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Culture

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cityscape

Casa Mendoza Comes Down

From shipyard to sizzling food, the story of the last classic Humber Bay hospitality spot.


When Casa Mendoza closed its doors on New Year’s Day, a chapter of the city’s waterfront history ended. The last motel/restaurant to operate along the Lake Shore Boulevard strip on Humber Bay, it was demolished last week to make way, like its former neighbours, for condos. With it go memories of a row of businesses whose clientele ranged from the postwar families who vacationed there to the criminals and hourly users who frequented the lingering motels by the early 1990s.

During its later years, Casa Mendoza was favoured by people who enjoyed its old-fashioned lounge atmosphere, complete with couples on the dance floor and live entertainment. The property has been owned by developers for several years and had been operating on a year-to-year basis, but its demise hit regulars and management hard. As Teresa Bodzan, who ran the motel and restaurant for the past two decades, told the Star before the property’s contents were auctioned off earlier this month, “Nobody cares for any history or any landmark. Money talks.”

But we care about such things. Follow the story of the “oasis on the lake” in the gallery above.

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