In a city where many sellers have no problem attracting buyers to their super-expensive properties, there’s one multi-million-dollar real-estate investment opportunity that seems as though it may never find a taker. Captain John’s boat at the foot of Yonge Street—once a restaurant, now a semi-abandoned hulk with no water service and limited land access—has been spawning sale rumours for almost a year and a half. The Star reports that the latest potential buyer may actually be legit, though.
According to the paper, a group of U.S. investors led by an entrepreneur named John Scales (perfect: same first name, no need to repaint the sign) wants to buy the Jadran (that’s the boat’s name), renovate it and then dock it in a new location somewhere else on the Toronto-area waterfront. “It could be a convention centre, a restaurant, an intimate theatre or any number of things,” Scales told the Star. And indeed it could be any of those things, assuming Scales and his group are able to raise several million dollars and convince a landowner somewhere to host the very same ship that the Toronto Port Authority and Waterfront Toronto have been trying to banish from the Yonge Street slip for years. Lately, a federal court has layered some additional urgency on the sale process. A June 19 ruling orders a court-appointed sheriff to attempt to auction the boat to the highest bidder, with the proceeds to be used to pay off some of the boat’s estimated $1.7 million in debt. Anyone looking to invest in what realtors might refer to as a “unique fixer-upper opportunity with unobstructed lake views” can submit a sealed bid by July 31.