74-year-old Toronto bar won't be shutting down after getting rent relief from landlord
People with fond memories of enjoying cocktails and live music at the Paddock Tavern were gutted to find that like too many other staples across the city, the 74-year-old watering hole was slated to close for good due to financial hardship and issues with its landlord.
But, thanks to an outpouring of support from the community, management have confirmed that the storied pub will be able to continue to grace the southwest corner of Queen and Bathurst for the foreseeable future.
"Thank you everyone for all the support you've given through this tough process we've gone through. It has been not only extremely heartwarming to see, but also very helpful in raising awareness of our situation and making all our voices heard," they wrote in an Instagram post late last month.
"This would not have been possible without all of your support, for which we thank you immensely!"
Thank you everyone for all the support you've given through this tough process we've gone through. It has been not only extremely heartwarming to see, but also very helpful in raising awareness of our situation and making all our voices heard. We are happy to announce we've received verbal confirmation from our landlord this morning that they will be applying for commercial rental assistance on our behalf, allowing us to to keep our doors open. This would not have been possible without all of your support, for which we thank you immensely! We also wanted to give a special shout out to @johndavidson , @cllrjoecressy , @chrisglovermpp , and @adamvaughan_to and the wonderful people in their offices for their support and guidance as well! To get help from our local government officials from all three levels has truly been an honor, and we are grateful for it! We'll be opening at 8pm tonight and welcome you to come celebrate not only the 74 years that The Paddock has been around, but also the many more years, friendships and memories to come! Thank you all once again and are looking forward to seeing you all again soon!
The team revealed that their landlord has finally agreed to participate in the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, which they had previously refused to do.
The federal assistance was something that was absolutely imperative for the bar to stay afloat, as months of lockdown and now capacity limits and other measures meant that it was not able to make its full rent.
Unfortunately for small businesses, opting in to the program — through which the federal government subsidizes half of commercial rent payments if landlords agree to reduce rent by 75 per cent due to COVID-19 — is fully up to the property owner.
The story of the Paddock's impending closure is one that has become all too familiar in pockets all over the city that seem to be losing tenured establishments and their overall character to cookie-cutter condos and gentrification, especially after the economic blow of the pandemic.
Thankfully for businesses such as the Paddock, Premier Doug Ford just last week extended the moratorium on commercial evictions through to the end of September, giving struggling independents a bit more time to try and make up for catastrophic losses and to hopefully come fair agreements with problematic landlords so they can continue operating.
A well known club in #Toronto called The Paddock may be forced to closed/evicted at the end of the month. Government has commercial rent relief program in place but landlord refuses to use it. Will enable landlord to redevelop building sooner. Club still has 3 years on ita lease.— Kevin van Steendelaar (@KvanSteendelaar) August 15, 2020
Still, despite this little bit of good news, the Paddock's entire corner is still due to be redeveloped into — you guessed it — a condo in 2023.
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