The Final Days of Captain John’s

Captain John's, the floating restaurant in the water at Yonge and Queen's Quay, will be gone by May 26. It'll be tugged through the Welland Canal to Port Colborne where it will be dismantled for scrap. These are indeed the final days of Captain John's.

Captain John's Restaurant has been around all of my life. I've never been inside, but I've walked or biked by it hundreds and hundreds of time. I always found the idea of a restaurant in a boat rather charming. I agree it needs to go, but I can't say I won't miss it.

Anchor's aweigh, Captain John's.

Captain John's

On the side (pun intended), and relevant considering my previous entry, there's a glaring misspelling of the word "everyday" on the east side of the sign about brunch that always irks me. I've got to get a pic before it's too late.

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Comments (13 - click here to join in!)

James Edgar

I've never been either but was always interested in the idea. Mind you I'm not much of a seafood fan so i was never that interested.

It certainly was a landmark.

May 12, 2015 @ 9:02 AM

Mat Calverley

I see that boat every day at work. I will miss it. I was also under the impression that it couldn't be tugged. The story I always heard was that it was essentially stuck where it was.

On the topic of misspelt signs, I always loved Vesta Lunch the best.

No only can you get "char-brolied" meals but the whole "reputable since 1955" things worries me. First reputable is not an adjective I like to hear when thinking of a restaurant. I want the food to be "good" and "clean". Second, what the fuck happened in 1954?

May 12, 2015 @ 9:39 AM


It is always sad to see businesses close down, and hard to see landmarks taken away.

That being said, I dined at Captain John's once. We were visiting the city and thought that a restaurant in a boat was a novel idea. The inside was pretty cool and a great concept. That's about the only thing it still had going for it.
We ordered our meals which came out almost luke-warm. The veggies were obviously just heated from frozen (Green Giant I believe). Even for a seafood restaurant, the smell was horrible!
I am sure that it was the place to be twenty-five or thirty years ago. It was about five years ago that we visited there. We still joke about it to this day! I can't believe that its just closing now - should have happened years ago. Anchors away indeed.

May 12, 2015 @ 9:40 AM


I've eaten there. It wasn't 5 stars or anything near there.

While the idea is quaint the reality is much different. The logistics of that place & cooking in a boats "galley" must have been pure hell. Boats are expensive too. Boat = Bring out another thousand. The repairs, costs, etc..all very high.

You can still eat on a boat (or could). I've been on a diner cruise through Toronto harbour & along the lakefront. I can't remember the name at all though. I'm sure the place is still around.

May 12, 2015 @ 10:20 AM


@ headsup

They were repeatedly cited by Toronto Public Health for unsanitary conditions. It's a wonder you didn't get food poisoning.

May 12, 2015 @ 10:21 AM


It is time for it to go.

May 12, 2015 @ 10:39 AM


Captain John would buy his fish where I buy my fish at the St. Lawrence Market. I would buy mine when it was fresh on Saturday morning. He would buy his fish at the end of Saturday when the prices were marked down and have it frozen.

My fishmonger would always say, "if you go to Captain John's, eat the chicken,"

It was sad that what should have been a great restaurant instead served as a tourist trap.

I will not mourn its departure.

May 12, 2015 @ 1:22 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Here's the misspelling on the Captain John's sign that drives me bonkers. It's open "eveyday".

May 12, 2015 @ 2:38 PM

Ryan G /

You can still get a taste of Captain John's if you're in Toronto's lower east side. Betty's is a favourite haunt of mine and the owner acquired some of the signage as seen in the pic (I assume it will be wall mounted on their patio at some point).

Word around Betty's is that if you lick the sign, you can taste 50 years of trout that has imprinted itself, forever.

Bon Voyage Captain John's, and if you give it a whirl, Bon Appetit.

May 12, 2015 @ 4:31 PM

this guest

Had a 'special' night out, dinner date, many thousand moons ago. The novelty of the space was the main draw I guess. The dinner itself was very much 'ok I guess.' It felt like it wanted to be one of Honest Ed's restaurants down in the theatre district but couldn't quite pull it off.

May 12, 2015 @ 9:07 PM


First blackberry post

May 12, 2015 @ 9:33 PM


First blackberry post

May 12, 2015 @ 9:33 PM


Does the "eveyday" spelling mistake irk you as much as hearing you say "Mar-din Streak" on 102.1- related podcasts? Lol. Just kidding, I find it amusing.

Ate dinner at this place with my girlfriend at the time. There was no real charm. Just sadness. You could tell the owner had what he thought was a novel idea, but the execution (from the food, to the atmosphere to the service) were all really poor. And he was an older gentleman. So a part of you feels bad when something with potential just doesn't pull through.

Thanks for keeping us in the loop on this TO Mike. I used to work across the street at 1 Yonge, and seeing this old relic really brings back some great memories of one of the best, if not the best, job I've had.

May 12, 2015 @ 10:34 PM

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