little india toronto

Popular Toronto Indian restaurant cut in half because of high rent

It's a tough time to run a business on Queen West. Rents just keep skyrocketing and many restaurants are struggling to stay afloat. 

To avoid shutting down, restaurants often have to make changes and sacrifices in order to cut costs and make it work.

One such restaurant, Little India, is literally cutting its seating space in half to save money. 

The restaurant currently occupies two storefronts side-by-side, but a couple weeks ago signs were posted on the front window of half the restaurant saying "Store for lease" and "End of lease. Reducing space."

“Things have changed," said restaurant manager Sri Selvarasa. "The property taxes have gone up, everything has gone up.”

Selvarasa said rent has increased substantially since they opened their doors 23 years ago, and now they have to find ways to cut back. 

The restaurant also has a space upstairs which they currently use for private parties, but Selvarasa said once the second half is rented out, they'll use it as extra restaurant seating. 

“We can save money on labour, rent and we’re paying all these utility bills for nothing. Just use upstairs. It’s extra work for sure, but if you want to save that money you have to do it," he said. 

Selvarasa added that the surge of takeout popularity means they don't need as much space as they used to. 

"Dining has reduced," he said. "It’s all about takeout and catering.” 

Although Selvarasa didn't disclose just how much costs have increased, he did emphasize that “it’s a lot.”

Lead photo by

Mira Miller


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