The owner of a downtown deli said he will be closing shop on Friday after nearly 35 years in business because the landlord is forcing the establishment out.
Bell Pastry and Deli is on the ground floor of Place Bell on Elgin Street but Said Saber said the tower's $35-million dollar face-lift doesn't include his business.
"The shark people they have the right to whatever they want. They have the power. The little fish you know, they can do nothing," he said.
Saber said 14 people will be out of work when he shuts down.
H&R, the building's Toronto-based owners, announced big plans to renovate the entire ground-floor and said a deli won't fit with the other businesses in a renovated, modern food court.
"What I'm saying is he's not a restaurant — let's put it that way," said H&R's Elmar Janssen.
Saber's lease allows for the landlord to relocate his business to another desirable spot.
"His 'desirable area' is either in the basement or on the side, not the frontage, where most of the money can be made," Saber said.
The property manager said he offered the deli good-quality retail space. When Bell Pastry refused, H&R paid Saber out.
"I had no choice. Because I'm local, I'm deprived being in the front, competing with the national names," Saber said.