U.S. fast food chain Chick-fil-A is set to open a Toronto location in 2019.
The restaurant specializing in chicken sandwiches announced Wednesday the city will be the company’s first franchisee-owned restaurant outside of the U.S. There is currently one location at the Calgary International Airport that doesn’t fall under this category.
Chick-fil-A plans to open 15 stores within the next five years in the Greater Toronto Area, creating 50 to 75 new jobs per location.
“Toronto is a great city – with diverse and caring people and a vibrant restaurant culture with a deep talent pool,” said Tim Tassopoulos, president and chief operating officer, Chick-fil-A in a statement.
The news also comes with controversy and irony; after all, Toronto is a very diverse city, and is well-known for its LGTBQ community.
The Atlanta-based chain, which has more than 2,300 restaurants in the U.S., was under fire in 2012 after reports showed the company donated nearly $2 million to anti-same-sex groups in 2010, HuffPost reports.
In the same year, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy confirmed the company did not support same-sex marriage due to their religious views.
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We operate as a family business… our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that,” Cathy said in 2012 to the Baptist Press, Business Insider reports.
In June, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey received backlash for a tweet about using a cash-back service for the chain. He later apologized to his followers and said he “completely forgot about their background,” the Washington Post reports.
In the same year, Huffpost reports, the company announced it ceased donations to right-wing groups that were anti-same-sex marriage.
On Wednesday, Toronto residents had plenty to say about the chain expanding to their city.
Global News has reached out to Chick-fil-A for comment. As of this writing, there has been no reply.