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World's Worst McDonald's, Dubbed the "Beacon of Chaos," Is Shutting Down

It's finally been decided that enough is enough.

Life is about to get much easier for the city of Ottawa's police force this Spring. The McDonald's location on Rideau Street in the Canadian capital will be closing its doors this April, signifying the end of the road for an eatery once called a "beacon of chaos" by Ottawa's Police Chief.

Often called "the world's worst McDonald's," this infamous Mickey D's is probably best remembered for a 2013 viral video of a huge brawl that went down in the restaurant. Fights happen all the time in any number of locations, so what was the big deal? One of the combatants pulled a raccoon out of their jacket as a weapon!

Now, that's just one incident, but this McDonald's has seen far more than its fair share of bizarre, dangerous, or just downright gross incidents ever since it opened back in 1985. For example, in just 2018 alone, the local police force received 800 calls about the restaurant. That works out to over two 911 calls every single day!

There are plenty of videos out there displaying downright puzzling behavior in the Rideau Street McDonald's. Another video from 2018 shows two men fighting, or perhaps dueling, each other with 'Wet Floor' signs.

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If you're still wondering exactly what made this McDonald's so "special," perhaps a TripAdvisor review from 2019 can help paint a clearer picture: "I don't understand why McDonald's keeps this restaurant open. It's simply vomit inducing and dangerous. It's so dirty and smelly and you never know if you'll make it out alive. I would say the chance of being assaulted … is high. Close this place already. It's a health risk and a public safety issue."

A few years back, the situation at McDonald's became so bad that Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau felt the need to reach out to the President and CEO of McDonald's Canada with a letter. In the correspondence, Bordeleau expressed his concerns over the regular "criminal activity and social disorder" on display at the eatery.

That letter led to the restaurant shortening its hours. The location went from being open 24 hours to only operating 6 AM to 10 PM. This move probably helped somewhat; last year the police only received around 150 calls about the restaurant. Still not great, but much better than 800.

Regardless, the restaurant will officially say goodbye in a few months. The owner of the building that houses the McDonald's, Peter Crosthwaite, told CTV that the franchise owner has decided not to renew the current lease set to end in April of this year.

For what it's worth, Mr. Crosthwaite believes far more than the location's infamous reputation went into Mickey D's decision to close up shop. "The city tore up Rideau Street and put the subway in, then they re-tore it to enhance it, put curbing in," he told CTV. "The freedom rallies and we had Covid; all these things are upheavals that can't make it easy for a steady, reliable operation. They are a pretty dynamic organization, they have the right to look at different spots and maybe they felt the time was right. But there's maybe things that made it seem more right than usual."

John Anderer
John Anderer is a writer who specializes in science, health, and lifestyle topics. Read more about John