Commercial Rent Prices Are Exploding
Many small businesses are finding it hard to keep up
Since 2004, Linette Doherty has taught dance and theatre classes to children out of the same street-front studio, The S.P.A.C.E., on Toronto’s Danforth Avenue. Though the pandemic ended in-person instruction for months on end and slashed her revenue, she hung on and has rebuilt her business nearly back to where it was.
As she planned for the future, she hoped to stay in the same studio she’s been in for nearly 20 years. That is, until she got a new landlord, who sent her a devastating letter this spring: He was raising her rent 35 per cent when her lease is up on July 31. She could pay the increased rent or move out.
“I can’t take a 35-per-cent hit overnight,” Ms. Doherty said. “I’m not going to suddenly grow my business to 35 per cent more of its prepandemic level this summer overnight. I’m not even back to prepandemic levels.”
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