The house at 249 Victoria Street that was to become the SENATOR, Toronto's oldest restaurant, dates back to the 19th century. The origins of the property can be traced to the earliest records that were kept by the Town of York, when the area east of Yonge St. was a working class residential neighborhood and Dundas was named Wilton. Representative of the homes built in that era is the historic MACKENZIE HOUSE, circa 1859, on Bond Street, now a popular tourist attraction. At the beginning of the last century, Victoria St. developed into a commercial thoroughfare and the centre for the jewelry trade and in 1926 the property was purchased by the Salvation Army.
In this period, the SENATOR expanded from a family restaurant into one of the most renowned hospitality operations in the city. The adjacent property earned worldwide acclaim as the Senator Steakhouse and the Top O'The Senator jazz club from 1989-2005. A sister restaurant to the diner, The Famous, is now in operation in the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Now in our 76TH year of operation in the same location, we honour everyone - our longtime staff, suppliers and clientele alike - who have contributed to our success. We take constant pride in the traditions and commitment to this family business, which will continue on for generations. The SENATOR began as a home and remains one to our many valued friends and customers. – less