It’s official – owners of the Hard Rock Cafe at the Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto confirmed the property will be closing its doors for good come May, when its lease runs out. Unlike most of the world’s Hard Rock properties, this one doesn’t offer any sort of gambling, but its impending closure may be welcomed by Toronto casinos, nonetheless.
Since its inception in 2012, LeoVegas has been recognized several times for innovation in the gaming industry. With no less than 15 awards, it has established itself as the hub of real money gaming entertainment in Canada.
Since then LeoVegas has expanded its portfolio of offerings, the most notable addition being a high-end "live dealer casino". To accomplish this feat, LeoVegas invested in state of the art technology, including real time camera systems coupled with top of the line security systems to mimick the brick and mortar casino feel online; and with the most attractive dealers you have ever seen.
LeoVegas covers the entire pantheon of classical games from slots, table games like blackjack, video poker, progressive slots, scratch cards, to casual games. The games are powered by Playson, slick and easy to use software, which offers the whole gamut of a premium gambling experience.
Recommended by Editorial Team for 2020
Toronto is a culturally diverse and immensely popular tourist destination. The Yonge-Dundas Sqaure is is the epicenter of the city’s tourism, and according to City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, “the busiest intersection in Canada.”
Rent Too Expensive To Stay Open
Being such a popular destination in downtown Toronto, when negotiations over the property’s lease – due to expire in May 2017 – began earlier this year, the owner’s demands rose to record heights. The Star reported that the owner was asking for $2 million per year in the new lease agreement, plus “taxes and other expenses” that could equate to more than $300,000.
A statement from Hard Rock International confirmed the impending closure, but promised the organization is still “committed to a strong brand presence in Canada.”
The statement said the company is in the process of “reviewing other opportunities, both in Toronto and elsewhere in Canada, to expand its café, hotel and casinos brands.”
Will Toronto Casinos get a Boost?
Toronto casinos are among some of the most popular in all of Canada. The Hard Rock Cafe is not included among that category, as it offers no slot machines or table games. However, with the globally recognized business name being so synonymous with gambling, it’s not surprising that a lot of tourists expected to find slot and gaming tables within its walls.
Instead, visitors are met with the brand’s other iconic fascination; the display of impressive celebrity rock and roll memorabilia that all Hard Rock establishments are known for.
While the lack of casino games alone may not seem a threat to Toronto casinos, the fact that many visitors (who may have intended to gamble) might have been complacent with the entertainment on offer, could have had a notable impact on the revenue of the area’s actual gambling facilities.
With over 3,000 slot machines and an average of more than 5 million visitors each quarter, the OLG Slots at Woodbine Racetrack is the most popular casino in all of Ontario. To put that into perspective, Woodbine has more than twice as many slot machines, and attracts more than four times as many patrons, as any other gambling facility in the province.
Without the Hard Rock Cafe drawing potential, would-be gamblers to the city square, Toronto casinos like Woodbine are surely – at the least – not unhappy to see the Hard Rock Cafe go.
What Comes Next?
According to a spokesperson for Shoppers Drug Mart, the old Hard Rock Cafe will be converted into a pharmacy, scheduled to open by the end of the year. Replacing a famously popular destination with a drug store doesn’t incite much zeal, but Wong-Tam expressed high hopes for the new tenant.
“We could be seeing a really unique flagship concept store,” said the Councillor. “I doubt we’ll see the same red and white Shoppers Drug Mart that has become ubiquitous. It might be something different,” she enthused, “but I don’t know the details. That might be wishful thinking.”
Royal Vegas is our editorial pick for safe Canadian gaming. Currently offering a good range of Canadian deposit options, everything from prepaid gift cards, to eCheck, instadebit and visa/mastercard. That, and a world-class gaming experience, with countless table games, strong variety, and even live dealers. The brand has been in the business for a decade long.