A superstitious person would probably have seen the opening date of Samantha Thayer’s Centre Canin DogScouts doggie daycare as ominous.
“We opened April first, so April Fools Day,” she giggled.
She may soon be forced to move, or even close.
On Aug. 23, Thayer got an eviction notice from the Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough because the Sherbrooke Street business was operating on the first floor of a building that was zoned residential and only the ground floor can be used for commercial purposes.
The daycare occupies the ground floor as well.
Thayer said she was confused since she rented both floors as commercial space.
“So we double-checked with our landlord,” she explained, “and we pulled up the tax papers that shows the city does see us as a class 10 non-residential unit.”
According to her, when she pointed this out to borough officials, they then claimed there was a noise complaint.
The business owner said that she asked to see the complaint but borough officials refused to produce it.
She alleges the borough then pointed out to her that the dog daycare wasn’t in the proper zone, even after she says the Ministère de l’Agriculture des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation gave her the okay to operate.
Thayer argues the borough inspector doesn’t understand the services her business provides.
“The inspector who came in initially never asked what services we offer,” she told Global News. “And our sign says Centre Canin DogScout, so it just suggests that we are a centre for dogs, but it doesn’t state what we do here.”
Landlord Phillip Gillespie, who operates a barbershop on the ground floor next door, in the same building, says he’s owned the building for twenty years. According to him, he has always rented both floors, now occupied by the dog daycare, as commercial.
“The community garden was there, and then there was a daycare for kids, and then the young ladies rented it and it was great,” he said.
Client Barry Squires, who spoke to Global News, said the closure of the dog daycare would mean he and others would be forced to find other options.
“I’m probably gonna have to work from home a few more days a week, or my wife, you know, just to figure this out,” he said.
Thayer’s lawyer said they have given the borough until noon Tuesday to withdraw the eviction notice, or they’ll take legal action.
The borough did not respond to mulitiple requests made by Global News by our deadline.