Gateway Casinos will try its luck in southwest London
Published Wednesday, December 19, 2018 6:33PM EST
After failing to reach an agreement with the city on a new casino in the Western Fair District, gaming giant Gateway Casinos has leased a property on Wonderland Road, CTV News has learned.
The property, south of Southdale Road, is currently home to Spivak Concrete and a used car lot.
The owner of 519 cars, Sasa Glavas, says he has been given notice from his landlord to move, “We have to roll with the times. We knew this time was going to come. Unfortunately for us we love this spot.”
The news may come as a disappointment to some in the Old East Village neighbourhood.
At Strings Cafe and Guitar Shop near the Western Fair, Gateway's decision is seen as a loss for the area.
Co-owner Natasha Alderdice tells CTV News, “It'd be a bit disappointing to lose that traffic to the area. As shop owners in the Old East Village, more customers in the area, the fact that we are going out of our way to bring some cool shops to the area.”
Gateway Casinos had originally proposed building a $140-million casino, hotel and restaurant complex with up to 1,200 slots and 46 table games in the Western Fair District.
For a year-and-a-half negotiations dragged on between the fair, city hall and Gateway and recently city council rezoned the Western Fair to permit a casino.
There's no explanation as to why a lease agreement could not be reached.
Locating on Wonderland Road, the casino would continue to provide a share of its revenue with city hall.
According to city hall's Development Services Department, the property on Wonderland is currently zoned industrial and because a casino is such a unique use, a rezoning would be required.
It has yet to be determined if an official plan amendment would also be needed, but both processes would provide opportunities for public input.
With the casino moving in, 519 cars is optimistic about its new start. According to Glavas, “We’re going to be around, we'll find a new place in Talbotville and after that we will see.”
A request to interview Hugh Mitchell from the Western Fair District had not received a response as of this story's publication.