TORONTO, ON – Almost nine years after it was first announced, Bellwoods Brewery may finally be on its way to opening a location in Toronto’s Dovercourt Village neighbourhood following a substantial legal victory over the landlord of the property.
The facility at 950 Dupont Street was planned to include a production brewery and barrel-aging room, as well as a small pub and restaurant similar to the original Ossington location, an event space, and offices. But those plans were soon put on hold due to what were described as “landlord delays”, and the brewery instead opened a second location on Hafis Road in 2016.
When no further progress was seen to be happening on the Dupont location, many assumed that it was officially cancelled, but a legal ruling issued earlier this month shows that Bellwoods and building owner Pat Johnson have been fighting a courtroom battle over the location, with Justice Robert Centa of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ultimately ruling in favour of Bellwoods.
According to the ruling, Johnson’s 1896841 Ontario Limited and Bellwoods officially entered into a 20-year lease agreement in May 2015, with Bellwoods paying a $113,000 deposit, but Bellwoods was never able to move into the premises due to Johnson’s refusal to vacate.
Based on a calculation that Bellwoods would have opened the new location by August 2016 if access had been granted when the lease was signed, Centa ruled that Johnson must pay the brewery $6,110,000 in damages plus pre-judgement interest, and must also vacate the premises within 30 days of the May 11th ruling and allow Bellwoods to take possession for the originally agreed to 20-year term.
The judge also dismissed a countersuit from the landlord seeking more than $2 million in damages based on a claim that Bellwoods had breached the lease.
Bellwoods has yet to release a statement on the ruling, or announce any plans or timeline to proceed with work on the new location.
For more details, see the full ruling.
Source: Devan Marr on Twitter
Photo: Bellwoods Brewery