Taste of Little Italy briefly halted as fire engulfed west-end restaurant

The Taste of Little Italy was briefly halted when a shawarma restaurant was engulfed in flames on Sunday afternoon.

Blaze broke out around 2 p.m. inside a shawarma restaurant at College and Grace streets

A section of the Taste of Little Italy was briefly shut down Sunday afternoon when a fire tore through a shawarma restaurant in a west-end neighbourhood. (Martijn Spronk/Twitter)

The Taste of Little Italy was briefly halted when a shawarma restaurant was engulfed in flames Sunday afternoon.

The fire broke out on College Street between Grace and Beatrice streets around 2 p.m., during the peak of the annual Italian food festival.

Foodies at Taste of Little Italy allowed fire crews, police and paramedics to move through the west-end neighbourhood that was closed to vehicle traffic, said Gary Long, spokesperson for Toronto Police Services.

The blaze started in Ghazale, a Middle Eastern food chain, before spreading next door to The Fish Store, Long explained. 

Firefighters evacuated the second-floor apartment units above a neighbouring restaurant. They put out the fire shortly after arriving at the scene.

No injuries were reported. Toronto Fire is investigating what caused the blaze.