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Can’t take it with you, so savour Open That Bottle Night

Ben Sigurdson 5 minute read Preview

Can’t take it with you, so savour Open That Bottle Night

Ben Sigurdson 5 minute read 5:00 AM CST

Seventeen (!) years of writing about wine and drinks have seen all manner of wine, beer and spirits cross my desk. Most are tasted for the purposes of this column, some for “research” purposes and occasionally, I’ll crack something open for simple enjoyment.

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5:00 AM CST

Nestle Canada to wind down frozen meals and pizza business including Delissio

The Canadian Press 2 minute read Preview

Nestle Canada to wind down frozen meals and pizza business including Delissio

The Canadian Press 2 minute read Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023

TORONTO - Nestle Canada's decision to pull its pizza and frozen meals from Canada over the next six months could leave a gap in supermarket freezers, a food expert says.

The four brands that will no longer be sold in the freezer aisle at Canadian grocery stores are Delissio, Stouffer's, Lean Cuisine and Life Cuisine.

Nestle said it will work with its retail partners to facilitate the exit of these products from stores.

Still, the move could leave grocers scrambling to replace the popular frozen products, said Sylvain Charlebois, a food policy professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

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Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023

Delissio frozen pizzas are shown in the frozen food aisle at a grocery store in Toronto on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. Nestle Canada says it is winding down its frozen meals and pizza business in Canada over the next six months. The four brands that will no longer be sold in the freezer aisle at Canadian grocery stores are Delissio, Stouffer's, Lean Cuisine and Life Cuisine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joe O'Connal

Brunch offers a reservation-free, low-cost way to check out the resto on the river

Eva Wasney 4 minute read Preview

Brunch offers a reservation-free, low-cost way to check out the resto on the river

Eva Wasney 4 minute read Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023

Long johns, wool socks, a thermal shirt and a fleece sweater. A knitted neckwarmer, toque, gloves, floor-length parka and lined boots. Sunglasses to save my eyeballs from the bright and deceptively warm sun streaming through the windows. Are snow pants overkill?

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Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023

Eva Wasney / Winnipeg Free Press

RAW:almond’s brunch gives Winnipeggers a chance to experience the city’s unique dining experience without needing reservations and without the $225 per person price.

Go beyond Hallmark moments to celebrate Valentine’s Day with flair

Eva Wasney 5 minute read Preview

Go beyond Hallmark moments to celebrate Valentine’s Day with flair

Eva Wasney 5 minute read Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023

Ah, Valentine’s Day. A holiday full of expectations and manufactured romance.

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Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023

Holly Ramer/The Associated Press files

Valentine’s Day cards feioajfeo fjaoefjaioefjaofjaofjao fjaofjaoeif

‘Made-in-Canada system’ keeps egg supply stable. But is it also keeping prices high?

Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press 7 minute read Preview

‘Made-in-Canada system’ keeps egg supply stable. But is it also keeping prices high?

Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press 7 minute read Yesterday at 9:02 AM CST

Canada's egg industry appears to be quietly sidestepping widespread shortages and wildly spiking prices affecting other countries, and some say supply management is to thank.

The system, which controls the supply, import and farm price of eggs, poultry and dairy, is often criticized as benefitting Canadian farmers at the expense of consumers. Critics blame supply management whenever prices of eggs and milk in Canada surpass those south of the border.

But as disease, climate change and geopolitical unrest threaten global food supplies, supporters say the upside of supply management is increasingly apparent.

"We have a made-in-Canada system that has never been more critical to food security in Canada," said University of Waterloo history professor Bruce Muirhead, a former research chair for Egg Farmers of Canada.

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Yesterday at 9:02 AM CST

Eggs are sorted at an egg farm in West Lincoln, Ont., on Monday, March 7, 2016. Canada's supply managed egg industry is quietly emerging as a boon for Canadian consumers as other countries grapple with massive egg shortages, rationing and spiking prices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power

Ottawa food banks struggling to keep up with demand amid funding crunch

Cindy Tran, The Canadian Press 3 minute read Preview

Ottawa food banks struggling to keep up with demand amid funding crunch

Cindy Tran, The Canadian Press 3 minute read Yesterday at 12:49 PM CST

OTTAWA - An Ottawa community organization says it is struggling to meet demand for its food program, and will need to cut back its services if it can't secure more funding.

With COVID-19 supports drying up and food prices skyrocketing, the Caldwell Family Centre is just one group pleading for more support from governments.

"Before COVID, we were doing 85 meals a day. Now, we're doing 500 to 600 meals a day. There's a big difference. We need more help, keeping in mind all the food safety," said Marilyn Matheson, the organization's executive director.

During the pandemic, the centre was able to secure emergency funding from various sources, including from the Ontario government.

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Yesterday at 12:49 PM CST

Pallets of non-perishable food are seen in the shipping room at the Ottawa Food Bank warehouse in Ottawa is seen on Thursday, April 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Dairy giant Saputo to permanently close 3 U.S. facilities, expand and build others

The Canadian Press 2 minute read Preview

Dairy giant Saputo to permanently close 3 U.S. facilities, expand and build others

The Canadian Press 2 minute read Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023

MONTREAL - Dairy giant Saputo Inc. has announced sweeping changes to its U.S. operations, saying it will permanently close three facilities, build a new packaging facility and expand string cheese operations.

The goal of the capital investments and consolidation is to streamline and enhance its manufacturing footprint in the United States, the Montreal-based company said Thursday.

Saputo said it's spending $240 million on a new cut-and-wrap facility in Franklin, Wis., which is slated to be fully operational in late 2025 and create 600 jobs, while also investing $75 million to expand string cheese operations on the U.S. West Coast.

Once the new and expanded facilities are up and running, the company said it will permanently shutter facilities in Big Stone, S.D., Green Bay, Wis., and South Gate, Calif.

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Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023

Dairy giant Saputo Inc. has announced sweeping changes to its U.S. operations, saying it will permanently close three facilities, build a new packaging facility and expand string cheese operations. A sign at a Montreal Saputo plant is shown on Jan.13, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Alcohol-related health care visits spiked during pandemic in Ontario: study

Camille Bains, The Canadian Press 5 minute read Preview

Alcohol-related health care visits spiked during pandemic in Ontario: study

Camille Bains, The Canadian Press 5 minute read Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023

A new Ontario study suggests there was a spike in health-care visits related to alcohol during the pandemic, both among people with a history of problems with drinking as well as those confronting issues for the first time.

The study, which used data from research institute ICES, shows a 22 per cent jump in visits to physicians including family doctors, psychiatrists and addiction medicine specialists.

Lead author and Ottawa Hospital family physician Dr. Daniel Myran said the data, collected between March 2020 and May 2021, also show a six per cent increase in hospitalizations.

“These are people who are being hospitalized with alcohol dependence or withdrawal. Or seizures or problems like that," he said. "Or they’ve drunk enough that you’ve eroded the lining of your stomach, or you’ve given yourself pancreatitis.”

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Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023

A study that surveyed health care sought for alcohol-related issues in Ontario suggests more people were hospitalized or visited doctors, whether they had pre-existing issues with booze or developed them over 15 months during the pandemic. An alcoholic beverage is seen in a drinking establishment in Halifax on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018. CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

What’s up: 5 things to do this week

Eva Wasney, Alan Small, Jen Zoratti, Ben Sigurdson and Jill Wilson 5 minute read Preview

What’s up: 5 things to do this week

Eva Wasney, Alan Small, Jen Zoratti, Ben Sigurdson and Jill Wilson 5 minute read Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023

Frostbyte @ Raw:Almond

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Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023

Falooda Drink with Almond Flavour recalled over undeclared milk

The Canadian Press 1 minute read Preview

Falooda Drink with Almond Flavour recalled over undeclared milk

The Canadian Press 1 minute read Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a recall for Falooda Drink with Almond Flavour because the product contains milk that is not listed on the label.

The beverage distributed by Nutrifresh was sold in 290 ml bottles in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan

The recall was triggered by Canadian Food Inspection Agency test results.

The agency says further recalls may be announced as it continues a food safety investigation.

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Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a recall for Falooda Drink with Almond Flavour because the product contains milk that is not listed on the label.

The beverage distributed by Nutrifresh was sold in 290 ml bottles in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan

The recall was triggered by Canadian Food Inspection Agency test results.

The agency says further recalls may be announced as it continues a food safety investigation.

Food prices set to increase — again — as blackout on price hikes ends at some stores

Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press 3 minute read Preview

Food prices set to increase — again — as blackout on price hikes ends at some stores

Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press 3 minute read Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023

Higher grocery prices are expected to hit stores across Canada as a blackout on price increases over the holiday season comes to an end.

Last fall, Loblaw Cos. Ltd. said it would lock-in prices on all its in-house No Name products until Jan. 31, while Metro Inc. said it would hold prices of most private-label and national brand products steady until Feb. 5.

The lifting of price freezes comes amid growing consumer outrage over soaring grocery prices and increasing scrutiny of grocers' record profits.

But grocery chains have argued their food margins have remained flat and they are simply passing along higher supplier prices.

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Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023

Higher grocery prices are expected to hit some stores in Canada soon as a blackout on price increases over the holiday season comes to an end. A person leaves a Toronto supermarket with groceries on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Lupul

Curry Up puts Mexican spin on Indian cuisine

Gabrielle Piché 4 minute read Preview

Curry Up puts Mexican spin on Indian cuisine

Gabrielle Piché 4 minute read Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023

If you blend Indian and Mexican cuisine, it will come out… as Canadian fast food?

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Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023

SUPPLIED

Dishes from Curry Up restaurant feature burritos, tacos, bowls and quesadillas with an Indian twist.

Quick-service restaurants to weather economic storm better than full-service: report

The Canadian Press 2 minute read Preview

Quick-service restaurants to weather economic storm better than full-service: report

The Canadian Press 2 minute read Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023

TORONTO - DBRS Morningstar says quick-service restaurants will have an easier time weathering the coming economic storm than full-service restaurants, as rising costs and slowing consumer spending weigh on the already embattled industry.

New commentary by the credit rating agency says restaurants around the globe are still dealing with a pandemic hangover and are now being met with decreasing consumer spending as inflation and interest rates weigh on customers' budgets, as well as increased costs to their businesses.

DBRS Morningstar says restaurant traffic in some countries took more than two years after the pandemic hit to return to 2019 levels, and that as traffic was resuming, inflation and interest rates accelerated.

The company says these economic challenges mean people will dine out less often and spend less when they do, and this is already showing up in traffic data from the U.S. and Canada.

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Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023

DBRS Morningstar says quick-service restaurants will have an easier time weathering the coming economic storm than full-service restaurants, as rising costs and slowing consumer spending weigh on the already embattled industry. A man waits for a take-out order in a fast food restaurant in Toronto on Saturday, May 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

New alcohol recommendations could speed up changing drinking habits, businesses say

Rosa Saba, The Canadian Press 4 minute read Preview

New alcohol recommendations could speed up changing drinking habits, businesses say

Rosa Saba, The Canadian Press 4 minute read Monday, Jan. 30, 2023

TORONTO - New guidance for drinking alcohol could speed up changing consumer drinking habits as younger generations drink less and non-alcoholic beverages become more popular, advocates and business owners in the beverage industry say.

A report released earlier this month by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, funded by Health Canada, stirred widespread attention with guidance that consuming more than two drinks per week constituted a moderate health risk due to evidence linking alcohol to cancer — a significant change from previous guidelines in 2011 that said men could have up to 15 drinks per week with low risk, and women up to 10.

But the new guidelines aren’t a nail in the coffin for the beverage industry, businesses say — though they may hasten the shift in consumer habits that were already underway.

“I mean, the study really just reports what is obvious, which is there's a risk to drinking,” said Nick Kennedy, owner of Civil Liberties, a cocktail bar in Toronto.

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Monday, Jan. 30, 2023

Advocates and business owners in the beverage industry say Canada’s new guidelines for drinking alcohol could speed up changing consumer drinking habits as younger generations are drinking less and non-alcoholic beverages are becoming more popular. An alcoholic beverage is seen in a drinking establishment in Halifax on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018. CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Stonework’s owner takes page from Mick Jagger’s playbook and applies culinary twist

David Sanderson 9 minute read Preview

Stonework’s owner takes page from Mick Jagger’s playbook and applies culinary twist

David Sanderson 9 minute read Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023

Mike Publicover calls it his “Mick-time.”

Publicover is the owner of Stonework’s Bistro, which opened in the Shops of Winnipeg Square in May 2022. While you’ll usually find the veteran chef in the kitchen, turning out homestyle soups and fire-baked sandwiches, he still enjoys greeting customers in person, as much as possible. That means doffing his apron for a spell, to head to the front counter, where the action is.

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Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023

JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

What have we here: Sandwiches toast in the oven at Stonework’s Bistro. Publicover’s eatery opened in May 2022 at Winnipeg Square after he had stints at the Fort Garry Hotel, Eaton’s, the Paddlewheel Queen and Pony Corral.

Booze events to help beat the winter blahs

Ben Sigurdson 6 minute read Preview

Booze events to help beat the winter blahs

Ben Sigurdson 6 minute read Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023

If the late January doldrums have you feeling like you’re going a bit bonkers, fear not — there are plenty of wine, beer and spirits events taking place over the next couple of months that just might help you beat the deep winter blahs…

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Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023

Flower power: city bakery’s goodies off to the Grammys

AV Kitching 3 minute read Preview

Flower power: city bakery’s goodies off to the Grammys

AV Kitching 3 minute read Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023

Grammy Award nominees Beyonce, Lizzo and Adele will likely receive goody bags containing items from Winnipeg-based online boutique bakery Flour &Flower when the 65th Grammys take place Feb. 5 in Los Angeles.

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Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023

SUPPLIED

Flour & Flower owner Rachel Nedelec and her team of three worked 12-hour days over two weeks to prepare 550 cake pops adorned by edible flowers for Grammy goody bags.

Milk prices in New Brunswick set to increase four cents per litre starting Feb. 1

The Canadian Press 1 minute read Preview

Milk prices in New Brunswick set to increase four cents per litre starting Feb. 1

The Canadian Press 1 minute read Friday, Jan. 27, 2023

FREDERICTON - Milk prices in New Brunswick are set to increase by four cents per litre starting Wednesday.

A news release from the New Brunswick Farm Products Commission blames the increase on rising production costs faced by dairy producers and processors.

It says dairy farmers are paying more for feed, machinery and equipment repairs, fuel and oil, custom work and hired labour.

The commission says the price adjustment also covers increased costs borne by dairy processors, including for packaging, manufacturing, transportation and distribution.

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Friday, Jan. 27, 2023

Milk prices in New Brunswick are set to increase by four cents per litre starting Wednesday. Dairy cows are seen at a farm Friday, August 31, 2018 in Sainte-Marie-Madelaine Quebec. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Chef Mike de Groot brings ‘world class’ compassion to the Leaf’s craft kitchen and bar

Eva Wasney 5 minute read Preview

Chef Mike de Groot brings ‘world class’ compassion to the Leaf’s craft kitchen and bar

Eva Wasney 5 minute read Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023

What if? That question is the driving force behind Gather Craft Kitchen & Bar. It’s so central to the restaurant overlooking the lush greenery of The Leaf at Assiniboine Park that chef Mike de Groot keeps a whiteboard in the prep kitchen reserved for all the possible what-ifs.

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Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Chef Mike de Groot will incorporate seasonal ingredients into his globally inspired dishes at Gather Craft Kitchen & Bar at The Leaf in Assiniboine Park.

South Asian community health workers welcome new low-risk alcohol guidance

Camille Bains, The Canadian Press 6 minute read Preview

South Asian community health workers welcome new low-risk alcohol guidance

Camille Bains, The Canadian Press 6 minute read Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023

A doctor who treats addiction at a clinic specifically for South Asian patients says Canada's new guidance on alcohol bolsters his efforts to convey the message about associated harms to a community that is at higher risk for conditions such as heart disease.

"I'm really happy to finally hear that there is support from objective guidelines for the information that we already knew," said Dr. Parm Brar, who works at the Roshni Clinic in Surrey, B.C., which opened in 2017 and provides services in Punjabi and Hindi.

"This is something that we can use as part of our resources as far as being able to say to people, 'Well, look, there's this objective evidence for this, that it's harming you,'" Brar said of updated guidance by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.

The CCSA overhauled recommendations on alcohol use this month, saying no amount of booze is safe and that more than seven standard drinks per week puts people at higher risk of cancer and heart disease.

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Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023

An alcoholic beverage is seen in a drinking establishment in Halifax on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Tips for finding cheaper protein in the meat aisle and beyond

Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press 5 minute read Preview

Tips for finding cheaper protein in the meat aisle and beyond

Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press 5 minute read Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023

TORONTO - Widespread inflation has led to some eye-popping meat prices, but dietitians say there are budget-friendly ways to get enough protein.

Saving money on these essential building blocks could involve both considering a wider variety of sources, and being more strategic when sticking to old favourites, but either way it’s key that everyone gets enough, said registered dietitian Desiree Nielsen.

“With everyone still getting sick all of the time, it is really important that you get adequate protein in your diet."

Protein is responsible for the growth and repair of all human cells and it is critical to the proper functioning of the immune system, she said.

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Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023

Widespread inflation has led to some eye-popping meat prices, but dietitians say there are budget-friendly ways to get enough protein. Packages of chicken breasts by Maple Leaf Foods are shown on a shelf at a grocery store in Oakville, Ont., Friday, Jan.6, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Richard Buchan

Low-risk alcohol guidance sparks debate as drinkers start examining habits, evidence

Camille Bains, The Canadian Press 7 minute read Preview

Low-risk alcohol guidance sparks debate as drinkers start examining habits, evidence

Camille Bains, The Canadian Press 7 minute read Monday, Jan. 23, 2023

Canada's new guidance on alcohol is sparking plenty of debate, and while some experts say it could lead to frank conversations with health providers to help drinkers make informed choices, others are questioning the advice to imbibe fewer than two drinks per week.

Heidi Tworek, associate professor of public policy at the University of British Columbia, said the guidance aimed at changing people's behaviour to reduce their risk of alcohol-related cancer or heart disease should be accompanied by other strategies that help them assess their own situation based on family history or alcohol-use disorder, for example.

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction said in a report released last week that no amount of alcohol is safe and those who consume up to two standard drinks per week face a low health risk. This increases to moderate risk for three to six weekly drinks, and is high beyond that.

The guidance is more like a dial rather than a light switch that some people will find helpful as they monitor their consumption, said Tworek, a Canada Research Chair in health communication.

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Monday, Jan. 23, 2023

An alcoholic beverage is seen in a drinking establishment in Halifax on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018. Canada's new guidance on alcohol is sparking plenty of debate, and while some experts say it could lead to frank conversations with health providers to help drinkers make informed choices, others are questioning the advice to imbibe fewer than two drinks per week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Discount grocers to outperform conventional stores as food prices surge: Report

Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press 3 minute read Preview

Discount grocers to outperform conventional stores as food prices surge: Report

Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press 3 minute read Monday, Jan. 23, 2023

Discount grocery stores are expected to outshine their conventional counterparts in 2023 as shoppers seek out cheaper food to cope with staggering price increases, a new report released Monday said.

The DBRS Morningstar commentary said surging inflation and interest rates are shaping consumer behaviour and increasing sales at lower-cost grocery stores.

Consumer efforts to curtail spending are expected to encourage more home cooking, benefitting the grocery industry in general as people forgo restaurant dining to cut costs, it said.

Yet discount grocers are expected to see the biggest increase in sales, the report said.

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Monday, Jan. 23, 2023

A man pushes a shopping cart towards a closed grocery store in Montreal, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. A new report says discount grocery stores are set to outperform conventional supermarkets in 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Missing your favourite lunch spot? How food courts are emerging from the pandemic

Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press 5 minute read Preview

Missing your favourite lunch spot? How food courts are emerging from the pandemic

Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press 5 minute read Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023

TORONTO - As workers in Toronto's Financial District scurry through the Brookfield Place food court on their lunch breaks, the darkened Starbucks at the space's far end looms large.

The coffee shop's stainless steel coffee machines have sat lifeless and its shelves empty since the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the building's denizens to work from home. Adjacent to the Starbucks, a closed Marché's is boarded up, but lines snake in front of McDonald's and Jimmy The Greek, and the building's property owner boasts of rising sales.

The scene is a sign of the crossroads at which food courts have found themselves since the pandemic upended work and shopping habits and stubbornly high inflation and labour shortages began rankling consumers.

Commercial landlords say they are slowly watching demand for their offerings tick upwards again, although the must still contend with vacancies from tenants that fled during COVID-19 shutdowns and with lower foot traffic due to fewer people in downtown cores amid the rise of remote and hybrid work.

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Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023

Men walk the in underground PATH at lunch hour in Toronto on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. The scene is a sign of the crossroads at which food courts have found themselves since the pandemic scrambled work and shopping habits and stubbornly high inflation and labour shortages began rankling consumers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

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