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Le Sélect Bistro, one of Toronto's longest-standing and most beloved French restaurants, will not be reopening as they had hoped to. Instead, in a recent post to Instagram, they've announced that Allied Properties Real Estate Investment Trust is now officially taking over the legacy that this restaurant holds.
As a restaurant in business for over 40 years, Le Sélect Bistro has played a large role in defining Toronto's food culture and has faced a handful of challenges in order to stay afloat. This includes a relocation from their original spot on Queen Street West to their current building on Wellington Street in 2007, multiple leaps in property tax fees and of course, the impact of COVID-19 on Toronto's food service industry.
In 2019, the business spoke out through launching a Change.org petition about being forced to pay a copious amount of property taxes, thanks to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). As a result of this policy, businesses are taxed based on the value the property they occupy potentially holds. In Le Sélect Bistro's case, the building they call home is assessed to be most profitable as a condominium instead of their two-story restaurant.
Fitting with the property tax callout in 2019, Le Sélect Bistro has survived this long to now make the difficult decision to hand their building over to Allied Properties, who the restaurant says, "Is a company with a vision we admire. They build pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods. They believe in preserving heritage buildings, making beautiful designs by leading architects, and meeting Platinum LEED standards to leave the smallest footprint. They are exactly the people we want to do business with."
The restaurant is unsure of what's next for them now that they are in the hands of Allied Properties, but believes that they will be taken care of.
Le Sélect Bistro holds a special place in the hearts of many Torontonians who've expressed their disappointment in the closure of the restaurant via Instagram comments on their farewell post; however, do note that the owners start their caption by saying, "Au Revoir, but not goodbye" leading Instagram users to believe that there is hope in Le Sélect Bistro reopening again just as they remembered it being before the COVID-19 closure.