Church Street lounge ordered to close for three days for violating hookah bylaw
Layalina Shisha & Coffee is shown in this image taken from Google Maps. (Google)
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Thursday, March 15, 2018 3:49PM EDT
A Church Street lounge has been ordered to close for a three-day period after it was found to be in contravention of a municipal bylaw which prohibits hookah use in licensed establishments.
Layalina Shisha & Coffee located at 225 Church Street was issued a three-day closing order and a $1,000 fine after a decision by the Ontario Court of Justice.
The closing order means that the business will be forbidden from operating between March 16 and 18.
It is the first closing order issued since the City of Toronto banned hookah use in in licensed establishments nearly two years ago.
At the time the bylaw went into effect there were an estimated 60 to 80 hookah lounges operating in the city.
“The City of Toronto will continue to investigate and take enforcement action against business operators of hookah lounges for continued non-compliance,” the city said in a press release on Thursday. “As other operators are convicted of non-compliance, they may also be subject to closing orders.”
Hookahs are used to smoke conventional tobacco or a flavoured tobacco product that is known as shisha.
The hookah bylaw was the subject of a legal challenge after it went into effect on April 1, 2016 but it was upheld by the Court of Appeal for Ontario in June of that year.
According to Toronto Public Health, staff and patrons in indoor hookah lounges “are exposed to air pollution at levels that are considered harmful to human health.”