Toronto residents displaced by a fire that tore through an apartment building at 650 Parliament St. in August are holding a rally Monday afternoon against a decision by the property manager to evict them from their hotel accommodations by the end of the month.
Last Wednesday, the landlords of the building sent notices to all the tenants saying the management company will no longer fund hotel accommodation after Nov. 30.
“We have done our best to provide assistance to allow you time to find other accommodations, and have helped with tenants who have found their own alternatives in the Greater Toronto Area,” the notice said.
“We will continue to provide assistance to those who locate comparable accommodations, but we cannot continue the cost of providing hotel accommodation after Nov. 30.”
Approximately 1,500 people were forced out of their homes due to an electrical fire on Aug. 21. The landlord said residents won’t be able to return until sometime in early 2019.
Meanwhile, some residents have chosen to stay with relatives and friends during the ordeal but about 175 families are still using hotels as temporary accommodations.
Mayor John Tory addressed the issue on Monday saying that it is the landlord’s responsibility to meet the needs of its tenants. However, the city may step in if necessary.
“As you know, with things like housing repairs that are not made repeatedly after orders given by the city, we have the right to step in that case, actually perform the repair and add it to somebody’s tax bill,” Tory said.
“And I indicated to the landlord that whatever means necessary, this is back at the beginning of all this, that if they didn’t step up and take their responsibility seriously that I would be looking for a mechanism like that to make sure that whatever we had to do to fill in for their responsibility, the bottom line would be we’d do that.”
The rally is planned at Dufferin Street and Lawrence Avenue at 1:30 p.m. followed by a march to the offices of Bleeman Holdings, the building’s property management company.
VIDEO: Displaced St. James Town residents unable to return home until 2019
–With a file from Kamil Karamali