Toronto cafe to close after university prematurely terminates its lease

Apr 3 2023, 3:33 pm

A Toronto university cafe is getting ready to close in a couple months and it’s breaking the hearts of many students.

Known for their home-cooked meals, the Shahidis have owned and operated Innis Cafe in Innis College at the University of Toronto, serving around 200 delicious plates of food a day. The owners have been asked to vacate the spot they’ve called home for 22 years, as ongoing construction to Innis College is gearing up.

The massive construction project won’t be ready for another three years, and the University of Toronto tells blogTO they had given the Shahidis notice about these plans.

“As with any project of this magnitude, we have had to make operational changes to accommodate the planned construction. One of these changes is the difficult decision to end our agreement with the operators of the Innis Cafe approximately two months before the expiry of the current contract,” said a spokesperson for the university.

“In taking this step, we observed the terms and conditions in the agreement, including a notice period.”

Students have started a petition to provide the cafe with an alternate space that includes a kitchen while recognizing the cafe “occupies an important place in the on-campus provision of fresh and healthy food to the university community.”

“The operators of the Innis Cafe were first notified of the renewal project, including the need to close the cafe space, a number of years ago when Innis College began contemplating the project and its scope, and we went back to them earlier this year to confirm this need when project plans solidified,” said the school.

There is a process to pick a new food provider, which has already been used to find new options for locations on the St. George campus.

“They are welcome to participate in competitive processes the University holds from time to time to select food service providers for other on-campus spaces.”

“When the renewal project is complete, we look forward to welcoming everyone to a new, larger cafe space,” said the school.

Sabrina GamrotSabrina Gamrot

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