Earlier this month, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice appointed a receiver over the owner of the Cordage Heritage District in Brantford, Ontario, adding an unfortunate chapter to a property with a history that dates back to 1901.

The Cordage Heritage District sits at 111 Sherwood Drive, near Cockshutt Park, and is currently home to the Brantford Artisan's Village, The Rope Factory Event Hall, and numerous other businesses.

The 10-acre property is owed by 111 Sherwood Investments Inc., which appears to be an entity related to Forge & Foster Investment Management, as both list Joseph Accardi as CEO and Mark Accardi as COO on the signed loan agreements.

According to Forge & Foster, from 1901 to 1968, the Cordage Heritage District was the home of Brantford Cordage, one of the city's major industrial operations and the largest cordage — rope — and twine manufacturers in Canada, and the site is one of Brantford's last remaining industrial buildings from the early 20th century.

In recent years, the property's heavy industrial uses were replaced by a broader range of light industrial and commercial uses, and a series of renovations were also completed.

The Receivership

The application to appoint a receiver over the property was initiated by NHE Capital Corp, a sister company of JV Capital, back in May 2023, but was not granted until earlier this month.

At the time of the application, NHE Capital Corp claimed that its loan of $12M to 111 Sherwood Investments Inc. had matured. However, before the next scheduled court hearing, the two parties reached a forbearance agreement that would give 111 Sherwood Investments Inc. until October 1 to pay the outstanding amount. The agreement was later amended to extend the deadline to April 2024.

The receivership would come into effect either on April 1, 2024 or upon an event of default, and the latter occurred when 111 Sherwood Investments Inc. failed to make an interest payment on February 1. NHE Capital Corp says it is owed $12,351,773.92 as of April 12, with interest accruing at a daily rate of $4,356.16.

On April 19, the Ontario Superior Court granted the receivership order.

In his endorsement of the order on the same day, Justice Peter J. Osborne noted that Forge & Foster had informed the court that it had received a refinancing offer earlier that day from Yoke Group. A representative from Yoke Group confirmed this, but Osborne said no documentation of the offer had been given to counsel.

The case is now likely headed towards the property being sold, Osborne said, and the receiver is now likely in the process of outlining a proposed sales process timeline, which will require approval from the court. Once approved, a commercial real estate brokerage will be retained to list and sell the property, and the sale will also require final approval from the court.

It's unclear whether Forge & Foster had any further plans for the Cordage Heritage District, and what a new owner may choose to do with it following the sale, however. Only time will tell.