toronto blizzard

Restaurants across Toronto are shutting down due to blizzard

All kinds of businesses are taking a snow day in Toronto today due to the massive blizzard that's blasting the city, including restaurants, bakeries and retail stores.

Sandwich shops Elm Street Deli, Lambo's Deli and DAM, bakery Savorology and many other businesses like cheese stores, sushi and Chinese restaurants are opting out of opening during the storm.

It just doesn't make sense for Elm Street Deli to open when they normally get all their ingredients fresh daily, and their suppliers are telling them to expect very delayed deliveries.

Owner Lawrence LaPianta walked outside into a foot of snow at 7 a.m. and decided right then and there to close for the day.

"We are a very app delivery driven business and no one, like couriers, should be rushing around in these conditions," LaPianta tells blogTO.

"It's just not safe. Let the city clear the streets and we'll be back at it tomorrow. After what we've endured over the last two years with lockdowns, I choose safety over sandwiches."

It was only a couple hours later when another sandwich shop that just opened in Toronto, DAM, decided around 9 a.m. they'd shutter for the day as well.

"Our car got stuck in the snow, and three other cars got stuck on my street," DAM co-owner Aidan MacDowall tells blogTO.

"We've been shovelling and pushing cars all morning. Definitely don't encourage anyone to drive in these conditions."

Yet another sandwich shop, Lambo's, made the decision to close for the day around the same time, 9 a.m. Similar to Elm Street, they were also already having issues with supplies.

"Our sandwiches are prepared with these fresh ingredients so, without them, serving customers today didn’t sit right with us," Lambo's owner Justin Leon tells blogTO.

"Paired with what feels like hazardous conditions to be out and about, we made the call to close the shop. A dip in business is a small price to pay to keep staff and customers safe. We're hoping the city will clean up the roads and sidewalks so we can get back to slinging subs tomorrow."

Restaurant Petit Potato also decided to close today around 9 a.m., though they're planning on reopening tomorrow. All their affiliate restaurants are closed as well: that includes Congee Queen, Good Catch and Sushi Legend.

"In this weather, I believe customers won't come out to pick up. It will impact our business," Petit Potato manager Miki Chen tells blogTO.

"During this lockdown, takeout is the only income. If nobody or just a few customers order takeout, we will lose more money too."

It wasn't much later when the legendary Cheese Boutique decided around 9:30 a.m. they'd also be taking a snow day. They've rarely closed randomly like this in their 51 years in business.

Today, the majority of their staff couldn't make it in due to road closures and TTC delays.

"Any cooked or baked food we gave to the staff and neighbours to take home to enjoy. We will obviously lose the business for the day which isn't ideal, but we are grateful to just be able to be operating," Cheese Boutique owner Afrim Pristine tells blogTO.

"As long as Godzilla doesn't rise through Lake Ontario to take over Toronto or some other catastrophe like that, we will definitely be back open tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. The way I look at it is, the cheese will be one day older and one day tastier, and I get to binge watch Yellowstone."

Asian bakery Savorology is also concerned about the safety of their staff first and foremost.

"We decided close this morning because of inclement weather conditions," Savorology owner Aimee Zhao tells blogTO. "Our priority continues to be the safety of our staff members."

At this point, Savorology is planning on reopening at 11 a.m. on Jan. 18.

Though we'll miss all the sandwiches and baked goods we won't be able to get today, safety is definitely more important than snacks, unfortunately.

Also, some places are definitely still open today, so check with your local cafe, bakery or restaurant to find out. If you're up for a walk in a winter wonderland, they could probably use your support on this slow day.

Lead photo by

Jeremy Gilbert

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