Leslieville watering hole blames 'rent hikes' as it closes its doors after 4 years

After four years of operation in Leslieville, The Thirsty Duck, which has become a favourite local watering hole, was forced to close on Saturday with owners blaming rising rental costs for the closure.

"We are so sad that this has to go. It's been really unfortunate, our circumstances leading up to this," owner Cherie Stinson told CBC Toronto.

"We don't really want to go but unfortunately the rent hikes in this neighbourhood are just unattainable."

Following a recent renovation of the building housing The Thirsty Duck, Stinson said their landlord is tripling the rent.

She said when all is added up — including insurance and maintenance fees — it would amount to more than $12,000 a month.

"For us, we're creating these lovely little environments for people and this is the draw, we're creating the draw to the neighbourhood; and now with all these rent hikes we can't afford to be here any longer," she said.

"It's becoming a problem and it's really sad to see this happening."


Drew Archibald, who moved to Toronto from Halifax, said the donair wraps at The Thirsty Duck are so good, they're like "a little taste of home" in Toronto.

"It's kind of tricky to find when you're in the concrete jungle of Toronto, but it's definitely good. It makes living here not so bad."

For now, Stinson says she and her husband will stay busy running their other restaurants — including Pollyana on Gerrard, and Eastside Social just down the street from The Thirsty Duck location.

She also said they will be adding their signature donairs to the menu at Eastside Social.