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Shake Shack officially opens first Canadian location in downtown Toronto

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Shake Shack’s world-famous crinkle-cut fries and smash burgers have finally arrived in Canada.

The New York-based burger chain opened the doors of its flagship Toronto location at 11 a.m. Thursday and fans of the brand were already in line to get a taste.

“I’m ready to dig in,” Abdulla, the first guest in line at 6 a.m., told CP24 after ordering his food. “I'm just looking forward to the taste.”

Shake Shack is introducing a number of Canadian-specific sweets to the menu to mark their endeavour north of the border, including items like the “Maple Salted Pretzel Shake” and “I Heart Butter Tart Concrete.”

Michael Kark, president of global licensing at Shake Shack, spoke to CP24 before the doors opened and said the brand had been eyeing a Canadian expansion for at least eight years.

“We’re just pinching ourselves. We can’t believe how many people are already here waiting in line for Shake Shack. This has been a long time in the making,” he said.

Shake Shack opens its first Canadian location in downtown Toronto on June 13, 2024.

Kark said about 90 per cent of the menu is “exactly” as it would be if you tried it in New York, or anywhere else in the U.S. He said the other 10 per cent is made up of items sourced from local purveyors, like Brodflour Bakery and ChocoSol, to give the menu a Toronto twist.

Shake Shack takes over the space left by Adidas on the corner of one of the city’s busiest intersections, near the soon-to-be-renamed Yonge-Dundas Square.

Kark said while “it’s never easy” to lock down a spot in that location, the buzz of the downtown Toronto core reminds the brand of its roots in NYC.

“With all the energy and the excitement that happens here at Yonge and Dundas… we feel right at home in such a busy spot,” he said.

The inside of Shake Shack's downtown Toronto location is shown on June 13, 2024. (CP24)

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