getting warnings from bylaw officers

10 organic food delivery options in Toronto

Jollibee is opening its first location in Midtown Toronto

Doug Ford claps back at Toronto's famous celebrity chef over restaurant lockdown

Closing of Starbucks in Toronto has locals worrying about the future of the economy

Toronto restaurant lets you eat inside a private yurt