college street fire

Toronto restaurants closed indefinitely after fire rips through block

A four-alarm fire broke out in a commercial-residential building in Little Italy early Friday morning, causing a number of restaurants to shut down due to water and structural damage.

La Forchetta, Tut's Egyptian Street Food and the recently shuttered Hotmess Tex Mex are the restaurants most heavily damaged.

"We’ve survived everything except this fire," said Nick, owner of La Forchetta.

La Forchetta is an Italian restaurant that has been forced to shut down after 20 years of business.

"Right now, the restaurant is closed indefinitely. It’s a write-off inside."

Tut's Egyptian Street Food, a neighbouring restaurant specializing in Egyptian sandwiches, is also closed until further notice.

"The fire department had to take down ceilings to make sure no fire was coming through. It’s pretty bad. We’ll be shut down for at least a few months," restaurant manager Amr Elmazariky told blogTO.

Rudy, a casual burger joint next door, has escaped most of the damage and is still open for business. This was a huge relief for co-owner Chris Simpson after his previous location on Queen and Duncan went up in flames last October.

"We were very fortunate that [the fire] didn’t really have any damage to our place. We had to shut down because the water got turned off, but that lasted a maximum of two days."

Toronto Fire Services are currently investigating the cause of the fire. Luckily, no injuries or deaths were reported.

For now, restaurant owners are waiting to hear news on the damage to the rest of the building.

"We need engineers to inspect the building and assess damages," said Elmazariky. "We can't operate in a building that’s structurally damaged."

Lead photo by Sarah Llewelyn

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