Return date for residents of 650 Parliament St. pushed back again to fall 2019

Residents of 650 Parliament St. have been displaced since a fire broke out at the building on Aug. 21. Global News

Residents that have been displaced by a fire that broke through an apartment building at 650 Parliament St. last summer will likely not be able to return to their homes until the fall of this year.

The return date for residents has been pushed back again after the building management announced in March that residents would be able to go back to their homes before the end of August. Before that, they had the return date as June.

In a notice on their website, building management said that given the unprecedented damage to the building and the massive repair required, they could not “confidently or accurately” provide a return date, other than predict that it will not occur until the fall.

“While our primary goal is to return tenants to 650 Parliament as soon as possible, we have been working hard to ensure that all 650 Parliament residents receive comparable local apartment accommodation in the interim,” the building management said.

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Fifteen-hundred residents have been displaced from their apartments since a six-alarm fire destroyed electrical equipment throughout the building on Aug. 21. last year.

The building management said they’ve been able to house the majority of the residents in local apartments, however, some are still staying in hotels, or with family and friends.

The management also added that a court hearing is scheduled for mid-June to help them decide how to remove and return residents’ belongings in the apartments so that repairs can continue.

“We hoped we could do the necessary work with tenants’ contents in place, but this has proven impossible,” the management said. “We simply can not complete the building repairs efficiently with tenant content in place, and getting the work done and getting you back in as quickly as possible is our priority.”

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The management is asking the court to establish a fair procedure to remove and return the residents’ contents, and also approve a “potential offer of compensation for items damaged in the fire.”

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“Following the court’s ruling, tenants will be provided details of the process, and of course, are encouraged to seek ongoing independent legal advice,” the statement said.

Residents had protested in November against the management’s Nov. 30 deadline for rental assistance, which was then extended to this year.

— With files from Ryan Rocca

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