Controversial beaches property gets attention

Government Management Committee, Sept. 6, 2016

Councillors asked to consent to controversial commercial sublease of prime beaches property and City parks. On Tuesday the City’s Chief Corporate Officer asked the Government Management Committee to consider allowing the company Tuggs Inc. to sublease their premium beach property to a chain restaurant that has already moved in and set up shop — ultimately shining light on the length and scope of the original contract, which goes until 2026 and involves City park land. “I think the physical premises of the restaurant are one thing, and all these parks and beaches and so on are quite another,” Mayor John Tory told media on Thursday. “That’s one of the reasons I would not have signed this contract … and I would not vote for a contract like this going forward.” Council will vote on whether to approve the sublease and will need to decide if breaking the contract is of benefit to the city, or if the benefits to the city outweigh costs. The leaseholder has a tangled history with the City. The owner of Tuggs, George Foulidis, was involved in a defamation suit between 2012 – 2014 with the late Rob Ford, who was mayor at the time. Tuggs has also been named in other legal battles that also involved the City Toronto. For the sublease, city staff are recommending that the sublease be granted. Council will vote on the decision to consent to the sublease at its October meeting.