What Annex residents think about Boston Pizza (maybe) moving into the Brunswick House

What Annex residents think about Boston Pizza (maybe) moving into the Brunswick House

Brunswick House Streeters (Images: Michelle Nunes)
 

One of the oldest-operating watering holes in Toronto could become a Boston Pizza. The Brunswick House, an Annex institution for almost 140 years, is now operating on a month-to-month lease until a new tenant can be agreed upon. BP has expressed interest in the property, but first has to convince the neighbourhood that a patio is a good idea. While many Torontonians have fond memories of the Brunny, the bar has been more recently associated with fist fights, public drunkenness and puddles of puke—all of which is upsetting to some of the area’s residents. Here’s what 10 locals had to say about trading in synchronized shots and champagne showers for pepperoni and cheese:

(Image: Michelle Nunes) (Image: Michelle Nunes)
 

Ashley Foxx-Corlett, analyst at the TSX
Former U of T student and Annex resident
“It’s a gross establishment, but I think it’s a shame that it’s closing. And the fact that it’s becoming a Boston Pizza is embarrassing, especially for the Annex. It should become another poorly regulated drinking space for university kids.”

(Image: Michelle Nunes) (Image: Michelle Nunes)
 

Chris Psaris, restaurant supplier
Born and raised in the Annex
“When I was bigger and stronger, I used to bounce here and at Lee’s Palace—I broke three ribs doing that job. I guess a Boston Pizza will bring in some money, but God, I hope it doesn’t become that. I’d love to see something artsy—maybe a huge exhibition that people rent out to display art, or a dance studio. Anything but a Boston Pizza.”

(Image: Michelle Nunes) (Image: Michelle Nunes)
 

Adam Slight, business owner
Annex resident for five years
“The Brunny’s not the only bar around here that caters to students, so closing it won’t change anything. If people in the neighbourhood can’t handle that, they should move to the country where they won’t be bothered by city life.”

(Image: Michelle Nunes) (Image: Michelle Nunes)
 

Laura Shaw, in the e-commerce industry, and Michelle Menzies, a tablet designer
Annex brunchers
Menzies: “I only remember one night of debauchery here when I was attending Humber, so I won’t miss it, but seeing it replaced with something like a Boston Pizza would be sad. It doesn’t add any cultural value to the neighbourhood.”

Shaw: “The Brunny’s a super bro-y place, so I actively avoid it now that I’m over 19, but I think older places with a lot of history need to exist.”

(Image: Michelle Nunes) (Image: Michelle Nunes)
 

Basil Southey, U of T student
U of T student and Annex resident
“It’s the most disgusting place on the planet. Literally everything is sticky—it should be condemned. A Boston Pizza would be better than what it is now, but I’d rather an open pit than the Brunny.”

(Image: Michelle Nunes) (Image: Michelle Nunes)
 

Meaghan Dimock, esthetician
Works down the street
“We don’t need to add more commercial places to a city that’s already so commercialized. It’s nice to have these little special spots that feel local. I’d like it to stay as part of our history as a pub, because it’s been here forever—even my mom and uncles talk about going to the Brunny.”

(Image: Michelle Nunes) (Image: Michelle Nunes)
 

Alyssa Pittao, salesperson, and Tara Grdic, works for Girl Guides of Canada
Annex residents for seven years
Pittao: “We went to the Brunny together back in first year when we were at U of T. It was grungy and greasy and horrible inside, but it’s a rite of passage. It’s sad to think that new students won’t be able to experience that.

(Image: Michelle Nunes) (Image: Michelle Nunes)
 

Drew Baird, job developer
Annex resident for eight years
“I’ll be less sad to see it go than I will be to see a franchise in its place—it doesn’t really fit with the neighbourhood. I’d love to see another local pub. It would probably just become the Brunny all over again, but I’m okay with that.”

(Image: Michelle Nunes) (Image: Michelle Nunes)
 

Rory Babin, finance industry
Annex resident for two years
“When I think about how close it is to U of T, something that’s a mix of a café, bar and study space would be very beneficial. It’s a beautiful building with lots of space, and while I don’t think my idea is the same moneymaker that a Boston Pizza might be, I feel that there’s a huge market for something like that here.”

(Image: Michelle Nunes) (Image: Michelle Nunes)
 

Anny Chyrsky, retired
Lived across the street 30 years ago
“Of course we attended the Brunswick house when we lived here! Oh my gosh, the wet t-shirt night is by far my favourite memory from there. I didn’t participate, but it was fun to watch and be part of the crowd.”