Advertisement

Despite celebrity cameos, Toronto coffee shop forced to close due to increasing rent

WATCH ABOVE: Grinder Coffee is blaming a rent increase on their decision to close. The shop has been visited by Tom Hanks and Ryan Gosling after social media campaigns. Tom Hayes reports.

Joelle Murry says her Toronto business has been growing but not enough to keep the doors open at Grinder Coffee.

“I’m sad, I’m not going to deny it. It’s not a good feeling,” Murray told Global News on Tuesday.

READ MORE: ‘He freakin’ came!’: Tom Hanks stops by Toronto coffee shop after social media campaign

Murray’s shop has become famous thanks to special visits during the last two Toronto International Film Festivals.

Grinder attracted drop-ins from Tom Hanks and Ryan Gosling in back-to-back years after successful social media campaigns.

But the Hollywood hype didn’t translate into enough revenue to stay in business after Murray said her landlord tripled the lease from $2,000 a month to over $6,000.

“We hear in the news all the time about the increase in rents for residential and it’s the same for commercial space,” said Murray.

Story continues below advertisement

Other shops in the Gerrard Street and Jones Avenue area where Grinder is located are also concerned about growing rent prices.

The Poison I.V. Tattoo Parlour has been in business for two years and the owner told Global News he couldn’t survive a 300 per cent rent increase.

“No, to be honest, no. And that’s what’s unfair. You know people are just trying to make it,” said owner Alessandro Von Richter.

There are no rent controls on commercial properties in Toronto.

Coun. Paula Fletcher said she believes there should be restrictions but said that initiative has to come from the provincial government.

Story continues below advertisement
“Unfortunately there is nothing to say except, [Premier] Doug, let’s have some rent controls for commercial properties.“

READ MORE: Ryan Gosling visits east-end Toronto coffee shop after social media campaign

Grinder coffee will close Oct. 27.

Murray said she is looking for another location but so far doesn’t know if she’ll ever open again.

Ryan Gosling visits Toronto’s Grinder Coffee after social media campaign
Ryan Gosling visits Toronto’s Grinder Coffee after social media campaign