February 7, 2019 5:40 pm
Updated: February 7, 2019 8:07 pm

Oldest restaurant in Toronto still going strong after 90 years

WATCH ABOVE: Established in 1929, the Senator Restaurant is Toronto's oldest landmark on Victoria Street. Owner Bobby Sniderman says it's still going strong after all these years. Susan Hay has the story.


Located on Victoria Street, The Senator is the oldest restaurant in Toronto.

“I’ve always said that anybody could open a restaurant for a day, but the real art of operating and owning a restaurant is being able to get up the next day and the next day,” said Bobby Sniderman, owner of The Senator restaurant.

Since purchasing the restaurant in 1984, Sniderman has been getting up consistently.

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“The restaurant itself is 90 years old, but the building dates back to 1860,” he said . “So this is one of the oldest hospitality operations in all of Canada.”

Longtime customer Dr. Keith Meloff said very little has changed in the 31 years he’s been a patron of the diner.

“It’s more or less the same as its always been over three decades,” Meloff said.

And that, is purposeful on Sniderman’s part.

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“[The place] is almost identical except for the espresso machine,” he said. “The original building was a home and the home was renovated by a man called Bob Angeloff, and he named it ‘The Busy Bee Diner’.

“It stayed until 1948, and it was purchased by George Nicolau, and George renamed it ‘The Senator.’”

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, this dining landmark serves more than 2,000 homemade meals each week. When asked what the most popular item on the menu is at the moment, Sniderman said the answer is irrefutable, thanks to a certain “Rocket Man.”

“That’s indisputable right now because Elton John was here a few months ago and he tweeted out to his 1.5 million followers that The Senator has the best burgers in the world,” Sniderman said.

“I fell in love with this restaurant, I fell in love with the family who restored it, and it will continue to be a part of my family forever,” he said.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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