One of Toronto's oldest steakhouses is up for sale at $5 million
Looking for an exceptionally rare opportunity to own a piece of Toronto history while potentially pissing off a multinational tech juggernaut at the same time?
First developed as a two-storey brick structure in the late 1850s and built out between 1874 and 1943, the property in question is considered "of historical significance" and appears on the City of Toronto's Heritage Register as a late 19th century "Old Town" commercial building that contributes to the significance of the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood.
This building survived the Great Fire of 1849. It was one of Toronto's first printing shops. It was the birthplace of the famed Canadian office supply company Grand and Toy (established on site in 1883) and, for more than half a century now, it has been home to Tom Jones Steakhouse.
Sadly, the owners of the restaurant have decided to close it permanently, but the history-filled building that Tom Jones long occupied is available to purchase (for anyone willing to follow the city's heritage guidelines and who also has $5 million to invest.)
It is truly one-of-a-kind, with stained glass windows, hardwood panelling, and many other plush finishings throughout.
The building is also quite big, with some 5,133 square feet spread across three levels and a 1,721-square-foot basement.
What's strange — and perhaps funny to some — is that the owners would not sell the building to Google when it was developing plans for its headquarters building at 65 King Street East.
"The owners of the Tom Jones building were not interested in selling at that time," said a realtor representing the property when asked about rumours that Google was forced to build its entire HQ around the steakhouse because the owners wouldn't "play ball."
Whether this is the case or not, Google did indeed design its gleaming new Canadian headquarters building (still under construction) around Tom Jones, as depicted in the rendering below.
Unfortunately for Google, the restaurant's owners (who also own the building) only recently decided to sell the property, and it's well-positioned to spark plenty of interest as a prime, freestanding building in the heart of downtown Toronto.
Offers are set to be reviewed later this month before the sellers decide who gets to take over the iconic Tom Jones building.
Hopefully the chosen purchaser will have a less tenuous relationship with the City of Toronto.
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