What being the “heart of Yorkville” means to us.

Heart for our community.

Thank you Toronto.

On December 13 2006, we experienced a devastating fire. Fortunately no one was hurt. The Toronto community rallied to support us during this difficult time and for this reason, we committed to giving back; one of our core corporate values. We chose to support the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation because our local firefighters tremendous efforts to fight the fire and save the structure of our building; a landmark in the Yorkville Landscape. When guests reserve on our VIP balcony, a $100 reservation fee is donated to the CFFF, an organization committed to honoring and remembering firefighters killed in the line of duty and to support their families.

In our local community.

We started the Yorkville Ice Carving Competition to add a little joy to the cold of Winter. We handed off the torch to the Yorkville BIA when the sculptures overtook Yorkville and “IceFest” was born. Of course we still break out our chisels for the event every year in the official Annual Sassafraz Ice Carving Competition.

Heart for our friends.

That’s just what friends do.

We’re excited to continue working side-by-side with our restaurant industry friends in support of several local initiatives.

Each year The Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) presents Bloor Street Entertains, a terrific initiate that generates funds and raises awareness for HIV infection and AIDS research. It is an exciting event and we are proud to be participants alongside many other notable restaurants. Each year we sponsor and hold a special dinner in one of several distinguished Bloor Street stores for generous supporters.

It is also a pleasure to work with some of the finest restaurants in the city to support the annual Toronto Taste event initiated by Second Harvest, an organization that assists in feeding the hungry in our community.

Industry related events fit so well that we feel it important to get involved with one other health related cause: A Taste for Life. A special night is selected whereby 25% of the proceeds of each restaurant participant are donated on over the Fife House, an organization committed to providing support services for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Heart for the arts.

Lights, camera, action.

Sassafraz launched at a time when Toronto was coming into its own with events like the Toronto International Film Festival, attracting many celebrities. The association with our many celebrity guests and our location led to a natural partnership with TIFF. We continue to support this relationship every year as an official hospitality partner.

Given our history of association with the Toronto International Film Festival, we felt it would be a good fit to also support the indie style festival, HotDocs.

Another natural fit is the Canadian Film Centre, a leader in developing Canada’s creative talent. Founder, Norman Jewison has been a guest and supporter and we were more than happy to partner and support his organization.

We have also chosen to support Buddies and Bad Times, a theatre company dedicated to promoting gay culture. This stems from our relationships in the gay community including our friendship with local councilor, Kristyn Wong-Tam.

Heart for our future.

A breath of fresh air with our green initiative.

Sassafraz is proud to be one of the first commercial properties in Ontario to adopt a living bio-wall. The 20 foot vertical wall of lush living plants alongside a calming waterfall gives Sassafraz its eye appeal but this is also a unique clean-air technology that filters the indoor air for our guests.

Indoor air is drawn in through the plant wall, where micro-organisms on the plants’ roots consume pollutants such as formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making the air you breathe while in the restaurant cleaner. Toronto firm Martin Wade Landscape Architects are the design brains behind Sassafraz’s beautiful bio-wall.