Iconic Toronto patty shop's closure 'a sad day' for city, patron says

An iconic Toronto patty shop — Randy’s — says it will permanently close its doors this Saturday, after more than four decades of operation in the city.

BIA chair hopes major players will step up and continue the legacy

People lined up at Randy's on Thursday to stock up after the iconic Toronto patty shop announced it will permanently close its doors from this Saturday. (CBC)

An iconic Toronto patty shop says it will permanently close its doors this Saturday, after more than four decades..

Randy's, a family-owned business, says it is proud to have been a staple in the heart of Little Jamaica along Eglinton Avenue West for over 40 years but says it has been forced to close for "a variety of issues."

A statement from Randy's, posted on Instagram this week, cited "years of endless Metrolinx construction, two years of COVID, labour shortages, and aging owners" as the reasons leading to their decision.

The announcement led to scores of people lining up at the shop on Thursday to stock up.

Oakville resident Fernand Lewis shows two bags of patties from Randy's. (CBC)

'A Toronto landmark'

Fernand Lewis says he drove all the way from Oakville to get his last boxes of patties.

"I'm just sad that they're closing. I'm 42 years old and this place has been open since 1979, so it's practically the same age as me," Lewis told CBC Toronto. 

"I've been coming here from I was a kid, my kids have been coming here, my parents have been coming here, so, you know, this is like a Toronto landmark."

Lewis says he hopes renowned Toronto rapper Drake, or someone else, buys the shop.

"I hope somebody does get it," he said. 

"Drake, come grab this joint, keep it alive, that's all you need to do … because it's going to be a sad day after this weekend."

Mayor shocked

Toronto Mayor John Tory  tweeted that he's "shocked" to hear Randy's could be closing after 43 great years.

Nick Alampi, chair of York-Eglinton Business Improvement Area, says "it was very shocking to hear the announcement" from Randy's.

"As a business owner we're saddened to see one of our neighbours and family members of our community leaving," he told CBC News.

"Randy's patties has always been the place to be."

Alampi, who operates his own business across the street from Randy's, says the BIA is hoping there are major players that may step up to continue the legacy.

With files from Laura Pedersen and Desmond Brown