Captain John’s Seafood eviction date comes and goes
John Letnick speaks with CP24 Friday afternoon. (CP24)
Published Friday, July 27, 2012 6:27PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 27, 2012 6:28PM EDT
The date set by the city for the iconic downtown ship restaurant Captain John’s Seafood to remove its signs and gangway has arrived, and the signs and gangplank remain.
The city and the restaurant in Toronto’s downtown harbour are at odds over $500,000 that owner “Captain John” Letnick owes to the city and other agencies for unpaid taxes, utilities and other fees.
In an interview with CP24, Letnick, who also lives on the boat, said he received a notice that he got a last-minute reprieve, something that Waterfront Toronto denies.
“I was quite surprised. I got a note late last night that they postponed the closure today,” Letnick said in an interview Friday.
Not so, said Michelle Noble, spokesperson for Waterfront Toronto.
She said the signs and gangway were still supposed to come down today, but Waterfront Toronto didn’t take immediate action against 73-year-old Letnick when he failed to comply.
The city has already turned off water and utilities to the boat, which was a popular tourist attraction and banquet hall for nearly 30 years, before falling on tough times during the recession four years ago.
Besides owing taxes, Letnick has failed to pay Waterfront Toronto for the licences that allow land access to the restaurant, which is why it wants the gangway removed.
While Letnick owes the city for taxes and other fees, he still owns the boat itself, which is now up for sale for $1.2 million.
“I would like to just sell it. Pay my obligations and walk off with dignity,” said Letnick, who said it’s time to retire.
He said he has an interested buyer, but admitted that the ship needs a bit of work.
“Yes, Captain John’s ship needs a facelift on the inside and the outside,” he said.
He said he is going to meet with officials from the city next week.