Toronto store that sells rapid tests evicted by landlord but it's not the samosa joint's fault
A source for masks and free at-home rapid tests claims on social media they were "kicked out" of one of their locations occupied by Toronto's newest samosa restaurant.
Simply Samosas owner Aftab Khan says he signed a lease for his new Leslieville takeout spot on July 21, 2021 and they've been letting Mask Ontario remain in part of their leased space for free for the past five months without a lease of their own.
Khan says they were initially happy to let them stay since Simply Samosas had to do extensive renovations before they opened at the end of November.
He says he figured Mask Ontario would use the time to find a new location in the area since they knew they couldn't stay forever.
"When we were opening....the landlord gave them another notice that they needed to be out by Dec. 15, 2021, as that is an emergency exit and needs to be free and clear," claims Khan.
"They refused to move out and unfortunately, the landlord had to call the police to have them leave."
The police were called and Mask Ontario vacated the space on Dec. 17. but not before making some allegations on social media.
Mask Ontario's Brandon McAlister tells blogTO that they were told via verbal agreement with Simply Samosas and the landlord that they could stay "through the winter." He says it was agreed they could stay as long as they didn't affect the fire exit, which they claim not to have.
"After spending almost $30k in ads and donating thousands of dollars we were abruptly told we were no longer welcome and the only reason given was it's nothing personal, strictly business" McAlister tells blogTO.
"We have it in text that the landlord was being pressured by Simply Samosas to get rid of us."
The notice was apparently for 30 days, Mask Ontario asking for a few extra days when they were having trouble finding a new space. They did have one lead, but it wouldn't be ready in time, and meanwhile they were still servicing 25 stores and an online store.
"We were met with a hostile response which was witnessed by my staff and we were told we would be locked out and all our products confiscated if we still had our stuff inside when he changed the locks," says McAlister.
"When the landlord changed the locks I was still working inside so in order to continue our service to the community I refused to leave for three days until the police were called when we had a line around the block of customers purchasing COVID tests, which we continued to sell from the sidewalk."
McAlister says Mask Ontario's mission is "to do whatever necessary to get people what they need."
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