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Where Was The First Harvey’s Restaurant Located?

Jun 3, 2022 Franchise Information
Photo of the First Harvey's Location in Richmond Hill Ontario
The First Harvey’s restaurant Location

Many Canadians are familiar with what makes Harvey’s hamburger a beautiful thing. The franchise has been a beloved staple of Canada’s quick-service restaurant industry since the 1950s.

The first-ever Harvey’s restaurant was opened on April 1, 1959, in Richmond Hill, Ontario, at the corner of Yonge Street and Observatory Lane. The first franchise location opened 4 years later in Toronto. By 1977, Harvey’s had 75 stores across Canada.

First Harvey's Restaurant location Richmond Hill, Ontario Exterior image
The first Harvey’s location was at the corner of Yonge Street and Observatory Lane in Richmond Hill, Ontario

It’s interesting to note that restaurant fans in the United States list Harvey’s as one of the Fast-Food Restaurants We Wish Were in the US, seeing as a Stateside burger franchise called “Henry’s” was one of the inspirations for Harvey’s founder, Richard Mauran.

Harvey’s was based on some key concepts:

  • The customer could customize their burger and follow along in the process of having it prepared.
  • The customer was given a series of topping options for their burger, which was a departure from other models that followed a “one-size-fits-all” model for quick-service food.
  • The burgers are flame-grilled instead of made on a flat-top used at most food chains.
Harvey's original famous metal garnishing bowls.
Harvey’s original famous metal garnishing bowls.


Some things have changed over the years, but Harvey’s focus on customer experience and quality has not. With now over 290 locations from coast to coast, Harvey’s remains one of Canada’s longest-running and most popular quick-service franchised restaurants.


Harvey's refrigerated garnishing bowls
The evolution of Harvey’s – from metal garnishing bowls to refrigerated enclosed units that still display the multiple topping options to build your burger, just the way you like it.

Some Interesting facts:

  • Harvey’s founder Richard Mauran is a Montreal native that is recognized as one of Canada’s inspirational business icons, with his own biography.
  • Harvey’s was serving its iconic, char-broiled burgers nearly ten years before Mcdonald’s opened its first franchise in Canada.
  • Harvey’s remains one of the only quick-service burger franchises that allows a completely customized product for every customer.
  • Harvey’s was originally intended to be seasonal, but because of the first location’s success, it ended up remaining open year-round.

If you’re interested in finding out how to become a Harvey’s franchise owner, we invite you to contact us today.

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