North York Mirror
The city has created a survey asking for public input into body rub parlour and holistic centre locations in Toronto.
The survey will gauge awareness, experiences and opinions about any impact these businesses may have on the local community and the need for the city to continue to regulate these types of businesses.
Information collected will assist in the review and development of potential changes to the current bylaws that govern holistic and body rub businesses.
A report is expected to be presented to the licensing and standards committee in April 2013. Coincidentally, residents angry with a neighbourhood business they say operates as an illegal massage parlour called on their councillor to fix the city’s body rub and holistic centre bylaws at a Dec. 3 meeting in North York.
Some 50 residents came out to a meeting at William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute with York Centre Councillor James Pasternak, 32 Division officers and a municipal licensing and standards representative.
Attendees directed their concern and anger towards one particular business that opened in May near Wilson Heights Boulevard and Sheppard Avenue, noting it’s close to a daycare and high school and in a residential neighbourhood away from a main street.
Speaking at that meeting, Det. Const. Kevin Georgopoulos of 32 Division’s plainclothes office said he and his partner had conducted five inspections of the business in question and had not found any infractions. Those who spoke said they don’t have issue with those types of businesses in general, but they should be in industrial areas and away from residential neighbourhoods.
Richard Mucha, acting manager of the city’s licensing enforcement and licensing services, attended the North York meeting and later told The Mirror he would have let residents know about the survey had he known about it himself.
Olga Kusztelska, municipal licensing and standards acting senior policy and research officer, said a review of the bylaw’s current regulations began last year and the survey will help in making recommendations to the municipal licensing and standards committee. “The survey is designed to gauge the reaction of the community.
It’s pretty much a city-wide issue. Downtown has its fair share, certainly North York does. The Queensway has a whole slew of them. We are still in the process of consultation and hearing from the community and business community.
We don’t have any recommendations at this point.” Feedback to date suggests some people are in favour of locating such businesses in industrial areas, while others don’t want them existing at all, Kusztelska said.
“I’d like to come up with something pretty solid,” she said, adding operators of illegal massage parlours somehow find ways to skirt bylaws, no matter how iron clad city officials think amendments have been. “Hopefully this will be the last time we address changes to the bylaw.”
The survey will be available until Friday, Dec. 21 at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dG5udHV4R0hZNWZiNzZVd09nWjVoU3c6MQ