Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness and regret that after 43 years we must say AU REVOIR.

Our lease has come to an end, and the new (non-financial) terms make it impossible for us to sign a new lease.  Our landlord has made it very clear that he no longer wants us to use his space.  We therefore cannot reopen our little “corner of France in Toronto”. 

Whether you were a regular or an occasional customer, you brought us joy and made the Jacques Bistro community vibrant and buzzing!  We would like say a big MERCI!

It was a pleasure sharing with you fine French cuisine (prepared by Chef Jacques and his team) with traditional dishes from every corner of France, served by professional francophone wait staff.  We strived to make Toronto a little more French.  We are proud to have been part of a cohort of French restaurateurs that helped introduce refined French cuisine to the city, which at the time (1978) was mainly dominated by British cuisine.  We introduced new dishes, delicate sauces to enhance the fish or the meat, a glass of wine with the meal, and of course, in true French style, butter took center stage.

As a “side dish”, we became a French hub in Toronto, a mini escape to France filled with joie de vivre, savoir-faire, culture and history.  We promoted all French events taking place in Toronto and we loved pulling out a map to help you plan your next trip to the beautiful regions of France!

Jacques Bistro was a community, a meeting spot, a cozy place where great ideas were exchanged, and discussions and debates took place over great meals and good wine.  The atmosphere was such that patrons would acknowledge others they recognized with a simple nod.  We welcomed you by name.  We sat you at your favourite table and we made sure to meet all of your expectations and dietary needs.  We also perfectly understood why you ordered double portions of escargots, vichyssoise for dessert, extra sauce with the lemon tart or tarte Tatin, or extra extra chocolate sauce with the gâteau St. Honoré!

We thank you for sharing your stories, activities, and adventures with us.  We are honoured that you made us a part of your lives and to have such a bond with you.  You saw Alexandra and Olivier grow up, and encouraged and inspired them along the way.  We laughed, we sang and we cried with you for your birthdays, first dates, weddings and wedding anniversaries, graduations, get-togethers, celebrations of life, and other significant moments.  Do you remember the engagement ring that was hidden in the crème caramel and everyone in the dining room was anxiously watching?  Who can forget the energy when everyone joined in to sing “happy birthday” to a surprised guest, or when all together we did the countdown to ring in the New Year?  We remember many students who insisted to come to Jacques’ Bistro to celebrate their academic achievements and graduations.  We saw first hand the happiness of individuals that got together with family and friends, sometimes after many years of separation.  We also shared your sorrow when you made a reservation for one less person than usual so that you could tell us in person of their passing.  You sent us postcards, pictures and emails from around the world, taking us along with you on your travels.  You also made us believe that you would have starved to death had the sacred month-long traditional French summer holiday been any longer!

We were the restaurant to go to before plays, concerts, opera performances, or hockey games.  We were the first place some people would come to after a trip or the last place to eat before leaving (often, with suitcase in hand).  Every September, we were happy to welcome TIFF movie-goers and promoters/buyers/directors and actors. 

You, our patrons, came from every walk of life and profession, and individually enriched our daily lives.  Thanks to you, we even became an international destination with people coming back regularly from around the world.  We were also happy to have the children of our very first customers (originally  Jacques’ Omelettes) enjoy the restaurant, as well as their children!  We recently had the first great-grandchild, in its stroller, show up for a Jacques Bistro experience… What an honour for us! 

These are but a few of our treasured memories.

We miss all of you tremendously!  As we have often said, for us it was like hosting a party everyday.  There was an incredible buzz in the restaurant, there was the sizzle of the onion soups as they passed by, the clatter of the plates, the clinging of glasses, the comforting scent of warm baguettes and Jacques’ creations, mixed with the sound of conversations in both French and English, and laughter… spoonfuls of laughter! If one could put happiness in a bottle, a busy shift at Jacques Bistro with all of you there would be, for us, the award-winning vintage!

Please do not hesitate to reach out to say BONJOUR at  Please share your memories with us.  We hope you stay in touch, and look forward to hearing from all of you!

Merci et au revoir,

Jacques, Martine, Olivier et Alexandra