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This is how Toronto is remembering John Bil, restaurateur and fishmonger extraordinaire

John Bil, the influential Toronto restaurateur who was as renowned for his skill with an oyster knife as the peripatetic lifestyle that saw him open restaurants here and in Montreal, New York and Prince Edward Island, died last night, according to friend and restaurateur Fred Morin. He had been diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma.

In addition to the restaurant Honest Weight in the Junction, Bil helped open Montreal’s Joe Beef, New York’s M. Wells Steakhouse and Ship to Shore on Malpeque Bay. Along with Morin, he also brought to life the Le Pavillon, an incredibly ambitious pop-up restaurant in the Hearn Generating Station’s control centre during the 2016 Luminato Festival.

This is how Toronto is remembering John Bil, restaurateur and fishmonger extraordinaire
John Bil manning the oyster station at Le Pavillon.

Bil was also an advocate for sustainable seafood, and a self-taught oysterman who had farmed, exported, imported and shucked countless bivalves.

“I failed high school—I’ve never had any training in anything,” Bil told Toronto Life in 2015. “I just have to work hard. Some people aren’t into that, and that’s cool.”

Here’s how Bil’s friends, acquaintances, customers and food writers are remembering him:

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