house on parliament toronto

Toronto restaurant is serving pies and daily specials through their front window

In these tough times, there's nothing like a classic pie-in-the-window moment to get us through. 

The Cabbagetown pub House on Parliament, which has been a neighbourhood fixture for the last 24 years, is winning hearts over by selling pies, tourtieres, and other specials straight from their window. 

Like all restaurants citywide, HoP first shuttered its doors on March 16 as measures against COVID-19 began ramping up.

"At that time, in the panic of all that, we did not see a path forward," says Tania Waldock, who owns the restaurant with her husband Beau Opperman.

The couple gave away all their perishable stock to staff, but then there was the pie mix — a massive amount of it, which their cook had made right before the shutdown. 

They ended up baking the steak and mushroom pies (around 200 of them) with the intention of freezing them for a few weeks. But when it became clear that quarantine would last much longer than that, they decided to try takeout orders from their front window instead. 

Within 90 minutes, all 200 pies were gone, says Waldock. 

"We’re not special, people just want to support their local restaurants. This was an opportunity to do that," she says. "So we thought, hm, maybe we should try this again." 

They ordered just enough ingredients to do 500 pies next, and over the course of the week, sold out of those too. 

Those who want to grab some pies ($10 each)— which are perfect quarantine food since they're easy to freeze — can head to the window from Wednesday to Saturday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., for a "stealth handover". 

HoP has since extended its takeout menu to include burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, fish and chips, plus other pub classics. They're also selling beer and wine. 

"We are just beyond grateful because people are buying just because they want to support us, not necessarily because they need it or want it," says Waldock. 

"They're doing everything they can to make sure that we’re still around at the end of this." 

Lead photo by

House on Parliament

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