A proposal to make the downtown cafe a full-time business next week will likely be approved by Toronto City Council.
CaféTO, located on King Street, has operated as a pop-up cafe for about two months, but was shut down after complaining patrons protested the lack of parking. Toronto’s rental rate schedule does not include parking benefits for new spaces created, and the city’s parking rules in the area do not allow for “non-resident market visitors” to park on city streets. The campsite permits also do not expire until October 2019.
The establishment would be part of an ongoing attempt to make King Street more pedestrian-friendly and a more liveable space for all stakeholders. The closure of the subway station near the cafe had been made by streetcar, but when the King Street ferry line shut down earlier this year, it temporarily delayed the opening of the cafe.
Toronto native Natasha Harrington is behind the venture. The former actress has long wanted to open a restaurant and envisioned a pop-up cafe for those who wanted a taste of her cooking. The pop-up proved to be a popular endeavor, and the idea to take the eatery permanently was inspired by the neighborhood’s decay.
“It just makes sense,” Harrington told The Toronto Star. “There’s just this direct connection, an immediate connection between King Street and everyone who lives here. We should be welcoming these people who aren’t here all year.”
The permanent cafe will have a menu similar to its temporary incarnation.
This article was edited at 12:47 p.m. to remove comments from George Hildebrandt and Randal Nicholson.