The city's only backpacker's hostel has been shut down by municipal bylaw enforcement. The hostel was opened last September without a license because Hamilton lacks a definition of "hostel" in its bylaws. From Open File's City shuts down Hamilton's only backpackers hostel:
After a slow start, [hostel owners Tanya and Tim Ritchie's] first guest (a solo traveler from Japan) arrived last autumn to explore the city on his way from Niagara Falls to Toronto. In January, the Ritchies were shocked to see their business break even. In March, it turned a profit. By April, word of mouth had travelled fast and spring bookings stretched into June, foreshadowing a successful season. They planned to move to a larger location in the fall, with the money generated by summer stays.
That’s when they got the call from By-law Services.
Mark Spelic, a Municipal Law Enforcement (MLE) officer, told the Ritchies the inquiry had come directly from Bernie Morelli’s office.
“Bernie Morelli called me on Sunday to say it had nothing to do with him,” Tanya says. “He had a very brisk manner. Just passed it off.”
Morelli has since stated that neither he nor his office can interfere with the enforcement process of Municipal Law Enforcement officers, regardless of the fact that the question was put forth by a Ward 3 constituent.
Full story is on Open File.
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