A group of residents of the Beaches neighbourhood has sent a petition to Mayor David Miller and city councillors asking for an investigation of a contract that gives a monopoly to the company selling food and drink on a stretch of the waterfront.
On May 12, Toronto city council passed an extension to a deal awarding Tuggs Inc. extensive rights over the beach waterfront area, including selling boardwalk merchandise and alcohol at Ashbridge's Bay Park.
Tuggs' owner George Foulidis has operated the Boardwalk Pub and concession stands at Kew Gardens and D.D. Sommerville Pool since 1986. The city went against a staff recommendation to open the contract to tender in 2007, opting instead to get staff to put together a new lease with him. The new agreement lasts until 2028.
"We are simply concerned that awarding this lease without community participation and a [request for proposals]is wrong," the petition says. The group adds that it has "uncovered a system so flawed that only a full audit will be able to uncover the breaches of policy."
More than 80 Beaches residents signed the request.
The petition says that when the vote was taken on May 12, "it was clear that those who voted did not have all the facts in front of them in order to make an informed decision."
The petition asks that the mayor and councillors support a motion that Councillor Frances Nunziata will put forward on June 8 requesting that the debate be reopened. It also suggests that city staff put off signing the agreement until the motion is debated, and that the city's auditor-general review the system that awarded the contract.