By ALAN SHACKLETON
The City of Toronto and Tuggs Inc. may be headed towards a legal showdown regarding the lease for the property at 1681 Lake Shore Blvd. E.
Late last month a notice by the company Miss Jones that it was seeking authorization for a licence to operate a cannabis retail store from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario was posted on the site.
This drew the attention of local residents and the City who had until Jan. 11 of this year to send their comments to the AGCO regarding the application.
In a statement sent to Beach Metro News on Jan. 19, the AGCO said it had “61 submissions received, primarily opposed to a store in their local community, concerns about cannabis use, the number of stores in the community, and the proximity to parkland.”
As reported earlier in Beach Metro News, the City of Toronto had notified the AGCO that it did not consider a retail cannabis store a permitted use of the site under the lease agreement with Tuggs Inc. The leaseholder was also notified that this was the City’s position regarding the application.
The AGCO confirmed that it had received that submission from the City of Toronto’s legal department. The applicant has received copies of the submissions made and had until Jan. 22 to provide a written response, said the AGCO.
According to Beaches-East York Councillor Brad Bradford, the City has been asked by the applicant to reconsider its position regarding the lease and permitted uses on the site.
He said in a statement to Beach Metro News that the City will not be changing its position regarding the lease.
“The City has been very clear in a letter to the leaseholder that a cannabis retail store is not allowed under the lease and asked for the licence application to be withdrawn,” said Bradford. “Now we’ve gotten a response asking the City to reconsider. As we’ve seen in the past, this is once again with the lawyers. I’m working closely with City legal staff on this. I’ll be bring a motion to the February City Council meeting to have council formally endorse the City’s legal position on this and register the letter of opposition sent by the City Solicitor during the commenting period.”
Controversy is nothing new when it comes to this lease agreement.
The location is the subject of a long-term lease agreement which runs until September of 2028. Over the past decade, the lease has been criticized and at one point the City had entered into talks to buy it back. That has not happened given the cost and that the lease in now in the final half of its existence.