Toronto Life - The Dish

The latest buzz on restaurants, chefs, bars, food shops and food events. Sign up for the Dish newsletter for weekly updates. Send tips to



The ROM’s once-lofty C5 is closing at the end of the month

(Image: Suzanne Long)

After six years, two head chefs and a dramatic culinary shift, the restaurant on the top floor of the ROM’s Michael Lee-Chin Crystal will serve its last dinner on April 30. When C5 launched in 2007, chef Ted Corrado created an ambitious, decidedly high-end menu full of molecular flourishes (one characteristic appetizer: cured, compressed and shaved butternut squash with a citrus tea syrup and crumbled caramelized cream) that landed the restaurant on our list of the city’s best in 2009. But despite early critical praise, the pricey plates couldn’t fill the dining room, and in late 2011, The Compass Group (the foodservice giant operating the restaurant) reversed course and brought in celeb chef Corbin Tomaszeski, who jettisoned Corrado’s fussy preparations for cheaper, more approachable dishes (think flatbreads and BLTs). The Compass Group recently terminated its contract with the ROM, which is now in the process of finding a new provider to take over the space by the end of the year.

  • CynthiaC.M.

    I think the problem was that C5 didn’t do dinner. If I were to pay higher prices, I’d want dinner, not lunch. Lovely event space, though.


    As highend as they make it, the ROM is not for the cultured crowd, it’s for families. Families with children will not pay premium prices for a meal. I hope the ROM will consider this, think pizza, hot dogs and burgers at a reasonable price.

  • disqus_WFTwrwNPMZ

    It’s a beautiful space, and should be used as a upper class resto given its location. For families, there’s the food court downstairs, so there’s no need for c5 to become less glamorous in its offerings. I think they should open for dinners on weekends, perhaps coincide with having the ROM’s Friday night out. Other cities have used their museums as event spaces for the adult crowd in the evening, and Toronto desperately needs some exciting, interesting spaces and places to see and go, and enjoy fine dining.
    Very sad to see c5 not around for the summer…

  • Kate Roberts

    Sounds like a classic “Kitchen Nightmare” – ambitious menu and lofty prices to match, completely out of touch with the locals and refused to work most of the time (no dinner service?! come on!) Glad it’s gone, what a waste of space.

  • Joanna Dickins

    Deathwatch is such an unnecessarily nasty title for this column. Really?? It’s an evolving city.

  • Leslie C

    It’s too hard to find the restaurant once you’re in the ROM. The signage is inadequate and the route is obscure. I think the problem is that simple. It doesn’t even enter people’s consciousness when they drop in to the ROM. On the other hand, once you’re there for a gourmet bowl of soup, it’s wonderful.

  • Jessica Ross

    Sorry, but families also like good-quality, delicious local food, not burgers and hot dogs. But I think the basement cafe is fine for families with young children; C5 should do dining tied to grown-up events at the ROM.