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Oct 31, 2008 03:27 PM

The Oldest, Continuously Operating Eatery/Pub in Canada?

Your response may all province and territories prior to joining Confederation. Pics, comments, reviews and history would be entertaining.

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  1. The Only Seafood Restuarant is reportedly the oldest continuously running restaurant in Vancouver. 1911(?)

    1. The Wheat Sheaf Tavern on Queen Street in Toronto has been going strong since 1849.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bogie

        It is actually on King Street West (at bathurst)

      2. By definition, there is only one "oldest." You should have framed your question more clearly.

        It took me about five seconds to google this:

        So there's your answer.

        1 Reply
        1. re: John Manzo

          The modifier "continuously operating" is necessary because an establishment may have spent some years as another type of business or sat vacant and then been restored. Also, it may have been destroyed and rebuilt as may be the case with The Mansion House.

          The claim states that "Well, perhaps it didn't quite happen that way. We're not sure. Whether a building- and specifically, a public house - was standing on William Street near St. Paul in 1806 is speculation, too. We prefer to regard it as speculation with a historical basis. Early accounts of St. Catharines indicate that buildings on the street were levelled when fire swept through the town in 1859. If the Mansion House's ancestor was destroyed in that blaze, the owners must have convinced some builders into work triple time."

          Also, the claim is for "Oldest Continually Licenced Bar in Canada" doesn't make sense as we had prohibition in Ontario from 1916 to 1927.

          I'm willing to bet that food has been continuously served served at that location with brief interruptions since 1806. I'm thinking that there may be other Ontario candidates in St. Catharines itself, Kingston, Amherstburg, Niagara region and other Loyalist areas as well as the French settlements in Essex county. These places all have commercial structures from the late 1700's as does the GTA.

          And then of course, there are Quebec and the Maritimes

        2. What about the Angel Inn in Niagara-on-the-Lake? Looks like it's been around since 1789 or so...

          2 Replies
          1. re: torontofoodiegirl

            Angel Inn was built, I think, in 1789, but was destroyed during the War of 1812 and rebuilt in 1816.

            1. re: oldinns

              Hello, to set things straight...

              Please see the history of The Olde Angel Inn


              Step through our doors and back into history. The Olde Angel Inn's rooms, with exposed hand-hewn beams and thick plank floors laid in 1815, still echo to the sounds of the British soldiers and townsfolk who, two centuries ago, gathered here for food and drink. Small but unique, the Inn is believed to have been founded as The Harmonious Coach House on land granted to the deputy surveyor-general around 1789. The town was then called Newark and was destined to become the first Capital of Upper Canada. Records from this time are sketchy but it is known that in 1793, the new Assembly passed an act outlawing slavery, the first such law enacted anywhere in the world. It is believed that the legislators celebrated the event over dinner at the Inn that evening.

              The Inn is thought to have hosted such historical figures such as John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant-Governor; Alexander Mackenzie, the explorer; Prince Edward, the father of the future Queen Victoria; and Thomas Moore, the Irish National Poet.

              The Inn was badly burned during the War of 1812-14. It was rebuilt by John Ross in 1815, who named it the Angel Inn, in a tender reference to his wife.

              In 1826, Richard Howard bought the Inn, and also operated the Promenade House or Howard's Hotel just down the street. John Fraser purchased the Angel in 1845, and it was known as Mansion House, then Fraser's Hotel until reverting back to its earlier name of the Angel Inn.

              Thought I'd share this with you, since I work here


          2. The Seahorse Tavern in Halifax has been continuously operating since the late 40's, same name, same place.
            L'Auberge le Saint-Gabriel in Montreal is probably the oldest restaurant in Canada, started operations since the late 1600's, and is currently in the same building, but I don't believe it has been operating continuously since that time.
            I've been to both several times.