sauce on the danforth

Toronto neighbourhood is pitching in to help a local bar survive lockdown

As lengthy forced closures continue to devastate Toronto's local businesses, residents who have fond memories at their neighbourhood haunts and hope to be able to make new ones there in the future are banding together to help save such spaces from having to close permanently.

The latest of these efforts are those to save Sauce on the Danforth, a cocktail bar with a "dimly lit friend's living room" kind of vibe that has been favourite in the Danforth and Coxwell area for nearly a decade.

"Maybe some friends from out of town want a taste of what real Toronto is like. And we all go to the one place where we know everything just feels right," reads a GoFundMe for the cozy red-walled spot.

The campaign goes on to talk about how there is no place quite like the Sauce for those who used to frequent it, and no one quite like its owners, couple Michelle Belisle and Johnny Lucier.

Like similarly beloved establishments that have fallen on financially tough times over the course of the health crisis — watering holes such as Sweaty Betty's and Lipstick & Dynamite, or venues like the Hard Luck — residents are happy to step up and support the business to ensure it will still be around when we're finally able to go through its doors again.

The effort has already raised more than $14,100 (and counting) from nearly 100 donors in just two days, some of whom have raved in comments about the gem that this local establishment is in the community.

As the crowdfunding push states, "Sauce has done so much for all of us. Now it is time to do a little something for them."

Hopefully, as has been the case for some other hangs that are on their last legs at this point, the help from regulars will be enough for the Sauce to get by until they can reopen once more — lest we lose yet another unique and clearly well-loved space that helps makes this city what it is.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns

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