Gryfe & Sons
319 AUGUSTA AVENUE
S. Gryfe & Sons was operated by the Gryfe family, whose name is still synonymous with bagels in Toronto. Sam Gryfe, an immigrant from Romania, started selling bread from a horse-drawn cart in Hamilton, Ontario in 1915.
In 1925, Sam established his bakery in Toronto’s Kensington Market. By 1935, Sam’s sons, who were now working in the business, changed the name to Crown Bakery. Crown Bakery was famous for its variety of bread and baked goods, but it wasn’t until much later that the Gryfes began making the product for which they are famous: the bagel. The family sold the business in 1947 to Ben Richman and Max Hartstone who renamed the business Crown Bread Company when opening a second location at 311 Augusta Avenue in 1952.
In 1956, Arthur Gryfe, one of Sam’s four sons, revived the Gryfe name and opened his own business in North York—Gryfe’s Bagels—with his wife Ruth. It was around this time that many Jewish entrepreneurs relocated their businesses, following their customers as the Jewish community moved north.
Legend has it that the Gryfe bagel—delightfully light and fluffy—was born when a customer requested a dozen bagels. Even though Arthur had never made a bagel before, his wife insisted that he try. Over time the Gryfe family perfected the bagel, and to this day, Arthur’s son, Moishe, runs Gryfe’s Bagel Bakery at 3421 Bathurst Street, continuing his family’s century-old food legacy.