Bawdy rubs shut by raids

Parlour workers, clients charged

By MARC KILCHLING, SUN MEDIA


Tips from residents and businesses are credited by police in an ongoing investigation that shut down a string of massage parlours allegedly offering sexual services.

Police raids on nine parlours on Danforth Ave. and O’Connor Dr. have led to 81 charges against 25 people.

Both the workers at the massage parlours as well as their customers face charges ranging from owning and keeping a bawdy house to being found-ins at a common bawdy house.

BYLAWS NOT WORKING

“We’ve been working hard to get rid of these body-rub parlours for the last few years,” local Councillor Janet Davis said yesterday.

Her campaign office last election had one of the parlours as a neighbour, she said.

“They have been popping up all over the place and the approach of ticketing them for bylaw infractions wasn’t working,” Davis said.

The ineffectiveness of those bylaws is a problem Tim Phillips is all too aware of. He’s the owner of Healing on the Danforth, a holistic healing centre across the street from Devon Spa — one of the locations raided by police.

‘MASQUERADE’

That particular massage parlour had already been raided once by police but opened up again a few months later — this time operating as a holistic healing centre.

“I’ve been working to try to create a city bylaw to distinguish between those that are holistic and those that masquerade as such,” he said.

The recent creation of the Danforth Mosaic Business Improvement Area has gained him allies.

“We have worked diligently to ensure we have a safe and family friendly business area,” said the association’s chairman Patricia Silver. “I don’t think a rub and tug is appropriate for our area.”

Police also seized $25,000 in cash along with Ecstasy and marijuana in the raids.