On Thursday's GFB: John Letnik - February 7th

Feb 07, 2013

By Dale Goldhawk

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11:15am ET | “Captain” John Letnik, owner of Captain John’s restaurant.
11:30am ET | Dave Woodford , OPP Sargent
12:15pm ET | Dr. Ted Morris, GFB Vet

GUEST – “Captain” John Letnik, owner of Captain John’s restaurant.
TOPIC – The boat housing Captain John’s restaurant, a Toronto waterfront landmark, could be towed to Hamilton and turned into a casino.
INFO – A Hamilton businessman hopes to tow Captain John’s restaurant from Toronto’s waterfront to Steel Town’s and turn it into a casino or banquet facility.

Don Maga says he plans to meet with Toronto waterfront officials later this week and breathe new life into the rusting 91-metre-long floating restaurant, which has been shut down since the city shut off water to the ship June 26 and health officials ordered the restaurant closed.

“I’m going to resolve everything,” was all Maga, a veteran of sales, marketing and product development, would say in a telephone interview from Hamilton on Tuesday.

“The boat will be transferred over to my ownership next week . . . I have a deal in place that I know will go.”

Maga, who claims to have been involved in other entertainment ventures but refused to elaborate, wouldn’t discuss what he plans to do about the more than $568,000 that “Captain” John Letnik owes in property taxes and lease payments on the watery slip at the foot of Yonge St.

“It’s just waiting for someone to come and take it,” said Maga of the five-level ship that he plans to have towed to dry dock and then spend millions in restoration.

Maga says his first choice would be to convert the ship to a banquet facility, but he’s also been working with a group — reportedly Chinese investors — looking at the possibility of a waterfront casino in Hamilton.

“It would be permanently docked. It certainly has enough gaming space and room for entertainment,” said Maga.

While the notion of parking a casino, even a floating one, on Hamilton’s waterfront is bound to run into considerable opposition, Maga says he’s had only positive reaction to docking the former Yugoslavian ship, the Jadran, on the shoreline.

Letnik says he’s shown Maga around the rusting ship and there have been a few conversations, but no talk of a “deal” for the ship he’d had up for sale last year for more than $1 million.

“I don’t believe I’m going to get anything out of it,” said Letnik Tuesday. “But it’s better than having the ship go to the scrapyard.”

GUEST – Dave Woodford , OPP Sargent
TOPIC – The big storm to come and getting road ready.

GUEST – Dr. Ted Morris, GFB Vet
TOPIC – Hyperthyroid disease in cats is a hot topic with Vets.
INFO – Treatment options beyond pills: radioactive iodine, ultra-low iodine diets, transdermal creams.

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