black bull toronto

Toronto's oldest bar is closing this week after nearly 200 years

The oldest bar in the city is closing down for good after nearly 200 years serving brews and bar bites.

Since 1838, The Black Bull Tavern has stood as a beacon at the corner of Queen West and Soho, serving up drinks, food and memories for generations of Toronto residents, but the door is closing for good on April 3.

The historic bar had been owned by late CFL great Bobby Taylor since 1975, who is remembered with equal fondness by Toronto residents for his athletic legacy as he is for being a friendly face at the bar for almost 50 years.

Upon Bobby's passing, his family — including Rob Taylor, Bobby's son and the bar's current owner — decided to let the business go.

"We're just really grateful for all the years," Rob tells blogTO, "and for the Queen West community who have been coming back here for years."

While the bar doesn't have anything special planned to mark the closure, Rob tells blogTO it's been a "goodbye party for the past week," with regulars young and old stopping by to swap stories and down one last pint.

The bar is also selling merchandise this week to commemorate the closure, with all proceeds going to the Black Bull's staff.

Rob didn't provide any details about the new buyers or their plans for the property, but one can only hope it maintains even a fraction of the heart and legacy the Bull leaves behind.

Luckily, the location does have a Heritage Property Designation, so at the very least the building won't be torn down, but the loss of the local watering hole will be felt nonetheless.

Whether you're a seasoned regular or want to make your first visit before the bar is closed permanently, make sure to stop by before Wednesday to have a drink in the Black Bull's — and Bobby's — honour.

The Black Bull Tavern is located at 298 Queen West.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns

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