Free The Beach(es) from Backroom Deals and Return it to The City of Toronto
It's time for Toronto and the Beach(es) neighbourhood to take back ownership of their beloved East End waterfront from private interests.
It's time to bring transparency to a backroom deal that should never have happened. It's time to right a wrong that has been holding the Beach(es) neighbourhood back both culturally and financially for nearly a decade.
Please note: this petition is not directed at Carter's Landing, but the dealings between Tuggs Inc. and Cara Operations Ltd. The issue is transparency, accountability, backroom deals and the broken promises from a supposed Mom & Pop operation.
In 2007 Tuggs Inc. was given a 20 year lease for a restaurant on the prestigious Boardwalk in the Beach(es) Neighbourhood. This lease was given without any call for tenders. This means that no one else was given the opportunity to bid for a chance to lease the coveted commercial/retail space. This was unheard of at the time. To this day it's not clear how this deal was struck as it was done behind closed doors. In addition to the lease for a restaurant, Tuggs Inc. was granted the leasing rights for all food, beverage and merchandise concessions along the boardwalk - which includes Woodbine Beach Park, Ashbridges Bay and Kew Gardens. The deal was presented to Torontonians that the City was supporting a family operation (Tuggs Inc.) that promised to keep the franchises out of the area, thus preserving the unique small town nature of the Beach.
Since then, Tuggs Inc. has added a Tim Hortons, Pizza Pizza and an Athens Pastries & Cafe in that location - two of which are franchises. What happened to their promise? What happened to the family operation? What happened to the 'mom and pop' business that Tuggs Inc. originally claimed to be?
This year, Tuggs Inc. subleased its own restaurant space (formerly Paralia) to food service giant Cara Operations Ltd. which then established Carter’s Landing, a chain eatery more commonly found in suburban shopping centres.
Tuggs Inc. took this bold and aggressive step without the required permission from City Council. The assignment without consent was a major violation of the lease, and city council should not approve it based on that alone.
BECAUSE OF THIS LEASE:
- Our boardwalk and parkland have been compromised
- Franchises have been established where we were promised there would be none
- Toronto residents have been deceived by a questionable deal made behind closed doors
- The proliferation of big business on the Boardwalk has hurt small businesses on Queen Street East in the Beach Village. (Our beloved local entrepreneurs need support not competition)
- A proposal of a Farmers’ Market was met with so many conditions from Tuggs Inc., the applicants ultimately gave up and went elsewhere (meaning more lost opportunity for Queen Street businesses)
- The City of Toronto has likely been denied a significant revenue stream by not originally accepting tenders. In a time when our city has suffered significant budget shortfalls, this prime property on the Boardwalk is capable of generating a greater income than it currently collects from Tuggs Inc.
WHAT'S HAPPENING AT CITY HALL:
The Tuggs Inc. request for Assignment of the sublease to Cara Operations Ltd. will be decided by City Council on October 5th.
If we as a community do not act together and speak out, this deal will be final and our waterfront will continue to be controlled by private interests.
WHAT WE CAN DO:
We need decisive action and leadership from our Councillor - and indeed all Councillors in Toronto. Sign this petition in order to get Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon's attention and motivate her to advocate for us - the constituents who elected her!
This is an opportunity to right a wrong, to end a long-time public controversy and restore faith in our municipal system.
The property currently leased by Tuggs Inc. is a public asset, not a private one and should not be part of a backroom deal that won't expire until 2028.
To see Ward 32 Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon stand up at City Hall on October 5 2016, and ask her fellow Councillors not to approve the "Request for City Consent for Assignment and Sub-Lease by Tuggs Incorporated to Cara Operations Limited of 1681 Lakeshore Boulevard East".
Please visit our new website, FREE THE BEACH(ES) for more information, insight, media coverage, the latest updates on our movement and how you can get involved!
YOUR VOICE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
- Toronto City Councillor, Ward 32
- Mayor of Toronto
Mayor's Office, City of Toronto
- Toronto City Council
Reclaim Woodbine Beach from Backroom Deals and Return it to The City of Toronto
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