Congratulations are due to Masaki Saito, reunited at last with the stars he left behind at Onodera when he quit Manhattan for Toronto in 2019.

And likewise, to fabulous restaurants like Osteria Giulia that made the one-star cut, along with Alo, the team from Edulis, our local Don Alphonso franchise, and numerous others from our C100B list. Well done.

In exchange for the millions of tax-payer dollars Mayor Tory and his cohorts at Destinations Toronto, Ontario and Canada have successfully funneled to Michelin’s rapacious publishing subsidiary, they now know what any even moderately sophisticated Toronto diner could have easily told them years ago: this city has no Michelin three-star restaurants and only one with a legitimate claim to two.

Everything about the Masaki Saito experience has been imported 10,000 km from Japan; the only Canadian ingredient chef Saito appears willing to touch is the water from the tap with which he washes his hands. But, if Sushi Masaki Saito’s Michelin-proclaimed supremacy is unlikely to inspire much patriotic fervour here, rest assured that it is an excellent restaurant and deserves its stars.

And, if the mayor and our tourism boards and Michelin have it right,  throngs of freshly activated tourists will shortly be rushing to Toronto to fill Saito’s, um, 12 nightly seats at $680 a pop. If they can’t get in, we at least now have some excellent one-stars for them to visit. And as all their prices will likely soon rise as dizzyingly fast as those at freshly anointed Michelin-starred always do, it will be handy to have new tourists around to fill seats that locals can no longer afford.


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