bonjour brioche toronto

Owners of legendary Toronto brunch spot plan to retire after 25 years

A brunch spot that's been a cornerstone of its community will be losing its owners of 25 years.

Bonjour Brioche has been serving Riverside textbook French cafe fare since 1997, but now a real estate listing has been an informal announcement of retirement.

Regulars are worrying about what's going to happen to their favourite brunch place after someone posted the real estate listing for the cafe in a local neighbourhood Facebook group. The post has almost 300 reactions and dozens of comments.

The listing says the space is available for the first time in 25 years, that the liquor license is transferable and that the equipment and trade name can be purchased, although the listing also suggests many other uses for the space like an office, retail, medical space or tattoo parlour.

Bonjour Brioche has been run by Lori Feasson and her husband Henri the entire time it's been open. There weren't any businesses in the area like it when they first opened, and they can be credited somewhat for kickstarting the food scene in the neighbourhood. The bakery even provided a set for TV series The Handmaid's Tale once.

Lots of people on Facebook expressed sadness at the potential demise of the business, and while some were hoping it might relocate, that won't be happening as the owners want to retire.

"Bonjour Brioche opened the year we got married and moved to our house in Riverdale," one person wrote. "So sad that our anniversary twin is shutting down."

Bonjour Brioche manager Patrick Roy tells blogTO that though the business is up for sale, he's not aware of any inquiries or offers and that they "don't know at this point" if or when the business might close, just that the "owners are getting older and looking to retire."

"Technically the listing has been up for months," Roy tells blogTO.

People also pointed out that idyllic location may become less pleasant soon to the construction of the Ontario Line, which has promised measures to reduce noise that many are worried about.

"'Plenty of growth and city improvements coming to the area' = Noisy Shit-Show," someone commented on the Facebook post, translating part of the listing.

They're interested in selling the name of the business and their recipe books, so the ideal outcome for Bonjour Brioche for the old owners would be for it to stay as it is.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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