Cuisine type

  • Canadian Cuisine,
  • International,


  • Omelette,
  • Comfort Food,
  • Homestyle Food,


  • Wi-Fi,
  • Wheelchair Accessible,
  • Take-out,
  • Restaurant With Bar,
  • Breakfast,


  • Casual,
  • Family,

Products and Services

  • Bakery,

Languages Spoken

  • English,
249 Victoria St, Toronto, ON M5B 1T8
Useful Information

Opening Hours *Holiday hours



  • $11 To $25 ($$),
  • $11 To $25,

Methods of Payment:

Meet the owner

When Senator manager Allen Gottschalk started working at the famed diner in 1985, he never imagined it would turn into his lifelong career. Having just graduated with a degree in architecture, Allen intended to work at the diner until his career was in order. While he did work at a firm for a time, the direction in his life shifted when he realized how happy he was working at the Senator.

“I didn’t know it would be like this,” he says. “As time went on it was just amazing. It’s like one big family here. And that’s the key.”

It seems the historic diner has that effect on people—both for those who work there and the generations of returning customers. The landmark building has been on Victoria Street since 1860, and has been a diner since 1929.

Originally called Busy Bee Diner, which featured an open kitchen and a simple dining counter, it transformed into the Senator when George Nicolau took over in 1948. Since then, the restaurant has kept the original design and fixtures, which adds to its timeless feel. It’s most recent owner, Bob Sniderman, took ownership of the restaurant in 1984.

Read the story of Senator Restaurant

Ratings & Reviews - Senator Restaurant

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  • Food:
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The inside of this restaurant is quintessential diner. The lady behind the bar was very friendly as was our server. The food came out quickly, hot, and fresh even though it was a busy time of the day. For the price, the sandwich was a little small but given the location so near to Yonge & Dundas I suppose higher prices should be expected. The huevos rancheros came with 2 eggs, a generous amount of black beans, avocado, and chorizo sausage as well as a delicious corn muffin. A very nice experience overall and a very convenient location!

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this is not the restaurant it used to be. we had...

this is not the restaurant it used to be. we had been there about 2 years ago and were blown away at the superb atmosphere and delectable food. this time around we thought we were in the wrong restaurant. the wait staff were wearing jeans and sweatshirts, the decor was that of a diner and; miraculously, our food was cooked and on our table not ten minutes after ordering... fresh? our meals were very disappointing, extremely overpriced and the bathrooms were hideous. good thing the food did arrive so fast because we couldn't leave soon enough! we will never go back.

Atmosphere: 1/5
Food: 1/5
Service: 2/5
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Appears in 2 Smart Lists

Editor’s Pick
Toronto’s trendiest diners

Toronto’s trendiest diners

With suppertime mains like hot meatloaf and mashed potatoes, reservations may be necessary to enjoy this 1940s-style diner after dark. Located in a 19th century home on Victoria Street, The Senator is one of Toronto’s oldest restaurants. By day, the menu features a relaxing atmosphere and home-cooked fare.

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Cheap eats around Toronto’s Ryerson University

Cheap eats around Toronto’s Ryerson University

This Victoria Street eatery is home to the notorious Senator burger, eight ounces of beefy goodness and a slew of vegetables that complement each other beautifully. The Senator’s low-key vibe and low-cost chow draws hungry university students and downtown-dwellers alike. The vinyl seats and checkered floors also give the popular place a retro feel that adds to your dining experience.

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