One of Toronto’s most popular martial arts clubs is no longer in business after the landlord put an eviction notice on the door and changed the locks.
“It broke my heart that someone can do this at this time," said Darwin Miranda, the owner of Krudar Muay Thai, a club specializing in martial arts, fitness and well being in Kensington Market.
The club has been in business for 15 years in total and eight years at its current location.
The gym has only been able to stay open one month out of the last eight and Miranda says while he made an effort to pay the rent, it was difficult to do with the gym closed due to covid-19.
Miranda has another location and he says in that building the landlord agreed to take part in Ontario’s rent relief program, but he says at the location where the doors were locked the landlord did not.
With the eviction notice on the door and the locks changed, he is unable to get his fitness equipment, his personal fitness medals and other items.
“I have one special thing which I really want to get and that's a photo of my mother, and my dad's chair. I want that and then he can have the building," Miranda said.
CTV News Toronto reached out to the landlord, who called it an unfortunate situation but said he needed the rent to be paid to pay his bills and taxes.
Many business and landlords are starting to face financial hardship as the pandemic drags on.
On Friday, Premier Doug Ford was in Ottawa and said the last thing he wants to do is keep businesses closed.
“I hate it. I absolutely despise closing businesses but I have to keep the health and safety of this province moving forward. It’s as simple as that,” Ford said.
Miranda also wants the province to extend the ban on commercial evictions during the pandemic, but for now he is hoping the public will do what it can to support small businesses.
“Support local businesses right now, because you never know what they are going through and if they are going to close,” Miranda said, who added he is going to “keep strong and we are all going to get through this."
A petition to help the fitness club re-open has been created and it already has more than 600 signatures.
But the building has already been put up for sale.