the citizen toronto

Popular downtown Toronto bar closes to make way for new concept space

One of King West's larger and more handsomely-decorated after work drink spots just closed its doors after seven years in business, marking the end of an era for Toronto f*ckboys, but potentially the start of something new.

The Citizen, which replaced downtown Toronto's infamous Brant House at 522 King St. W. back in 2014, announced its own demise on Friday.

"After 7 amazing years, we have decided to reinvent ourselves and bring you a brand new concept coming Summer 2021," reads a note posted to the restaurant's Instagram account Friday afternoon with the caption "exciting new things to come!"

"We'd like to thank our loyal clientele, our amazing staff, and management throughout the years for making The Citizen King West's favourite neighbourhood hangout. Stay tuned, and we will see you soon!"

Signed simply by "Ownership," the letter does not provide any details about what will become of The Citizen, or when we can expect the well-situated space in King West to reopen. Requests for comment to the bar were not returned.

Like all bars and restaurants in Toronto, The Citizen has been "temporarily closed" under government orders since October of 2020.  

The Citizen's website does not yet specify any permanent closure, though its online system for reservations has been disabled.

What we do know with some certainty is that bar, which boasts two large patios, will be missed — especially right now as only outdoor dining is allowed in the grey zone.

Inspired by 1930s-style restobars, The Citizen will be remembered for its aforementioned patios, luxe leather chesterfields, preppy yet woodsy vibes and decent cinq-a-sept drink specials.

See also: good parties; From NBA All-Star weekend festivities to glamourous TIFF bashes, The Citizen's clutch location made it a popular venue for pop-ups, takeovers and ragers.

Whatever businesses it houses, the old Brant House building will definitely remain an iconic part of the neighbourhood moving forward.

Built as part of the the E.C. Gurney & Co. Stove Foundry in 1872, the space at 522 King West is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act and is considered part of the King-Spadina Heritage Conservation District.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns

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