Toronto

Kensington's iconic European meats shuts shop

European Quality Meats and Sausages, one of Kensington Market's landmark shops, is wrapping up its business after more than five decades.
The iconic red sign for European Quality Meats and Sausages has promoted the butcher shop for decades at Kensington Market. The carving machines at the shop will go silent now that the store is closing down. (Ivy Cuervo/CBC)

European Quality Meats and Sausages, one of Kensington Market's landmark shops, is wrapping up its business after more than five decades.

The stalwart butcher shop has stood in the Market for 53 years, slicing meats for customers since the days of prime minister John Diefenbaker.

On Saturday, while shoppers left the Baldwin Street store with their last orders, scores of people gathered outside to bid farewell to the Kensington institution.

Closing the store for good was an agonizing decision for owner Morris Leider, but it was a necessary move due to rising property values and shifts in consumer demands.

"I haven't been sleeping for the last four nights," Leider, 79, told CBC's Ivy Cuervo. "I hate to just walk away from it."

He said that although Kensington Market has changed a lot, one constant in the neighbourhood has been his store.

An organic foods emporium, Essence of Life Organics, will reportedly take over the former European location.

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