soufis toronto

Toronto devastated after Syrian restaurant closes because of death threats

Syrian restaurant Soufi's announced yesterday they'd be closing their doors after receiving death threats, and Toronto is absolutely devastated. 

In a public statement, Soufi's announced they'd be closing due to being bombarded with hateful messages and death threats after the owner's son got caught up in a protest outside a Maxime Bernier PPC event in Hamilton. 

A video of an altercation at the protest involving 81-year-old Dorothy Marston went viral online, and social media users identified one of the protesters as the son of Soufi's owner.

His name was then passed along through alt-right and anti-immigrant Facebook groups such as Yellow Vests Canada and Rise Canada, and hateful messages began to pour in. 

"As a result of numerous hate messages and death threats we've received over the past week, we've decided to permanently close our shop," a statement on the restaurant's Instagram page reads

"Our decision is made with a heavy heart in effort to maintain our family and staff's safety."

Soufi's was founded by a family of Syrian refugees back in 2017, and they brought authentic Syrian food to their Queen West neighbourhood. 

Now, Toronto is taking to social media to express their frustration, sadness and anger about the fact that Soufi's is being forced to close because of an overwhelming amount of hatred. 

"Soufi's was an incredible place to eat. The Turkish coffee was unbelievable, food was delicious, and service always warm and welcoming. This is a loss for the city," Alexandra Tamiko Da Dalt tweeted. 

Many are saying the whole incident doesn't align with what Canada stands for, and that we must band together to help the Al Soufi family in their time of need. 

Even the Prime Minister tweeted his thoughts about the news. 

According to Global News reporter Kamil Karamali, Toronto residents are even dropping off notes and flowers in support of the restaurant and the Al Soufi family. 

Karamali also tweeted screenshots of some of the death threats the family received, and they're disturbing to say the least. 

In light of this, many are emphasizing the need to accept differences of opinion without expressing hatred and racism in return.

And some are even inviting Soufi's to open a new location in a different neighbourhood. 

One can only hope that with all the love and support currently pouring out for Soufi's, hateful messages will cease and there will be a new spot for oven-cooked manakeesh flatbreads soon enough.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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