Farewell to Cozy Cafe

We are so sad to tell you that Cozy Cafe at 2075 Danforth Ave will be closing their doors this weekend. Our sources tell us that tomorrow (Saturday) will be their last day of operation. Evidently, they were unable to renew their lease.

Many of you will recall that DECA and the rest of the community rallied to save Cozy a while back, when they were struggling to keep up with the bills. (click here to read about those efforts)

If you want the best egg and cheese sandwich ever, stop in for brunch tomorrow – and don’t forget to leave room for a cinnamon bun!

To Vera and Slavica, we thank you for always greeting your customers with a smile, a story, and so much kindness. We will miss your beautiful baked goods, and your home-cooked meals; but most of all we will miss you!

Follow DECAdiaries on our new twitter account – @DECAdiaries

0 comments to “Farewell to Cozy Cafe”
  1. This truly sad news, and bad tidings for this community. The Cozy was a friendly, high quality place. When having a informal meeting with friends I often suggested the Cozy and was never disappointed. The community is the less for its closure.

  2. It seems there’s still a real problem with the landlords on the East Danforth. The exact same thing happened to Silvia at True Brew Cafe. She couldn’t renew the lease with the landlord and was forced to close, robbing us again of another local gem. I thought perhaps the landlord had another tenant waiting in the wings who was willing to pay more — but the place has been empty ever since. The pop-up shops initiative is great. But I don’t know what else DECA can do to get the landlords in line.

  3. DECA is a residents association, so we are already going beyond our scope to fill the empty storefronts. People should feel free to contact the Danforth Mosiac BIA. They are the business owners and we know they are open to ideas!

  4. Sheri -Is it even possible to contact the BIA? Considering their website hasn’t been updated since 2011?!! Does anyone actually work there anymore? No wonder businesses continue to close down around here. Sad state of affairs when a residents organization seems to be doing more for the fate of business on the Danforth than the actual BIA organization of Danforth businesses.

  5. Yes, this is sad news. We don’t get there very often during the cooler months, but we are there regularly during the summer. This will leave a big hole on the street and an even bigger hole in our hearts and bellies.

  6. The issue seems to be with the landlords. I wonder if it is worth approaching the city to raise taxes on retail business properties in the area that aren’t rented and open for business?

    At the very least I’d like the city inspectors to do a regular inspection in minute detail of each of these buildings when they are unoccupied and force their owners to bring them up to code for electrical, plumbing, etc.

  7. I’m starting to wonder if there’s anything that CAN be done. As a longtime member of the neighbourhood, I remember two things that helped it thrive in the 70s/80s: A strong ethnic presence (Italian/Cicilian) and the resulting boom of family businesses. Cue places like Monte’s, Vito’s, Prince of Wales, the Italian Bakery, and the Piazza General Store, in addition to others. Filling in the cracks were jewelry stores and clothing stores. All these places provided homegrown goods that accented what the local supermarket had to offer and as such, they were successful.

    Fast forward to today. Most of those businesses are gone now, because the owners have died off, and the rest of the family has left the business. In addition, other than maybe one or two places, the strong Italian presence is also long gone, with many of the families either dying off, or moving to the outskirts of the city. No other culture has moved in to take their place.

    Another thing is of course, the economy and rent. The problem with a lot of these newer businesses leaving and causing empty storefronts is rent. I’ve seen more than one business on the Danny shutter due to eviction. Even Columbo’s Pizza has been effected.

    Ideally, in order to get Danforth East back in order, two things need to happen. Landlords need to make their prices more reasonable, at least until the area is back on its feet again. Otherwise, these Pop Up Shops can fill empty storefronts all they want, but the high price tag is going to scare any real businesses away.

    Second? I think the idea of the family business and homegrown goods needs to be revisited. How can the neighbourhood benefit from those again?

  8. (continued from first post, hit send too early!)
    Second? I think the idea of the family business and homegrown goods needs to be revisited. How can the neighbourhood benefit from those again? What is a good way to bring that back? To convince such businesses to settle here? Is there any way Pop Up Shops can be tailored to mirror what the Danforth once had and show what it needs? Because to be honest, if a store like Monte’s were ever brought back, I guarantee that would bring people out and about in a heartbeat.

  9. Denise – the Mosaic BIA is still operational. DECA has a liaison who attends their meetings and they have even started a DECA-BIA subcommittee. Let me know if you are interested in getting involved and I will hook you up. decadiaries@gmail.com

  10. I hate to say it, but we need Toronto City Council to help here. Landlords should have to pay much higher property taxes on vacant storefronts, not the other way around, which is what we have now. In many cases, it seems as though landlords are better off having their storefronts sit empty because their property tax goes down significantly. And when they finally agree to take on a tenant, they charge such high rent that very few business can survive. Columbo’s is a case in point. They were always busy, with a lot of regular and frequent customers, but they still couldn’t keep up with their rent. Neither the BIA nor DECA can address this issue – it is a fundamental flaw that has to be addressed by Council.

  11. I think it’s definitely time that we mobilized all residents within DECA’s boundaries to do something about this. Maybe we could start with a petition (online and conventional) and a community meeting(s). As always, nothing will be done until people get up in arms about the issue and pester the politicians relentlessly. In the current environment, Danforth East revitalization will continue to take two steps forward and one step back. On CBC Radio’s Spark recently, Nora Young interviewed one of the leaders behind the Kansas City Startup Village (http://www.kcstartupvillage.org/). I’d love to see Danforth East turned into a special economic zone where business startups (tech or otherwise) receive special tax rates and other growth incentives. If the BIA is not willing to do anything (and it doesn’t seem to be doing a heck of a lot), then the residents will have to take matters into their own hands. Viva la Danforth!

  12. The old True Brew (my baby!) is about to be the Danforth Sandwich shop! Looks almost ready to open! I’m so pleased. Just for the record, I never had ANY trouble with my landlord.

  13. I agree! I think the residents of Danforth east need to step up to the plate if we want to see real change in our neighbourhood! DECA is doing a great job but we can no longer just sit back and wait till they make a difference – the rest of neighbourhood needs to join them to make the change happen and then sustain this change.

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