TORONTO — Influential Toronto restaurateur John Bil died early Wednesday morning at his home at the age of 49. The Toronto native had reportedly been diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma in late 2013.
The co-owner of Honest Weight seafood restaurant and seafood counter in Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood also helped open Montreal’s Joe Beef, New York’s M. Wells Steakhouse and Ship to Shore on Malpeque Bay, P.E.I. — where he was best known to Islanders as a multiple winner of the Canadian Oyster Shucking Championship held each year in Tyne Valley, P.E.I.
Bil leaves a legacy of helping to open some of Canada’s best restaurants and championing the country’s sustainable fisheries.
“When I first got the diagnosis three years ago, I didn’t have a restaurant in Toronto and it might have been the bigger story that I had cancer than I was opening a restaurant,” Bil told the Toronto Star last summer. “Now after having Honest Weight, I hope the story is about what I’ve done, not what I have.”