Tasty Bagel Bakery
33 KENSINGTON AVENUE
Tasty Bagel Bakery was one of many shops in Kensington Market to sell the quintessential Jewish food: the bagel. The selling of bagels in Kensington Market dates back to the earliest days of Jewish settlement in the neighbourhood.
Lou Bregman, bagel baker and restauranteur, recalls his father Max Bregman being one of the earliest bagel bakers in Toronto. In 1919, two years after the Russian Revolution, many Jews were migrating from the Russian Empire, including Lou’s father, Max, who arrived in Toronto from Erlich, Russia. According to Lou, Max landed his first job at the famous United Bakers Restaurant, bringing his bagel recipe to the city. In 1936, Max opened Russian Bagel Bakery at 33 Kensington Avenue with partners Alex Newman and Max Rabinovitch. As a boy, Lou helped at the family business by selling bagels on a string from a mini food cart. A dozen bagels were tied per string, with three dozen costing a dime!
Lou would go on to open several bagel shops of his own, including a business with the same name: Tasty Bagel Bakery. Lou operated the latter in the 1950s as well as Bagel King and Bregman’s Bakery Restaurant. The Bregman family business continued to evolve, eventually including Mmmuffins, Michel’s Baguette, and Second Cup. By the 1970s, Tasty Bagel Bakery was operated by Lou's partner, Max Rabinovitch, who was also a life-long bagel baker in the area.