Monopoly on the Beaches boardwalk

For over 20 years, Tuggs Inc. has enjoyed exclusive rights to selling food at beverages at the Boardwalk CafĂŠ at Woodbine Park, as well as two seasonal concessions in the Eastern Beaches. And last month, it landed another 20-year contract with the city. But today, council is being asked to renege that offer.

In September 2006, owner George Foulidis submitted an unsolicited proposal to the city in hopes of winning a contract renewal. With Councillor Sandra Bussin behind the mom-and-pop shop, council ignored city officials' recommendation that the contract be put offered up for competition, and a sole-source deal was negotiated with Foulidis.

The new contract not only assures Foulidis exclusive rights to selling alcohol at Ashbridge's Bay and Woodbine Park, as well as food and beverages at Kew Beach, but he will now be able to sell city-approved souvenirs along the Eastern Beaches (please, no umbrella hats).

Policy has since changed and new offers are now open to competition. But at the moment, Foulidis still has his exclusive contract, and some people aren't happy.

"In Spain, New York, Chicago, they're doing wonderful things for their waterfront, and we're allowing one person to have a monopoly on this prime real estate, without competition, for 20 years," Chris Yaccato, chair of the Toronto Beaches Dog Association, said to the Toronto Star. "This is prime real estate," he said to the Sun. "It is such a missed opportunity."

Foulidis has responded simply. "I don't have a monopoly," he said to the Sun. "The city doesn't want two restaurants here."

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