Some more details have emerged in the ongoing Café Saint-Henri drama in Saint-Henri. The owner of the coffee shop that plans to decamp from the gentrifying neighbourhood took to the airwaves this week to elaborate on his predicament.
Jean-François Leduc told CBC Daybreak that he discovered last week that his landlord wants to raise his rent from $23,000 a year to $63,000. Café Saint-Henri's landlord is Westmount resident Mark C. Moore. "The evaluation he made was based on the rent that Tim Hortons is paying next corner to me. They're paying similar rent, they're on a similar corner," Leduc said. As a result, Leduc, who operates other Café Saint-Henri outlets in Verdun and the Latin Quarter, confirmed that he will move out of his original location before his current lease expires in May 2016.
Leduc claimed that his coffee shop is a victim of its own success and received support from city councillor Craig Sauvé, a proponent of commercial rent control. "[W]hen we have these crazy rent hikes, we're cutting out a whole bunch of possible businesses that might be able to make our streets interesting," Sauvé said.