dome dining toronto

Dome dining at Toronto restaurant shut down by health officials

Toronto public health officials have just served Toronto restaurant Gare de l'Est with a warning for its dining domes. 

The Leslieville restaurant had launched their new dome dining experience this weekend, only to have it shut down by the City on Saturday. 

The restaurant was issued a notice of non-compliance on Halloween following a visit from a public inspector.

"It's just really frustrating," says Gare de l'Est's Erik Joyal. "They just said, 'You can't use it, shut it down.' And that was that." 

According to the notice, the restaurant's dining dome failed to comply with Stage 2 rules of Ontario's reopening plan, which currently forbids indoor dining. 

If the restaurant fails to discontinue their outdoor pod dining, they risk facing a hefty fine (which can run up to $500,000) and possible imprisonment, for whoever's in charge. 

Unclear policies around dining domes in the City has led to an extended period of confusion for restaurants trying to make ends meet as temperatures drop in Toronto. 

While the topic of dining domes has been discussed at the Provincial level as a potential outdoor dining option, there's been no conclusive decision on if, or when, regulations will be introduced. 

As of right now, dining domes are still illegal under Stage 2. 

Other restaurants like Against The Grain and Intercontintal Yorkville's Proof Bar postponed their popular dining dome experiences last week amidst the Province's silence on new policies. 

Joyal describes the purgatory as "really frustrating." 

"There's just no clarity. There's no consistency, in my opinion... I want to put six people in a self-contained environment and somehow that’s in contravention of the rules, and yet you can have a wedding style marquee tent with 100 people." 

Given that indoor dining could be greenlit as early as this week, it's all a moot point. But Joyal says the restaurant missed out on a full weekend's worth of bookings thanks to the confusion. 

Lead photo by

Gare de l'Est


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