• Hi Guest: Welcome to TRIBE, the online home of TRIBE MAGAZINE. If you'd like to post here, or reply to existing posts on TRIBE, you first have to register. Join us!

Comfort Zone is fighting back.

poker face

TRIBE Member
Its about time some trys to do something about Adam Vaughan

Toronto nightclub sues city for harassment

The Comfort Zone files $11-million lawsuit over alleged 'insidious' campaign to put it out of business

KIRK MAKIN
From Monday's Globe and Mail
March 9, 2009 at 4:25 AM EDT

A Toronto nightclub linked to the drug overdose death of a patron - The Comfort Zone - is suing the City of Toronto and Councillor Adam Vaughan for $11-million over what it alleges is a systematic harassment campaign aimed at putting it out of business.

The lawsuit also asks the Superior Court of Justice to order the city and police to put a stop to constant inspections, searches and attempts to intimidate the club's owners, staff and patrons.

"The stated and clear objective of the defendants is to permanently shut down The Comfort Zone as part of a deliberate vendetta and targeted plan - orchestrated and carried out by the defendants and others - to rid the downtown core of selected businesses, including The Comfort Zone," said a statement of claim drafted by veteran civil litigator Marvin Huberman. It alleges that, notwithstanding attempts by the club owners to maintain a strong security presence and do everything possible to co-operate with authorities, The Comfort Zone has been subjected to "an insidious and unlawful campaign" to run it out of business.

Located on Spadina Avenue near College Street, the club is thought by police to be the place that 26-year-old Andrew Fazio obtained and ingested drugs before he collapsed and died at his home in January, 2008.

Police quickly began telling the press that the club was a haven for drug sales, gang activity and organized crime, the lawsuit alleges.

"To date, this very serious, defamatory, inflammatory and unfounded accusation has not been substantiated - nor have any charges been laid against The Comfort Zone in that connection," it says.

In an interview yesterday, Mr. Huberman said that officials have a legitimate right to try to curtail illegal or questionable conduct, but they have to keep within the law when they do so and avoid maliciously abusing their powers.

"Our position is that they have crossed the line in an egregious fashion," he said. "What they are doing constitutes an abuse of power and unlawful interference with economic relations.

"This is a response to a war on selected downtown Toronto nightclubs and restaurants," Mr. Huberman said. "A legal battle must be waged within the bounds of the law, and combatants must comply with certain rules of engagement."

Three months after Mr. Fazio died, the lawsuit alleges that 100 police officers rampaged through the club as part of Operation White Rabbit.

"During the raid, the police force stormed into The Comfort Zone, using sledge hammers to destroy surveillance equipment, smash electronics and communications systems, causing damage to the premises and property located thereon," it said.

"Steel door frames were kicked down, cash was removed from registers, tip jars and patrons' pockets, without charges being laid against most of the people involved."

Ever since then, the lawsuit alleges, the club has been subjected to repeated visits and charges under provincial licensing laws from Toronto police and licensing agencies.

Mr. Huberman said in the interview that other nightclubs and businesses in the entertainment district have apparently been subjected to episodes of harassment, "but none of them as selectively as The Comfort Zone."

The lawsuit specifically alleges misfeasance in public office, abuse of public office, unlawful interference with economic relations and conspiracy to defame and injury.

It accuses Mr. Vaughan, a councillor representing Ward 20 (Trinity-Spadina), of conspiring with authorities and spreading injurious rumours about the ownership of The Comfort Zone.

Mr. Vaughan said in an interview that he "inherited the file" and that any enforcement measures predated his arrival on council.

He also said that The Comfort Zone draws attention to itself through Internet postings.

"They haven't been singled out for special enforcement," Mr. Vaughan said.

"A number of charges are outstanding and when the dust settles, we'll all have a good sense of what's going on then."

No statement of defence has been filed. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/serv...al_gam_mostview
 

funkdafried

TRIBE Member
I love the Zone. And there are many others who do as well. First, and foremost it's because it is a great place to dance with exceptional music, an enthusiastic, up for it group of house music lovers, djs, and not least of all - enlightened staff who know people come to get down and enjoy themselves. Some of the best times I've had dancing - feeling the music and experiencing the euphoria that only comes with being one with the groove and expressing it through movement - has been on it's hallowed ground.

For its detractors the notions of drug haven, sketchiness, etc.. are reasons to shut it down, but these are unfair criticisms aimed at what has become a high profile venue because of its uniqueness. For one, it's primarily a non-liquor license after after hours club opening until Saturday afternoon and at dawn on Sundays so there is the automatic assumption its patrons are drug fueled heathens along with the accompanying presence of dealers and other undesirables. However, this is not the true soul of the Zone although it has regrettably become its public face.

The truth is the majority of people come to the Zone for one thing - and that is to dance. Some may have stayed up all night and still want to dance, others may have gotten up early, there may be those using drugs to enhance the experience and others still who choose to abstain. The point is drugs are not the defining characteristic of the Zone - the Zone is what all good underground house clubs are and aspire to be - the fusion of music lovers, both dancers and djs (and even head nodders), great sound and music, friendly staff, and all the other elements that go into making dancing a transcendent experience that millions the world over live for every weekend.

One thing I don't want to do though is defend the Zone by saying that their problems are one and the same as other afterhours and mainstream clubs with regards to drugs - even though it's the truth. It is or should be common knowledge that people who like to dance while they're high patronize every single club in this city and the world over, but that's not the point. The point is the Zone is a dance club and it's patrons come to dance - it's probably being singled out because it chooses to open when squares believe you should have been in bed long ago, but when and where an individual chooses to dance should be their choice in our FREE society.

On another note, cops generally don't give legal venues a hassle unless there are public nuisance complaints (eg. that club on Lakeshore a decade ago (Meow?) or the Docks) or pressure from higher ups and politicians. I guess this is where the whole Adam Vaughn thing comes into play in this lawsuit. Personally, I believe that if the Zone felt it had to do something as drastic as launch a lawsuit to protect itself means the pressure of the cops and other city officials who have control over their license is becoming too much to bear and the end may be near for this decades old institution. I truly hope this is not the case and the Zone continues to be a last refuge for all those individuals who don't want the night to end and just want to dance to one more song.


***
As an aside, a personal anecdote about the Zone. Last October, I went out to see Adam Beyer and Joel Mull at the Tempo/Platform party in the Circa Ballroom. The music was extraordinary and I had a great time, but then all of a sudden the music stopped without warning. In retrospect, I realize that closing time was coming upon us and the end was near, but I wanted more and when the music came to an end without any forewarning (eg. volume slowly turned down or less uptempo tracks and a gradual easing of the vibe, etc...) I felt I was left hanging and suspended in mid air.

And although I hadn't planned on extending the evening when I first went out that night I knew the Zone was there and it was there that I had one of the best dancing experiences of my life. The music expressed just about every emotion I love to dance to - at times funky, sexy, uplifting, soulful, dirty, gritty, aggressive and everything in between. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, it's the last time I've been out dancing and I will forever look upon that night fondly. Thanks to all the DJs, staff, and fellow Zoners for making it a most memorable night.
 
tribe cannabis goldsmith - gold cannabis accessories

workdowntown

TRIBE Member
For its detractors the notions of drug haven, sketchiness, etc.. are reasons to shut it down, but these are unfair criticisms aimed at what has become a high profile venue because of its uniqueness.
Yeah basing your notions on the high numbers of arrests, raids, public complaints, anecdotes from regulars about people openly doing whatever drug they like off any surface in full view of staff is TOTALLY UNFAIR!!1 Uniqueness LOL. How uniquely high were you when you authored this living in denial description of CZ?

there is the automatic assumption its patrons are drug fueled heathens along with the accompanying presence of dealers and other undesirables. However, this is not the true soul of the Zone
Yeah pigs, scratch the surface maaaannn. All that bad stuff you saw isn't the "one true cozo" so you should judge it by the outliers instead of the average :p

it's probably being singled out because it chooses to open when squares believe you should have been in bed long ago,
That and the high crime rate mysteriously emanating from the general location, all those gun arrests, drugs etc but yeah SQUARES MAN, SQUARES! FIGHT THE SYSTEM! ANARCHY!

On another note, cops generally don't give legal venues a hassle unless there are public nuisance complaints
Comfort zone = legal venue. Barely.
LOL
 

thom100

TRIBE Member
Yeah basing your notions on the high numbers of arrests, raids, public complaints, anecdotes from regulars about people openly doing whatever drug they like off any surface in full view of staff is TOTALLY UNFAIR!!1 Uniqueness LOL. How uniquely high were you when you authored this living in denial description of CZ?




That and the high crime rate mysteriously emanating from the general location, all those gun arrests, drugs etc but yeah SQUARES MAN, SQUARES! FIGHT THE SYSTEM! ANARCHY!



Comfort zone = legal venue. Barely.
LOL
Have you even stepped foot in the place? your knowledge on the subject seems to be straight from a Sun article or cityTv exclusive.
 

diablo

TRIBE Member
There's a bedding store by my house called Comfort Zone.

Makes me wonder if they have parties in the basement.
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
Matching up people's more recent (negative) accounts of the 'Zone to my own admittedly dated experiences with the place during the 1998-2001 time period I can say that nothing seems to have changed.
 
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders

Flashy_McFlash

Well-Known TRIBEr
Why mess with success?

Assuming one's definition of success is being face-down in a pile of K while Dekoze spins the latest in diva house.
 

kaniz

TRIBE Member
My first time going to the zone, I remember the crunching of empty vials under my feet as I walked across the dance floor, passing the corner of Asians with white-powder glowing around their nostrils under the black light while heading to the washroom, stepping aside to let a bouncer through carrying a g'd out girl to the 'green room'.

Later, going to get some water - a stripper swung from a rafter, boobs jiggling in the wind yelling "anyone have a bump?"

I don't have a hate-on for the zone, I've been a few times and had fun, even done the 'stay in sat / go to bed / wake up early and head there in the AM' thing before. But, the spot does have a sketch-factor, and I'd say the number of people there 'waiting out their high' from the night before is pretty high.
 

Sal De Ban

TRIBE Member
they're stupid to force it out of business. It is easier to keep tabs on criminals and meth heads if they're all in one place on sat nite / sunday afternoon. the 'fish-in-a-barrel' technique. i think they're raids have been lazy, and failed for the most part. They're just going to scatter crime around, like into kensington if they lose cz
 
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders

Lysistrata

Well-Known TRIBEr
comfort zone is the only club where people i know have paid cover to get in just to buy drugs and leave.

i kind of don't want it shut down though. i have fond memories (the ones i remember) i enjoy walking past there on a nice weekend afternoon and seeing the sketchies, it amuses me. i doubt there's any cz left in me, but you never know.
 

MrMarcus

TRIBE Member
Being away for about a year.... CZ is the only club I kinda miss. There's really no other place like it in the world.
 

shanekingsley

TRIBE Member
I miss Buzz. They were better than the other Saturday night parties... we would sleep until midnight and then get up and get ready to go out, to be at Buzz by 2am and stay til 8.
Memories...
 
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders

Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
The truth is the majority of people come to the Zone for one thing - and that is to dance. Some may have stayed up all night and still want to dance, others may have gotten up early, there may be those using drugs to enhance the experience and others still who choose to abstain. The point is drugs are not the defining characteristic of the Zone
So you're saying that *most* of the people would still go even if there were NO drugs to be found at CZ?

haha... I bet.

I remember when the rave scene was under attack and we all used to say "it's not about the drugs" with plenty of irony. Have you ever tried partying clean? It's pretty boring, and you can't stay up for 3 days straight doing it either!
 

funkdafried

TRIBE Member
Yeah basing your notions on the high numbers of arrests, raids, public complaints, anecdotes from regulars about people openly doing whatever drug they like off any surface in full view of staff is TOTALLY UNFAIR!!1 Uniqueness LOL. How uniquely high were you when you authored this living in denial description of CZ?



Yeah pigs, scratch the surface maaaannn. All that bad stuff you saw isn't the "one true cozo" so you should judge it by the outliers instead of the average :p



That and the high crime rate mysteriously emanating from the general location, all those gun arrests, drugs etc but yeah SQUARES MAN, SQUARES! FIGHT THE SYSTEM! ANARCHY!



Comfort zone = legal venue. Barely.
LOL
Are you one of those hipster douchebags? Cause you sound like one.
 
tribe cannabis goldsmith - gold cannabis accessories
Top