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VIKING DELI FIRE

sadly Viking Deli ,bakery and - well - smokehouse ,up in smoke tonight on Laird

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  1. Oh dear, what a shame! It must be a huge fire...I counted 18 dispatched units on the active incident page (http://www.toronto.ca/fire/cadinfo/li...).

    1 Reply
    1. re: CeeQueue

      this is a true tragedy. the entire finnish community in the GTA relies on viking to supply us with finnish products at xmas. i don't know where we're going to find a smoked ham for this year.

      worst of all, i have family that worked there who are now unemployed.

    2. That was going to be my first stop in the morning. I gues the salmon will be extra smoked. They had the best bacon I have found, now I won't be able to get any. I bet they won't re-open.

      1 Reply
      1. re: foodyDudey

        If they don't re-open, it will be a huge loss. I love that place. I really hope they do.

      2. Good grief. I went there for the very first time on Wednesday and picked up a smoked whitefish for tomorrow's anniversay brunch I'm throwing for some friends. I guess we'll have to toast the deli as well as the anniversary.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Nyleve

          Did you pick up the smoked salmon and bacon? Those are my favourites. For two weeks I've wanted to make a trip there but didn't have a chance, last night I figured I'll be there early but then read this post last night. I drove over to have a look since I had some other errands in the area. The owners and cleanup crew were there. I could see through the windows as I drove by slowly and it didn't look too bad, I couldn't even see any smoke damage in the interior. I was expecting to see a shell of a building but it's not that bad at all from what I saw. That's great, as I've been missing the salmon and bacon for a few weeks. Maybe next week there's be a sale on triple smoked items :-)

          1. re: foodyDudey

            I got a small package of cold smoked salmon as well as the whitefish. I wanted some of the hot smoked salmon also but they didn't have any that day. (Anniversary girl doesn't like floppy fish.) Good to hear it doesn't look like it was totalled. Looking forward to the fish tomorrow and, hopefully, more in the future. Will definitely try the bacon when they're back up and running. Triple smoked should cost MORE not less!

        2. I snapped some pictures this morning, it was very sad to see it go, a lot of Estonian's would go to pick up Salmon and sausages. My grandmother and my mom originally went there, and we always wanted to return. I hope they re-open.

           
          11 Replies
            1. re: Kenster1025

              What a tragedy. I really hope they reopen.

              My mother also took me there when I was a kid. I have vivid memories of their rye bread, pirukad (Estonian meat buns) herring and risolje.

              very sad indeed.

              1. re: lyndak

                Kenster and lyndak, I'm in the same boat. My dad's side of the family is Estonian and I've loved Viking's wares for years, especially the pirukad and smoked whitefish. I had a chance to go last week and passed it up. Now I wish I had made the trip....

                It's a shame and a great loss. Hopefully they'll reopen.

                1. re: Dr Butcher

                  So sad to hear this. Have an uncle in Ottawa from Norway in a retirement home.
                  Now where will I get him his favourite treats.Especially Licorice.
                  Hope they can recover. Glad no one was hurt.

                  1. re: DanieDines

                    For what it's worth, Viking has an outlet open to the public where you might find Finnish candies and licorice. It's at 31 Railside Road (Don Valley and Lawrence). I haven't been there in a while but I assume it's still open.

                    No fresh baked goods, deli, or smokehouse, but a good variety of imported packaged goods.

                    Agreed, the fire is a real tragedy. It's especially bad now as they were no doubt gearing up for the Xmas rush. Hope they get back on their feet very soon!

                    1. re: Chatty Cathy

                      Thanks so much for the info, I will be over that way this week for the Wildly Delicious sale and did not know about their outlet. Will have time to get some in the mail for the holidays. Appreciate it.

                      1. re: DanieDines

                        You're welcome.

                        I wonder if it would be possible for Viking to temporarily find a kitchen that meets health regulations and perhaps sell some baked goods, etc on Railside as a temporary retail outlet??

                        DD, perhaps you could inquire when you are there?

                2. re: lyndak

                  If I'm not mistaken, I think that the Hillside Bakery on Mt. Pleasant may be run by Estonian or Finnish people. They won't have the smoked products, but may have some of the other baked goods that people are already missing.

                  1. re: Yongeman

                    Yes, I believe they are run by Estonian people, but do carry some Finnish baked goods, like pulla. Not quite as good as Viking but will do in a pinch.

                    The Finnish Place also sells some packaged foodie items like chocolates and preserves.

                  2. re: lyndak

                    Pirukad are great. Hillside is runned by Estonians my Grandmother and aunt know the people who run it. Gelled meat is great. I wish I had gone to Viking, I really hope the reopen. Blood Sausage I hope they reopen with blood sausage.

                3. re: Kenster1025

                  Sad,sad news.

                  Was just there a couple weeks ago for some smoked salmon and a doughnut.

                4. I wonder what Caplansky will do for his lux..

                  sad that an institution like Viking is gone. heard the news of a deli burning down but i had no idea it was Viking.

                  1. We enjoyed a Viking smoked whitefish for brunch today - made a toast to a future re-opening. Very sad indeed.

                    1. I had been meaning to go there and try it out. Almost stopped last week but was running a bit late.

                      DT

                      15 Replies
                      1. re: Davwud

                        I know, I wanted to try their bacon. Damn. I hope everyone is all right and that they are up and running again soon.

                        1. re: TorontoJo

                          I'm no expert but it doesn't look like the building suffered too much damage. Maybe this is a good thing. They can rebuild with state of the art technology.

                          DT

                          1. re: Davwud

                            Unfortunately, though, insurance companies are notoriously slow in handing out money for fire-insurance claims. Could take a while...

                            1. re: Tatai

                              Our local Bark and Fitz has had ply wood on the front and side windows for three weeks now because of a car that didn't realize it wasn't a drive thru. You have to go in through their rec'ing door. 3 WEEKS!!

                              DT

                              1. re: Tatai

                                And I bet they don't want to insure a smokehouse that has already gone up in smoke. Well let's hope they are up and running soon, I am out of bacon and after eating theirs, I can't go anywhere else for it. And I like their smoked salmon more than Kristapson's.

                                1. re: foodyDudey

                                  I don't know if you get out to the west end much but if you do (Or are willing to make a trip) try Kingsway Meats at Windermere and Bloor.

                                  Excellent bacon, kobassa and village sausage.

                                  DT

                                  1. re: foodyDudey

                                    I have another suggestion. Okay, it's not Milbree Viking, but it's pretty damn good. The smoked salmon at Harbord Baker is really good. smokey, buttery goodness. I don't know who they get it from.

                              2. re: TorontoJo

                                I talked to the owner of Milbree Viking (Liisa) yesterday and she says it will be 6 to 8 months before they re-open. That would be somewhere between late May and July, I'll have to make my own smoked sallmon and bacon now.

                                1. re: foodyDudey

                                  Good to hear they are continuing on.

                                  1. re: foodyDudey

                                    I certainly hope they get going again. The dates sound awfully optimistic. I suspect the attitude of their insurance company will be the main factor. Perl's on Bathurst St was burned out three years ago and they haven't reopened yet.

                                    1. re: embee

                                      Construction at Perl's ground to a complete halt months ago.

                                      1. re: embee

                                        There is a lack of agreement among Perl's children.

                                      2. re: foodyDudey

                                        Ya it took about that long when Vienna Meats had their fire at their store/smokehouse on Birchmount Road last year. They are back though with the grrat Imbiss still in the back.

                                        1. re: BeanerSchitzl

                                          Just tried their Wednesday special of potato pancakes -- SO good. The line-up never stopped the whole time I was there with everyone ordering potato pancakes.

                                        2. re: foodyDudey

                                          The Milbree Viking web site now says the old place on Laird is going to be demolished, and that they are "in the process of settling on a new location".

                                          -----
                                          Milbree
                                          133 Laird Dr, Toronto, ON M4G3V5, CA

                                    2. They reran the episode of Street Eats that had Viking Deli on it (Nordic food). It was sad to see Liisa sharing her food specialties so proudly with the show hosts. I do hope they are able to get up and running again sooner rather than later (and that they have good insurance).

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: CeeQueue

                                        I just heard some info that would indicate that Viking won't be re-opening at that same location. They'll have to move somewhere else if they re-open.

                                        1. re: foodyDudey

                                          I've driven by the building a couple of times. It doesn't look that bad from the outside.

                                          Perhaps it's the imputes to move to better facilities/location.

                                          DT

                                          1. re: Davwud

                                            I'll explain later why I know they won't re-open there. Since it hasn't been announced anywhere, I don't want to leak any info. But it has to do with re-development of the general area.

                                            1. re: foodyDudey

                                              Aha the rumoured Longo's!?- Except it hasn`t been announced anywhere???

                                              But seriously, let me know if you determine a new location. We desperately miss their whole smoked turkey.

                                              1. re: foodyDudey

                                                Well if not the very same location, I hope it'll still be in the general area. There's a large Finnish retirement residence just up the street from Viking, on Eglinton Ave, and the residents (including some of my family members) will be very disappointed if it's no longer nearby.

                                                1. re: Chatty Cathy

                                                  Aww, I really miss Milbree's cold smoked salmon!!!

                                                  I drove by recently and noticed a little sign in the building just north of Milbree's.... Looks like somebody is selling smoked salmon on the weekends there? Has anybody tried it?

                                        2. Any update on Viking? Will they rebuild? I have not been out that way in some time to even check out what may be going on.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: CocoaChanel

                                            I was by a couple of weeks back - still boarded up.

                                            1. re: CocoaChanel

                                              Even if they rebuild, it won't be at that location.

                                            2. FYI

                                              I was in the area so I stopped to have a look. The place is completely boarded up. No doors anywhere.
                                              The phone number gives you a message that they're closed due to the fire. No other information.

                                              DT

                                              23 Replies
                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                It's been boarded up for a long time. The land was sold, so they won't be opening there again.

                                                1. re: foodyDudey

                                                  Viking Foods is having a grand opening at a new location 31 Railside Rd, Unit 5, Toronto, Oct 19.

                                                  -----
                                                  Railside Restaurant
                                                  112 Peter St, Port Hope, ON L1A1C3, CA

                                                  1. re: scootoeat

                                                    Oh yay! Glad to see them back. I Google Mapped to see where the new location is: http://ow.ly/2R582 More parking!

                                                    1. re: scootoeat

                                                      Very happy to see them back although the new location is not very convenient for me. I'll have to combine visits with Arz and Diana's

                                                      -----
                                                      Arz
                                                      1909 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R, CA

                                                      1. re: acd123

                                                        I agree, plus a trip to P.A.T., and lunch at High Street Fish and Chips

                                                        -----
                                                        High Street
                                                        55 Underhill Dr, Toronto, ON M3A2J8, CA

                                                        1. re: jayt90

                                                          We've got a PAT in our neighbourhood but thanks for the High Street tip. Will check it out.

                                                          -----
                                                          High Street
                                                          55 Underhill Dr, Toronto, ON M3A2J8, CA

                                                            1. re: millygirl

                                                              Korean grocery store on Lawrence west of Warden.

                                                              1. re: Full tummy

                                                                And on Bloor, south side, between Bathurst and Christie

                                                          1. re: jayt90

                                                            Get the (cold) Melton Mowbury Pie! Yum!

                                                        2. re: scootoeat

                                                          It appears from their websites that the Viking Foods on Railside Rd. http://www.vikingfoods.ca/AboutUs.html is a different business from Milbree Viking http://www.milbreeviking.com/store/ , whose homepage now says "We have moved! Our new address is Unit 2, 350 Davis Dr., Newmarket, Ontario, L3Y 2N7. We are still setting up but our doors will open to the public very soon!"

                                                          True or false?

                                                          1. re: jjmellon

                                                            It appears that you're absolutely correct, jjmellon. The Viking operation on Railside drive is strictly a distributor of imported Scandinavian foods.

                                                            -----
                                                            Railside Restaurant
                                                            112 Peter St, Port Hope, ON L1A1C3, CA

                                                            1. re: jjmellon

                                                              Newmarket?

                                                              Damn! That is a long way to drive for smoked slamon and sourdough rye...

                                                              *look up address on Google Maps*

                                                              1. re: CocoaChanel

                                                                Despite the quality of the Milbree smoked salmon, I'm not driving to Newmarket for it. Too bad about their location decision. I'll stick with the salmon at Harbord Bakery, which is oily and smokey too.

                                                                -----
                                                                Harbord Bakery
                                                                115 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

                                                              2. re: jjmellon

                                                                But the old Viking on Laird (where the fire was) is the same ownership as the new Railside locale, correct?

                                                                -----
                                                                Railside Restaurant
                                                                112 Peter St, Port Hope, ON L1A1C3, CA

                                                                1. re: Brain of J

                                                                  No, not from what I've gleaned from reading both websites.

                                                                  1. re: Tatai

                                                                    I suspect that the owners of Railside used to own Laird, and sold to the people who are now in Newmarket some years ago (when the name of the place on Laird was changed to "Milbree" Viking. Presumably the recipes/processes came with the business.

                                                                    1. re: embee

                                                                      Okay. here's what I've been told by my Finnish-Canadian hubby, whose family has been a patron of Milbree-Viking for many years.

                                                                      Viking Deli was originally run by a proprietor whose focus was on butchering, and the deli's speciality in those days was meats, including of course deli meats. When he decided to retire, his business was purchased by the owners of Milbree Bakery, a Finnish bakery which used to be in Richmond Hill but is now closed. (I'm not sure but it may have closed around the time it purchased Viking Deli.) After the name changed to Milbree-Viking, there was emphasis now on the bakery side of the business.

                                                                      I could be wrong but I don't believe there is any connection between Milbree-Viking and Viking Imports.

                                                                      In any event, next week (Tues-Thurs) Viking Imports will be celebrating their 55th anniversary with coffee and refreshments, and there will be specials for customers. The proprietor is usually around and could probably clear up any confusion about their business relationship with Milbree-Viking.

                                                                  2. re: Brain of J

                                                                    My understanding (and I could be wrong) was that Railside was the distribution centre for the Laird business. So, retail was at Laird, and from Railside, Viking supplied to other retailers (eg to Starsky foods for the Fazer fruit jellies and other Fazer chocolates)

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Starsky's
                                                                    2040 Dundas St E, Mississauga, ON L4X, CA

                                                                    1. re: Brain of J

                                                                      I was also under the incorrect impression that both Vikings are related. They are separate businesses, which happen to have similar names. The Railside location is not new, and has been there for years. It does distribute merchandise to various retail stores in Toronto and also sells direct to the public Finnish candies/chocolates, jams, crackers, sauna soaps, etc.

                                                                      I'm gonna miss the Finnish pulla and smoked salmon, and don't plan to make the drive to Newmarket. Our family will be switching to Hillside Bakery for the pulla, which is pretty good now, and maybe try Diana's for the smoked salmon.

                                                                      1. re: Chatty Cathy

                                                                        It will be worth the drive. Only 45 minutes to Davis Drive to enjoy Karelian pastries and better pulla? I'm there.

                                                                        1. re: TuuliKH

                                                                          1) Has anyone been to the Church Bazaar mentioned on the Viking web page:
                                                                          Agricola Finnish Lutheran Church Christmas Bazaar on:
                                                                          Saturday November 27th from 9:00AM to 12:00 Noon

                                                                          2) Does the Railside Rd. Viking warehouse sell to the public? Can you walk in and buy? Do you havre to buy whole cases of food?

                                                                          1. re: LidaK

                                                                            This bazaar usually sells fresh pulla, Karelia pastries, S cookies, and I think also traditional joulu tortu (Christmas prune pastries). You'll need to be there right at 9 am for best selection.

                                                                            Yes, the Viking warehouse sells to the public and you just walk in. You do not have to buy whole cases; you can buy just one package if you like. They have a good selection of Finnish chocolates by Fazer, which is what I usually buy there, but I should mention that the candies are frequently close to their 'best before dates', in case that is a concern for you.

                                                            2. Looks like something's being done to Viking.
                                                              There were demolition/garbage bins outside the other day. Yesterday, the door was open. Looks like work is being done.

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: atomeyes

                                                                Is it still Viking? I don't think so. And is it going to be Viking again? No it won't. So don't get your hopes up.

                                                                1. re: foodyDudey

                                                                  why would it not be Viking?
                                                                  i assume the building sat empty until the insurance claim was settled. doesn't look like they are demolishing the property (yet)

                                                                  1. re: atomeyes

                                                                    The Viking Deli re-opened (sans the smokers) in Newmarket about a year ago. Mr. Vuitton was up that way a few months ago - they are open Wed or Thurs through Saturday only, and at that time, no smoked fish, unfortunately. I don't think the Laird location is re-opening as the Viking -- and I do hope I am wrong about that

                                                                    1. re: CocoaChanel

                                                                      The guys at the Mazda dealership across the road tell me that that block will soon be a Hyundai dealership. There's a rezoning notice up.

                                                                      1. re: hal2010

                                                                        That is basically correct. I knew that was going to happen soon after the fire but did not want to mention it here.