July-8-2010 The Star – An ultimatum to Casa Loma

Toronto Star
Author: Paul Moloney
Date:July 8, 2010

The Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma has until July 31 to recommend a new chair for the city-owned tourist landmark.

Toronto Council decided Wednesday that if the club doesn’t do so, the city will start looking for a new operator to replace Kiwanis, which has managed the castle for 73 years.

The city is concerned that commitments to upgrade the facility have not been met and wants the board to suggest possibilities to replace lawyer Richard Wozenilek, with the decision to be made by Mayor David Miller, said city manager Joe Pennachetti.

Wozenilek, who has held the post since 1991, couldn’t be reached for comment.
“They haven’t come close to completing the projects that were anticipated. They know that,” Pennachetti said.

Miller told council the city has been patient.
“We have given them every opportunity in the world to say, ‘Yes, we’ll address these issues,'” the mayor said. “Again and again and again, they haven’t.”

A city briefing note contends the city has tried hard to resolve differences with Kiwanis over how to showcase city-owned Casa Loma as a tourist and reception facility. It says Kiwanis acknowledges it has fallen behind on upgrades outlined in a July 2008 management agreement and has spent only about half of the $1.6 million it was supposed to on upgrades meant to be completed by June 30.

“Kiwanis is a fantastic organization,” Miller said Wednesday. “They do great charitable work. It’s just that a volunteer organization has been proven to be incapable of running this heritage site.”

Credit: Paul Moloney Toronto Star

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