The east end cafe that has been the scene of three homicides in recent years — including one this weekend — has been closed and will eventually become a daycare.
Toronto Mayor John Tory acknowledged the shooting Monday, and word that Cloud Nine Cafe is shutting down.
“I am very gratified that this lease has been terminated so these people will be moved out because they have been identified in a number of different ways as being certainly a source of disruption.”
Three neighbouring businesses will also close to make way for the new daycare.
Local Councillor Mary Fragedakis wasn’t happy with the fact that it took another homicide to close down the café but she was pleased that a new daycare is coming to the area.
“We’re going to be experiencing a real transformation here on East Danforth,” she said. “This will certainly assist us in the improvement of this neighbourhood.”
The owner of the cafe, Hussein Souddo, said his establishment was unfairly criticized by local councillors.
“Mary Fragedakis, or whatever her name is, and Paula Fletcher, they have no idea what’s going on, they just want to show the community they’re in charge and doing something about it but they’re actually doing nothing,” says Hussein Souddo, owner of Cloud Nine Cafe.
Souddo spoke exclusively to Global News about the incident, and his business plans for the future. He claims he did what he could to keep 20-year-old Abdullah Farah, the shooting victim, and his friends from entering the cafe.
“They tried to come in, we didn’t allow them,” he says. “They came on Saturday again, we didn’t allow them again, so they were just loitering outside in front of Gerrard Pizza.”
It was 1:30 a.m. Sunday when multiple shots were fired and 20-year-old Abdullah Farah lay dying on the ground. He was rushed to hospital but later pronounced dead.
He was the third person to die at that same location in the last few years.
On May 19, 2015, 21-year-old Abdiweli Mohamed Yusuf was fatally shot there. At the time, Cloud Nine was called Rotana Cafe, but it was operated by the same owner, Souddo.
And in September 2013, off-duty Markham firefighter Dominic Parker was fatally stabbed inside Rotana in an unprovoked attack.
Billy Dertilis is the chair of the Danforth Mosaic Business Improvement Area, and owner of nearby coffee shop Red Rocket Cafe.
He says Sunday’s shooting leaves a “sort of pallor on the entire strip,” adding, “I don’t think that’s what we are about, it’s not indicative of what’s happening here, it’s one spot and there have been three incidents over the past few years and it doesn’t reflect the mom and pop shops that are in the neighbourhood who really contribute to a community feel.”