An Ontario judge has ordered Hudson’s Bay Co. to pay half the rent owing at one of its department stores, while blocking a landlord’s attempt to evict the iconic retailer.
The interim ruling comes after Oxford Properties Retail Holdings moved to evict HBC from the Hillcrest Mall in Richmond Hill, Ont., after seven months of unpaid rent.
HBC filed an injunction to stop the eviction, citing an earlier claim that Oxford — which has a portfolio of malls including the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, and the Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga, Ont. — has failed to operate and maintain “first class shopping centres.”
Ontario Superior Court Justice Glenn Hainey responded by temporarily barring Oxford from ending HBC’s lease at the Hillcrest Mall, which would have seen many retail workers out of a job as the second wave of the pandemic worsens.
But in return, he directed the retailer to pay $659,395, or 50 per cent of unpaid rent from April to October.
Yet Hainey underscored that the interim ruling will not impact the final outcome of the case following a hearing on the merits of both HBC’s and Oxford’s claims.