Five years after the McDonald’s restaurant adjacent to UTSG shuttered, a new incarnation of the popular fast food joint is set to reopen in the same location this spring.
It will occupy the ground-level retail space at the Exhibit condo on the northwest corner of Bloor Street and Avenue Road. The former McDonald’s location existed at that site in the form of a low-rise commercial building until January 2013, when it closed its doors to make way for the condo.
The Bloor McDonald’s was a popular hangout spot for UTSG students. Following the closure, the Yonge Street locations near Charles Street, Wellesley Street, and College Street have been the closest locations.
Fourth-year student Zakerie Farah expressed enthusiasm for the return of the McDonald’s to campus, proclaiming the location “would change lives” but lamenting that it’s opening the year he’s graduating.
He referred to the former Bloor McDonald’s as “a great myth,” adding, “I’ve heard awesome stories about intense study sessions, late night adventures.”
At the time of the former location’s closure, other businesses displaced by the condo included Gabby’s Bar and Grill, a Subway restaurant, and Pho Hung. The condo took over 192A, 194, and 200 Bloor addresses.
The McDonald’s property, 192A Bloor, had been owned by the city since December 1960 when its predecessor, the Metropolitan Toronto Corporation, purchased the property to build the Bloor-Danforth subway line. From 1972–2004, McDonald’s had a lease on the property, paying $1,292 per month plus taxes.
When the lease was up for renewal in 2004, the city proposed raising the rent to $16,250 per month. McDonald’s subsequently counter-offered to buy the property for $3.4 million, which the city accepted.
Afterward, McDonald’s sold the property to Bazis International, the luxury condo developer that created Exhibit. Reinstating a McDonald’s was part of the sale deal.