Toronto's Cactus Club awaits the day's patrons.

Straight out of Vancouver

Longtime western franchise 28th location opens in Toronto

A little bit of western Canada has come to the Big Smoke.

The Cactus Club Cafe, a franchise that originated in Vancouver in 1988, has finally moved a bit further east.

The restaurant, with 28 locations in British Columbia and Alberta, has opened a flagship location at First Canadian Place, 77 Adelaide St. W.

Cactus Club Toronto opened on Oct. 27.
Cactus Club opened in Toronto on Oct. 27. (Photo courtesy Cactus Club)

Cactus Club had always planned on eventually coming to Toronto, for several reasons. The first was that founder Richard Jaffray was born in Ontario.

The second?

“Toronto is a world-class city that reflects so much of what’s great about this country,” said a Cactus Club spokesperson. “It’s a vibrant city with so much going on, both from a cultural and culinary perspective. All of this made Toronto the next logical step in our growth.”

The Toronto location will be the 28th Cactus Club opened in 27 years and, unlike other chains that have uniform locations, each Cactus Club has a unique design. 

Toronto-inspired dishes
at Cactus Club

Lamb Medina

Tender-grilled New Zealand lamb chops marinated in cumin and coriander with roasted cauliflower and sautéed kale.

Lingcod Cocotte

A French classic with pan-seared pacific line caught lingcod with mushroom and Yukon gold potatoes in a light brothy sauce.

Veal and Porcini Pappardelle

Chef Feenie’s take on a traditional Italian veal and mushroom ragout.

Kale and Grilled Chicken Salad

A take on one of Chef Feenie’s favourite salads to make at home for his family. Kale blended with fresh greens and romaine in a brisk lemon and Dijon vinaigrette with chicken.

Double Braised Short Ribs

Tender beef slowly braised in wine and stock until fork tender, served with asparagus and potato pave.

Feenie’s Beef Duo

Double braised short rib and AAA tenderloin steak served in an airy, light celeriac purée with asparagus and potato pave.

Duck Confit

Duck cooked in its own juices and served on a bed of French green lentils, carrots, celery, double-smoked bacon and soy-truffle vinaigrette, topped with a baby frisée salad.

Rob’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Lightly spicy panko breaded chicken breast paired with lettuce, fresh red onion and tomato with Swiss cheese and sambal mayo.

“We design each spot around its neighbourhood and really pride ourselves on trying to find our place within it,” the spokesperson said.

Of particular interest to wine lovers, one of the perks the Toronto location has is an enomatic wine dispenser. This allowed the Toronto location to offer a selection of reserve wines to customers by the glass.

Of all the Cactus Club locations, only the flagship locations in Vancouver and Edmonton can boast the same.

However, Cactus Club enthusiasts from out west will notice another change. Former Iron Chef winner Rob Feenie has created eight dishes specific to the Toronto location.

The additional menu was created with an eye for local ingredients and suppliers.

“In Toronto, some of our local products come from Petitie Thuet Bakery, Evergreens… Seacore Seafood… and King Cole Ducks out of Newmarket,” said the spokesperson.

As for the competition?Cactus Club is banking on its unique locations, designs and focus on “casual-fine dining” to win the public over.