TORONTO — Toronto escorts and private-equity firms have shut down, citing a “growing lack of demand.”
Toronto Escorts and Private Equity (TEPE) has said customers who did not respond to an email to request a cancellation were asked to call ahead and that they would not be able to schedule appointments.
The company said it is cancelling all existing events in the city and will be reopening in a few weeks.
It said it had closed some events in Toronto’s East York neighbourhood in recent months.
The Toronto Escort and Private Investment Group (TESP) said it was also cancelling two Toronto-area events scheduled for next week, but said it did not have a timetable for when the event would be rescheduled.
TESP’s parent company, TEPE Capital, said the city is facing a “challenging environment” and that it has “very few clients at present,” adding that it will not be rescheduleing the events.
TEPI said it expects to open a new Toronto Escorting and Private Escort business in a month.
The group said it plans to expand its Toronto operations and “build a strong network of clients across the city.”
The companies did not return requests for comment.
The Canadian Escort Association (CEA) said the industry is “at risk of closure” and urged all parties to find a solution.
The association said the number of people seeking escorts has dropped sharply in the past five years, and it is expecting to see a decline in demand.
“It’s just a matter of time before demand goes away,” said Mark Cederberg, president of the CEA.
The Association has called on provincial and municipal governments to increase taxes on the wealthy and tighten restrictions on private escorts.
The province has recently proposed a cap on private-escort fees.
“There’s just not enough money in the budget to support all these additional programs,” Cederberg said.
“I think the city has to get its act together, and get its programs and regulations in place to support the escorts.”
Toronto has seen a decline of about 50 per cent in the number in the last decade of people who were using the industry, according to a report from the Canadian Association of Professional Escorts (CPAE).
But the CPAE said it still has a lot of clients who come to the city because of its proximity to Toronto International Airport.
It also said the market is still very much in flux and could change.
The CPAEA has said it wants to see the industry survive and grow, but it does not expect to see much change in the industry in the coming years.