Anti-Poverty Activists Protest Upscale Pop-up Restaurant Under the Gardiner Expressway
It's billed as 'Dinner with a View', a unique pop-up restaurant under the stars - where patrons dine inside uniquely decorated see-through domes at The Bentway, under the Gardiner Expressway, near Strachan - featuring elevated cuisine prepared by a renowned chef.
But this elegant night out for patrons, who shelled out hundreds of dollars for the experience has come with a view they didn't pay for - protestors!
Dozens of anti-poverty activists are not impressed by the event. This man expressed his outrage while speaking to our sister station CP24.
"These are people who have paid $500 for the dome rental, just over a hundred dollars, I believe, for the full tasting menu. I do not expect them to tip. But still that's expensive and it's egregious."
The event comes weeks after the City to Toronto issued evictions and removed a homeless camp under a different section of the Gardiner, about two kilometres away.
The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty organized the protest. John Clarke is the organization's spokesperson:
"I think it really comes down to what kind of city we want to live in. We don't want to live in a city where homeless people have to sleep under the Gardiner. But given that's the situation, to drive people out in that way and to have the homeless shelters filled to overflowing, to be in that kind of situation and then allow the sumptuous consumption to take place that's so crass and really quite disgusting and obscene. It just offends us to our marrow and we wanted to challenge it."
Speaking to CP24, Mayor John Tory reacted to the protest.
"I understand that there are people who are struggling in the city and sometimes there's a juxtaposition against people who are doing other things who are more fortunate. They can go protest outside a hockey game and people are in there who have bought tickets and they could go and protest outside alot of things - restaurants all across the city. So, the bottom line here is that what we have to do is resolve to do more to help those who are struggling."
It should be noted that 'Dinner with a View' is an independently organized charitable event. The city has nothing to do with it.
In a statement, the event organizers say no homeless encampments were removed to make way for 'Dinner with a View', and that they are sympathetic to those impacted by the city's actions.