No. 7: Because we’ll do anything for quality roti
Here’s how Torontonians came together to save Pam’s Roti Shop from closure
Pam’s Roti Shop has been a Bloorcourt staple for decades. But when owner Pam Singh’s sales dipped dramatically in the months after Covid hit, she wasn’t sure she’d be able to make rent, and eviction loomed. With the help of her sister, Hassena Baksh, Pam wrote a Facebook post on May 31 appealing to customers to email Pam’s landlord, the mayor and the premier to prevent her business from closing. Support came from across the city. Within a week, councillor Ana Bailão had written to Singh’s landlord, and MPP Marit Stiles raised the issue to Premier Ford in the legislature.
Meanwhile, two loyal customers started a GoFundMe, raising over $11,000 in just a few days. Back at the store, Singh’s sales surged. With all the new money coming in, she was able to pay her rent and a stack of past-due bills.
Singh never heard from her landlord about rent relief. But on June 17, the province passed an act preventing small businesses from being evicted during Covid. Torontonians came together to save Pam’s Roti Shop from closure and, in the process, they likely saved dozens of other vulnerable businesses from closure, too.