Toronto's controversial waterfront restaurant is closing
A giant restaurant on Woodbine Beach is folding after numerous legal battles and conflicts between city council, property leaseholders and residents of the area.
Set to close later this month, Carters Landing has only been officially open for less than two years.
But the restaurant – which belongs to the Cara-owned chain of GTA Landing restaurants – and its subletter company Tuggs Inc. has been embroiled in controversy since city council approved Tuggs' lease extension in 2007.
The deal, which many believed offset plans to prioritize local businesses along the stretch of property along Woodbine Beach, was heavily criticised by city staff, including notorious anti-gravy train councillor Rob Ford.
The toxic public battle even saw the owner of Tuggs Inc. George Foulidis bring a $6 million libel case against Ford in 2012 – charges which were later overturned in 2014.
Foulidis, who also owns rights to concession sales in four beach city parks, has since transformed the Woodbine boardwalk by adding a publicly-protested Tim Hortons and assigning over the lease for what was once the Boardwalk Cafe to Cara to open Carters Landing in 2016.
The relationship between Foulidis and Cara has been messy, and between Foulidis' personal debt and city council's attempts to buy back lease rights in spaces like Ashbridge's Bay, Tuggs had also been trying to evict Cara since last year.
Whether or not the departure of Carters Landing is a result of Tuggs eviction attempts is unclear, as is what kind or restaurant – chain or local – will take its place.
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