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Our Story

Bishara Arraf was born in Mi’ilya, in the high Galilee just a few kilometres north of Nazareth and ten minutes drive to the Mediterranean Sea a Catholic village rich in history, tradition and culture. Built over the ruins of a famous Crusaderfortress known as Montfort, this beautiful village is an important archaeological site today. Nestled among stunning mountain ranges with wide,open plains as a backdrop, throughout the centuries Mi’ilya has been inhabited by Greek, Romans, Ottoman, and Arab people, just like the rest of the area making for an eclectic and truly authentic Mediterranean culture.

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Although Bishara Arraf begun travelling at a young age, moving from a small village in the high Galilee to Holland where he spent ten years experiencing the European culture and being exposed to different types of restaurants. His older brother Lawrence Arraf already had restaurants in Holland was Bishara’s main influencer and teaching mentor in the restaurant business and still calls him for advice every now and then.

In 1992 he came to Canada, where the traditions of his family and memories growing up in Mi’ilya remain at his core. His dedication and love for his home culture inspired him to open Montfort Mediterranean Grill restaurant in 1992. In 1993, Bishara Arraf opened his first restaurant and since then has since opened multiple restaurants ranging from Hamilton to Toronto. Now you can find Montfort Mediterranean Grill wherever you are in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area – from Burlington to Waterdown to Ancaster to Hamilton. “I don’t know where the time has gone, it feels just like yesterday when I sold my first shawarma with our famous garlic sauce and onion sauce and now 31 years later we have sold millions of shawarmas, made millions of people happy and I intend to do that for many more years to come” “We have the same family recipe that has made us successful 31 years later.

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In Europe,club goers keep the party going, stopping at their favourite local restaurant after the bars have closed. We’re continuing the Mediterranean tradition of eating late to accommodate those who work shifts including nurses, police officers, first responders and factory workers. That’s why Montfort is open late – until 4 am in some locations.

We believe everyone should have access to fresh, healthy food, no matter the time of day. Food is used to socialize, celebrate, and to comfort and at Montfort we see it more as an art than simply a necessity for survival. Food brings people together, which is why it’s our life’s work to promote the important family tradition of sitting down together for a meal.  Now that you know our story, we hope you’ll join us for your next family meal and share your story with us.


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