The owners of a popular Iqaluit restaurant and bar have to move out of the hotel space they operate in by the end of August, a Nunavut judge has ruled.
Donna and Kim Waters own the Waters' Edge Seafood and Steakhouse and Kickin' Caribou Pub in Hotel Arctic. Last month, they filed a civil suit against Hotel Arctic's owners, Northview Apartment Reit.
The Waters sisters argued they had an oral agreement with Northview to extend the lease until 2023 and had acted upon that agreement.
Northview said there was no verbal agreement. It sold Hotel Arctic and it needs to present a vacant property when the sale is final July 28, except for the restaurant and bar, which can stay until August 31.
The case looked at whether a lease extension agreement was signed and agreed to and whether or not the Waters sisters were keeping the restaurant and pub in good repair as was required under the lease.
But it came down to a letter the Waters sisters wrote to Northview in February 2017.
"As our lease is coming to an end, August 31, 2017, we would like to take this opportunity to express our interest in renewing the lease for the operation of the Kickin' Caribou Pub and Waters' Edge Seafood and Steakhouse," the sisters wrote in the letter.
"I can only draw one rational inference from this letter: the plaintiffs did not believe they had an enforceable right to renew the lease. They explicitly acknowledged their lease was about to expire," wrote Justice Paul Bychok in his decision.
"It is disingenuous for the plaintiffs now to assert an enforceable right to renew," said Bychok.