Future of adult entertainment parlour appears uncertain

Tripe Play, one of two licensed live adult entertainment parlous in Sarnia. Troy Shantz

Troy Shantz

The future is uncertain for one of Sarnia’s last strip clubs.

Triple Play, one of only two adult entertainment clubs still operating, went on the market this spring following the death of its owner.

Both the business and the building itself at 348 Ontario St. are for sale, confirmed Doug Bain, the broker-owner of Royal LePage Key Realty, which is handling the listing.

According to a 2002 bylaw, the licence needed to operate a live adult entertainment parlour in Sarnia is non-transferable and is location-specific. That means any new owner would need to re-apply to keep the licence.

The bylaw caps the number of allowable strip clubs in the city at two.

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley proposed the original restrictions during his first term as mayor in the late 1980s in a bid to limit their number.

“There was quite a significant number in the downtown, and as each one went out of business, if they didn’t reactivate the business, they lost the licence, and they could not move it anywhere else,” he said.

“I would say the bylaw that came forward was a small part in changing the image of downtown. (Strip clubs) generated a lot of issues and they kept people from coming downtown.”

Strip clubs are one of only two classes of businesses the Ontario Municipal Act allows municipalities to regulate. Payday loan companies joined the list last year.

A city staff report requested by Bradley and approved by council last month is currently looking at way to limit the number of payday loan shops operating in the city.

The mayor cited reports of low-income people who can’t get credit at a bank paying extremely high interest rates to payday lenders, becoming caught in a vicious cycle of debt, and going bankrupt.

There are currently at least 10 shops operating in Sarnia. The staff report is expected in December.