Tilt video game bar being evicted for boutique hotel
The Annex is changing. Honest Ed's closed, more and more chain stores are moving in, and the Brunswick House is now a Rexall drug store. But that's not all that's going on in and around Brunswick Avenue.
On Friday, Tilt - the newish and popular arcade bar - announced the building it's in at 296 Brunswick Ave. was sold in February and will become a boutique hotel.
Tilt's owners received a notice of eviction, but in a note on their website, they write they have a Certificate of Pending Litigation on the building because they say their right of first refusal was breached.
They claim there was a clause in their lease, which stipulated that if the building was for sale, they'd be able to put in an offer and potentially buy it.
"Unfortunately, we weren’t given the opportunity obviously to buy the building as per our lease," says Tilt co-owner and general manager Nathan Hunter.
"We do have the funding. We have filed litigation to have the right to buy the building and we’re hopeful and confident we’re going to be successful with that," he continues.
But whatever happens, he thinks Tilt will be able to find another home if they have to move out by February 2018. He's more concerned about the tenants who live above the bar. He alleges they pay between $400 to $450 per month in rent and will have nowhere to go once they're evicted.
“We are working hand-in-hand with the city to bring forward a lot of resources to make sure that they’re all taken care of," says the new landlord Andrew Peek. He claims he gave the city six months notice about what was happening on site.
Peek confirmed that he and his partner, along with 24 investors, plan to transform the building at 296 Brunswick into a 24-room boutique hotel.
"We’re trying to do something pretty incredible for the neighbourhood, not dissimilar to what the Drake would have done for Queen West ages ago," he says, noting that the land at 296 Brunswick has the proper zoning to become a hotel.
Ward 20 Councillor Joe Cressy says his office and city staff in the shelter, support and Housing administration division are working to secure housing supplements for the tenants who currently live at 296 Brunswick Ave.
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