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What’s the story behind 471–473 Bloor Street West?

What’s the story behind 471–473 Bloor Street West? It used to be a restaurant but has been boarded up and rotting away for at least 15 years. Is it a tax write-off? An eccentric landlord? A family feud?—Carolyn Dodds, Seaton Village

The property belongs to Annie Racz, the elderly widow of a Hungarian baker named Leslie. The couple were prominent Annex landlords through the ’60s and ’70s. In addition to their Budapest Bakery, the building once housed the Hungarian Castle restaurant and an upstairs nightclub called Annie’s Place. In recent years, few have seen the reclusive proprietress, who still has several holdings in the area and is, for reasons unknown, reluctant to let them go. There have been various attempts to revive 471–473, but Racz’s representatives have always pulled out at the last minute. Nevertheless, neighbourhood groups are optimistic they will someday reach an agreement to redevelop the black hole at the heart of the Annex galaxy.

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