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Captain John's owner countersuing port authority: report

The owner of Captain John’s floating restaurant in Toronto is countersuing the Toronto Port Authority (TPA), according to a published report.

The Toronto Star reported Friday that John Letnik was seeking more than $1.2 million in damages from the authority for allegedly sabotaging his efforts to find a buyer for the floating vessel that has been a fixture at the bottom of Yonge Street since 1975.

Neither Letnik nor the TPA could be reached immediately for comment.

The City of Toronto turned off the water to the floating restaurant located at 1 Queen’s Quay W. in June 2012 after it said Letnik owed more than $1 million in arrears to the city, the TPA and Waterfront Toronto.

As of Oct. 1, 2013, Letnik owed the city $648,947.61 in property taxes, including unpaid water and utility fees. He also owed Waterfront Toronto, $142,492 and the TPA, $224,301.06.

Letnik said the taxes were unfair and has sought in court to declare the ship not a structure which means it wouldn’t be assessed for taxes.

In a letter to council on Oct. 4, Letnik said he wanted an amicable resolution, one that would allow him to move his floating vessel to another berthing location on the waterfront. But he warned that should the matter end up in court it could cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

Click here to read his letter.