Following a series of violent incidents, Councillor Layton and I have submitted a joint letter to Toronto and East York Community Council requesting the AGCO review Muzik nightclub’s liquor licence. That motion passed TEYCC. You can see the letter here (pdf).
Today we submitted a letter to the Mayor and Executive Committee regarding Muzik’s request for a significant lease extension. You can see that letter here (pdf) and below.
Our letter to Executive Committee:
Dear Mayor and Executive Committee members,
Re: Item EX8.35 Official Plan Amendment for Exhibition Place
We are writing to request a deferral of item EX8.35 until such time as Toronto and East York Community Council’s request to the AGCO for a Licence Appeal Tribunal for the liquor licence can be considered. We also believe details of past and ongoing police and AGCO investigations need to be reported to City Council before an Official Plan Amendment (OPA) is initiated at the City’s expense.
Given the city-wide implications of an OPA for this Official Plan policy, the length of the proposed lease extension (until 2034), and the ongoing dangerous activity at the establishment identified in the report (see below), we feel it would be prudent for Council to defer any decision on initiating a study until such time as all information pertaining to this application can be made available.
Toronto Police Service (TPS) has had on-going dealings with the Premises. Since June 2012, there have been numerous incidents reported to TPS in association with the Premises, including several assaults (9 occurrences), assaults causing bodily harm (7 occurrences), assaults with a weapon (2 occurrences), sexual assaults (2 occurrences) and discharge of a firearm (1 occurrence). In February 2013, TPS conducted a murder investigation directly linked to the Premises. On August 5, 2014, there was a shooting incident directly linked to the Premises. On August 4, 2015, a second shooting incident inside the Premises resulted in the deaths of two patrons. No charges have yet been laid for the August 4, 2015 incident, but TPS officers continue to investigate.
The Premises has a business licence from Municipal Licensing and Standards
(MLS) for operating as an Entertainment Establishment/Nightclub. In the last 18 months, MLS staff have received four noise complaints with regards to the Premises.
Between the years 2012 and 2015, the AGCO conducted 14 inspections of the Premises and have recorded six infractions. Amongst these infractions have been those pertaining to drunkenness on the Premises, promoting immoderate consumption on the Premises, use of narcotics on the Premises, and permitting disorderly behaviour on the Premises. In addition to numerous warnings, the AGCO has levied fines totaling approximately $6,000 against the Licensee in this time period. Currently, we are awaiting the results of a Freedom of Information Act inquiry into the facts surrounding these infractions.
We would also like to draw to your attention that the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, The National Home Show, the Canadian Boat Shows, the One of Kind Show, and the General Manager of the Canadian National Exhibition Association have all written to the Mayor and Executive Committee members also requesting a deferral of this item because they believe it to be “premature in that it fails to account for the ongoing development of a broader proposal to unlock the western waterfront currently underway in collaboration with show producers, tenants, residents’ associations and civic leaders.” They “believe there exists an opportunity to re-envision Exhibition Place and the surrounding area in a way that provides greater linkages to the waterfront, increased public space, and continued viability for the activities of current Exhibition Place tenants” and prefer that a lease extension in excess of 21 years not be granted until it can be considered in the context of these broader plans currently underway.
It is for these reasons that we are requesting that this item be deferred indefinitely and placed back on the agenda at a later time when it can be considered following the AGCO’s response and within a renewed planning context for unlocking the western waterfront.
Ward 14 residents have created a petition to close Musik down. You can find that petition here, https://www.change.org/p/exhibition-place-amp-city-of-toronto-close-muzik