woofdawg toronto

Toronto restaurant suffers massive fire that isn't covered by insurance

A Toronto restaurant fell victim to a brutal fire over the weekend, and insurance isn't going to cover the damages.

Woofdawg on Dundas West serves up loaded hot dogs and poutine. On Sunday morning around 10 a.m., a fire broke out at the restaurant, but fortunately, no one was hurt.

"Our back prep kitchen was burnt and will be required to be renovated, a replacement air duct, electrical, stove and lots of product was lost as well," owner Stephen Payne tells blogTO. 

"We also will have to take apart the whole place and clean every piece of equipment that is salvageable. Fortunately the front room was spared which helps with morale."

Payne's mother Francine Zimba Payne has put together a GoFundMe with a goal of $15,000. A few thousand dollars have already been raised so far.

"This is not going to be covered by insurance so this was an idea she came up with to help lessen the blow," says Payne.

"He had his first gig at Cold Tea in 2014, then on to work through rain, snow, sleet, and heat at many, many music and beer festivals, county fairs and street gigs. In 2019 he found his first TO home at the Dawg Shack at Ossington and Queen before settling into this brick-and-mortar local on Dundas West in 2021," reads the GoFundMe page written by "Mama Dawg."

"If you have ever had the opportunity to taste Stephen's incredible eats, you'll know that we don't want his dream to end. WoofDawg's 8 1/2 -year journey has been filled with many ups and downs, but his love of food and feeding people helps him persevere in tough times. Please consider supporting Woofdawg's efforts to build back."

Though a reopening date has not yet been established, a fundraiser is being planned for the near future and supporters are advised to keep an eye on social media for updates.

"I'm the sole owner but am lucky to have great support from the community this crazy hot dog biz has created," says Payne.

Lead photo by

Stephen Payne

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