Nine restaurant chains that haven’t made it in Toronto

Nine restaurant chains that haven’t made it in Toronto

(Photo by Karon Liu) 

Though critics often dismiss Toronto for never being able to stand alongside London, Tokyo or Paris (City TV likes to remind us by playing the “Toronto is just like New York, but without all the stuff” promo for 30 Rock every 10 minutes), one good thing about being a mid-sized city is that our downtown core hasn’t turned into a Vegas-style tourist trap like Times Square or Shibuya. The recent closure of the garish Florida import Miami Subs shows that in Toronto, independent cafés, bars that seat fewer than 20, and family-run restaurants tend to triumph over the flashy and faddish. Here are nine chain imports that failed to flourish in the city. We’re saving the 10th spot for Cold Stone Creamery.