Cafe Cancan is a fairly new cafe that opened up on Harbord Street in Toronto. Harbord street is a nostalgic area for me because I went to high school near there. The night before going to Cafe Cancan I did some research about the place and went on to their website to do some light reading about the cafe, the owners and anything I needed to know before I went there.

cafe cancan
Patio lights

I love the fact that this cafe is actually designed by Tiffany Pratt. I love her happy go lucky style and everything she touches with her sense of design is incredible!

toronto cafecafe cancan

If you decide to visit this place, keep in mind that parking is a little bit hard to find in this area. We were fortunate enough to find a spot in the residential area, a block from the cafe. I was so excited to check this place out I didn’t mind the walk, although it was really hot. So I got Baby Z cozy in her stroller and we were on our way! So anyways, we get to the cafe and the front view of this place is just so pretty! If you know me, I have this thing with coloured doors. And a pink one! I died. It’s so cute! Immediately I thought, photo opp!

cafe cancan toronto
toronto food

There are a few steps to enter into the cafe, but that’s no problem with the jogger stroller I have.

cafe cancan

As soon as we entered Cafe Cancan we were welcomed by a lady and I asked for a booth for two by the door so I can tuck my stroller away. She looked at me and said “Okay, just a second.” and walked away. A few minutes later..

another lady came over. She leaned forward and said “Sorry, there are no strollers allowed here.” You can imagine I was taken aback and baffled. I had never been to a place, no where in Toronto and even in all of our travels with our stroller (Italy, Mexico, Niagara Falls *lol*) did anyone ever say to me, no strollers allowed. I guess I was at a loss of words so I was just staring blank at her and my brother who was with me also didn’t know what to say either. Then, and I don’t know why I said this… “I guess I could just leave my stroller outside and try to watch it from this booth?” And she replied, “sure.” I walked outside, and then of course after baby brain stopped kicking in, I realized, no way. I’m not leaving my $1000 stroller outside!

cafe cancan

I started to think, forget it. I’m not staying here. Let’s just go home and eat whatever we can grab. But as we started walking back I thought, I shouldn’t change my plans because of one road block. I should find a way around it and do what I wanted to do. Why have this ruin my excitement to go there and enjoy the food and ambiance? So we walked back to the car, dropped off the stroller, I put a hat on Baby Z and we walked back in the heat.
cafe torontoIt makes me sad to think that what if I was a new mom and this was my very first day coming out of my house and treating myself to a nice lunch with my little one and then to have them say to me “no strollers allowed.” I know for sure I’d go back to my car, go home and cry. Thinking perhaps moms shouldn’t go to cute places. Or maybe, baby and I don’t belong in a restaurant. But truth is, that’s ridiculous. And if a restaurant doesn’t allow strollers, then they should do their due diligence to write that on their website or by the door. Because I did mine by going on and checking to make sure it was a big enough facility. There was lots of space there for me to fold my stroller and tuck away. It wasn’t even busy the entire time I was there, there was a total of 3 tables being served and 2 people came in to get coffee to go. There’s also a decent long hallway to the patio in the back of the cafe. 

We ordered burgers. I got the veggie burger and it came with a side of fries. I was really happy with the amount of avocado they used in this burger. I love avocado. It was nice. If I were to go back I would try something different as I wasn’t in love with it. It’s a messy burger so I cut mine in half. The soda was really good, but it’s $6. I’d love to go back for lattes and dessert.
toronto foodThe owners of the cafe were there and they were super nice. I didn’t mention what had happened. Would I recommend this place to others? Sure. Would I go again? Maybe. Only because the owners are nice, food was good and the place is so damn pretty!

toronto pink door

P.S Later that same day we went to Lavelle and they were super accommodating. I folded up the stroller and put it against a wall that was pretty out of sight. Lavelle is a restaurant/lounge on a roof top on King St.

Have you ever gone somewhere and you felt not welcomed or discriminated?

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  1. I love your review and your honesty. I’m upset at the fact they didn’t let you put the troller inside. What? It’s so crazy. I can understand and feel your frustration. Personally I feel that customer care and service should come first. They should also mention that in the website. I feel upset at how they handled the situation. I really love your article and the photos. I Love your honesty and I’ll have to check out the other place you mentioned. Lavelle? sounds amazing! I’m also glad you didn’t let that get you down and how you handled the situation. I would totally let the get to me and I would go home and cry as a new mom. Now that my girls are older and I feel like i’m getting older I have no problem letting people know my thoughts and letting them have it. LOL Great article! 🙂 I love your cafe and food articles. They are amazing to read and I love your photos. Have an incredible Friday! much love!

    • Thank you so much Maria for your intuitive comment. I could see myself crying about it if it was my first time being a mom. I truly believe I’ve become stronger the second time around. That’s why I had the courage to go back and eat there. And frankly I might go back one day.. but seriously they should have a no strollers sign or something on their door lol

  2. Alicia Savona Reply

    That sounds awful how that woman greeted you. There are so many other ways to get your point across without being so rude.
    Shame on her. She needs to learn about customer service.

  3. Cat Forsley Reply

    Strollers are everywhere and I don’t know what was wrong with that woman
    no matter how cute or good the food was i would of never go back
    MOMS ARE EVERYWHERE and this would of made me very mad if i were there with you – i would of really got … grrrrr
    sorry you had o go through this xxx

  4. Marian Elizabeth Reply

    So not much has changed. My baby is 23 years old and I recall a similar incident when he was young too. We wanted a chinese dinner at the Orient in Richmond Hill and were turned away at the door because we had a baby. No stroller mind you just a baby. I have read other incidents of restaurants trying to “protect” their diners from interruptions. However, what is key here is babies are a fact of life and they may holler but how you react to the noise says more about you than about the interruption. I was recently at a wedding and two wee ones noticed each other and babbled across the aisle. Some would say “Why did they bring the babies to the wedding?” I thought, ” How delightful to add the colour and depth of sound to such an occasion filled with love.”
    In a rambling kind of way I need to challenge these notions that babies are unwelcome. Perhaps we could politely ask if we could fold the stroller and tuck it nearby the table where it is not a hazard for people moving around. In this way we are asserting the fact that customers come in all shapes and discrimination in any form can be eradicated with ingenuity and empathy. Bottom line: I want to do custom with businesses who want me…and my baby.

    • wow! You are spot on with my feelings and thoughts about this. And YES! Babies are a fact of life. I know some people may think..”what if her baby is crying and she doesn’t do anything?” – but not all moms are like that. I personally always walk to the washroom or step outside if my baby is crying. I would not want to disturb others. So why not just give a mama a chance. I really believe it wasn’t about the stroller but more so that they wanted their cafe to look a certain way and welcome the younger crowd sans babies. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and sharing your similar experience. Now I don’t feel alone about going through this.

What did you think?

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