Randy McDonald (rfmcdpei) wrote,

[URBAN NOTE] "Captain John’s restaurant boat could have new life in Hamilton as casino"

Might Captain John's Harbour Boat Restaurant, a derelict boat-based restaurant on the Toronto waterfront, be sold off for a second life as a floating casino in Hamilton? The Toronto Star's Susan Rigg suggests so.

A Hamilton businessman hopes to tow Captain John’s restaurant from Toronto’s waterfront to Steel Town’s and turn it into a casino or banquet facility.

Don Maga says he plans to meet with Toronto waterfront officials later this week and breathe new life into the rusting 91-metre-long floating restaurant, which has been shut down since the city shut off water to the ship June 26 and health officials ordered the restaurant closed.

“I’m going to resolve everything,” was all Maga, a veteran of sales, marketing and product development, would say in a telephone interview from Hamilton on Tuesday.

“The boat will be transferred over to my ownership next week . . . I have a deal in place that I know will go.”

Maga, who claims to have been involved in other entertainment ventures but refused to elaborate, wouldn’t discuss what he plans to do about the more than $568,000 that “Captain” John Letnik owes in property taxes and lease payments on the watery slip at the foot of Yonge St.

“It’s just waiting for someone to come and take it,” said Maga of the five-level ship that he plans to have towed to dry dock and then spend millions in restoration.

Maga says his first choice would be to convert the ship to a banquet facility, but he’s also been working with a group — reportedly Chinese investors — looking at the possibility of a waterfront casino in Hamilton.

See also Torontoist and the Hamilton Spectator for more. The latter, incidentally, suggests that the deal hasn't been sealed yet, whether we're talking of the sale or of the creation of a waterfront casino in Hamilton.
Tags: hamilton, restaurants, toronto, urban note
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