Trelawny L. E. Howell
Great grandniece of Sir Henry Pellatt
(builder of Casa Loma)
Re: EX 22.2 Future Options for Casa Loma
September 10th 2012
Good Afternoon, Mayor Ford and members of Executive Committee:
As you consider the staff proposal for the future of Casa Loma, Please take the necessary steps to ensure that past mistakes (outlined in my attached report) are not repeated.
The staff recommendation for RFP’s (request for proposals) process, using an independent consultant to oversee the process is a good start.
Appendix C – Terms to be Included in the Casa Loma RFP
However, the terms of reference for both should be bolstered to ensure the process is truly independent and transparent.
In 2007 CLAC the city commissioned Casa Loma Advisory Committee recommendations were to have an open tender RFP process following their 3-year study. Council choose NOT to follow CLAC’s recommendations and they renewed Kiwanis Club’s unsustainable Lease for another 20 years. Resulting in the city paying Kiwanis Club over $5M in undisclosed fees, including over $3 million, the City waived from KC’s arrears in rent and lease obligations. Kiwanis Club continue to maintain their offices in Casa Loma Rent Free!
The City must strive to avoid these scenario’s that have been repeated throughout their 80 years of mis-management of Casa Loma. As they have been with other City properties, where unrealistic proposals were accepted and ultimately failed. (i.e. The Guild Inn)
There is an incentive to ‘over-promise’ when negotiating the lease contract in order to get the JOB and then to skimp or even defraud the City, in order to profit from holding the contract.
Particularity with Casa Loma as it may be up for SALE! As Mayor Ford told the press during last years June Council meeting. “I think Casa Loma is something we will eventually have to SELL- That’s the bottom line”.
The City finally hired CBRE Hotels as business advisors to evaluate the potential uses, costs and benefits that would accrue to an operator.
Appendix B – Report from HLT Advisory Inc., Philip Goldsmith & CBRE Hotels
This will help so unrealistic RFP bids can be rejected, as Council needs to be aware of what it will cost to maintain our incredible City asset,Canada’s Castle!
The City should be prepared to work in partnership with the successful bidder. Viewing Casa Loma as a cash cow or perhaps even to expect a break-even scenario for the City may be Unreasonable.
My great Uncle Sir Henry Pellatt built Casa Loma. I have a strong sentimental interest in seeing a successful future forToronto’s Castle.
I believe the majority of Torontonians share this desire to see Casa Loma properly maintained as a great part of our public heritage and Toronto’s 2nd largest tourist attraction,Canada’s Castle!
If time permits, I would like to read the brief report I made from last years council meeting.
“A Century of Mismanagement of Casa Loma continues” (attached report)
Thank you for this opportunity to speak!
Tel: 416 927-9866