TORONTO — A local legal battle has been won by retail couples boutique, Aren’t We Naughty, the retailer announced today.
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled in favor of the business in a case against the City of Toronto to remain operational on The Queensway.
According to the owners, the store faced strong opposition from the City of Toronto, more specifically Councillor Peter Milczyn of Ward 5 (Etobicoke-Lakeshore) ever since it first opened its doors last year. Due to a city-imposed effort to “clean up” The Queensway and a broad, yet vague bylaw, Aren’t We Naughty was grouped in with other businesses such as strip clubs and massage parlors.
However, the adult retail chain argued that it is a well-respected store with locations across Ontario and is trying to be a part of the clean up of the area with "a beautiful, classy, and well-lit retail environment."
In April of 2012, the store was charged over a vague infraction, stating that it was in violation of city zoning bylaw 514-2003. This bylaw states that “adult establishments” are prohibited from operating in the specific area of The Queensway where Aren’t We Naughty is located. The proprietors noted however, that when the store reopened one of its stores in Pickering, the Deputy Mayor personally attended the event to cut the ribbon and presented the store with a certificate from the Chamber of Commerce thanking it for its contribution to the community.
“We don’t understand why Councillor Milczyn has it out for our store. We run a clean, beautiful retail location. Maybe there are other reasons, we just don’t know,” Steve Bannister, President of Aren’t We Naughty said.
After a lengthy court case, a judge from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that the bylaw is “vague and void for uncertainty,” and is in fact illegal, which grants Aren’t We Naughty the right to remain in business on The Queensway.
“I couldn’t be happier with this decision. Now that we’re allowed to go forward with our plans, my goal is to prove to residents in The Queensway area why Aren’t We Naughty is a valued and respected business in other communities across Ontario. Maybe now the city can get on with their other, and I’m sure more important business, and let me get on with mine,” Bannister said.
He added, “I have to wonder though, if Councillor Milczyn is really interested in cleaning up the area, why not go after all the businesses that allegedly facilitate prostitution? I don’t believe this bylaw was intended for our type of store.”
Over the next few months the store said it would be moving forward with its renovation plans to make it a place where couples and individuals can shop in a welcoming environment.