Customers of McDonald's are familiar with the unique characteristics of each location, but the Rideau Street branch in downtown Ottawa stands out. Despite past incidents that prompted concern from the Ottawa Police Chief, the restaurant had always managed to persevere - until now.
The landlord of the building on Rideau Street informed CTV News Ottawa that the franchisee has chosen not to renew the lease and the location will be closing in April 2023.
The closing of the restaurant marks the end of a significant chapter for regular customers and even those who learned of its existence through a viral 2013 video featuring a fight where a man pulled a baby raccoon out of his sweater.
In 2018, police received over 800 calls regarding the location. The following year, then-Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau expressed concerns about the location in a letter to the President and CEO of McDonald's Canada, citing the "ongoing criminal activity and social disorder" at the location.
Despite reducing its hours of operation from 24-hours to 6am to 10pm, authorities still received 150 additional calls about the restaurant in 2022.
A user on Reddit, who claimed to be a former manager of the branch, shared stories on the platform of customers engaging in unsavory behavior near the toilets of the restaurant and even making alleged death threats to staff.
Due to the incidents at the restaurant, it has been referred to as the "world's worst McDonald's" by some. One customer on TripAdvisor described it as "simply vomit inducing and dangerous."
The building owner, Peter Crosthwaite, commented on the decision to close the restaurant, mentioning that there are other challenges facing businesses in the area.
"The city tore up Rideau Street and put the subway in. Then they re-tore it to enhance it, put curbing in," Crosthwaite said. "The freedom rallies and we had Covid; all these things are upheavals that can't make it easy for a steady, reliable operation."
The owner added: "They are a pretty dynamic organization, they have the right to look at different spots and maybe they felt the time was right. But there's maybe things that made it seem more right than usual."
The McDonalds opened its doors on Rideau Street in 1985, and is currently open from 8am to 10pm daily for takeaway food only.