Founded in 1995 by David Thompson, Dark City is an extension of a coffee shop called Coffee Tree, opened up by David and friends.
Coffee Tree was the first street front retail coffee roaster in Toronto opening in 1987.
Dark City’s main focus back then was roasting coffee, daily, in plain view of our customers, even taking on special requests for single pounds. The concept expanded on the roaster/ cafe concept by adding a full-on restaurant, including bar, and live jazz every week.
There were poetry readings, special guest performers and after
hour parties. Located at 307 Danforth Avenue, it became one of the coolest places to go in Riverdale. After shutting down the Danforth location, in 1999, Dark City became solely dedicated to roasting and delivering the finest, freshest coffee, directly to our customer’s homes.
Dark City has never advertised and never followed trends. When large chains came along with their dark roast everything,
we wouldn’t do it. It is almost criminal to over-roast high quality coffee and lose all of the subtleties in exchange for charred carbon taste.
When the 3rd wave (Dark City is pre-wave) of coffee- thinking came through along with their under-roasted, hipster, sour coffee, we wouldn’t do it. – repetitive content. We have always stayed true to our core principals of roasting – coffee to bring out the best result and that means no under-roasting and no over-roasting.
When Dark City started, nobody was doing fresh roast, delivered to
your door the next day. Now there are endless knockoff roasters doing the very same thing.
They might be cheaper too, but at what price to you? To be honest, Dark City has never been too concerned with the cost of the coffees
we buy. There is only one principal we adhere to, and that is this: Any coffee we sell you must have to make your knees buckle or do backflips!