This isn't just another building.
It is a collective group of young families, seniors, and people who don't want to leave their homes.
My name is Wanda and I have lived at 55 Brownlow Avenue for over 8 years. This building is under rent control and is affordable.
I am retired and, like many retirees, I live on a fixed income. I am deeply concerned about the demolition of 55 Brownlow Avenue. I cannot afford to move from my affordable apartment at 55 Brownlow Avenue to an apartment in a new building. It isn’t just the unaffordable rents that make me anxious but also being separated from my granddaughter for whom I am a caregiver. I love our community, the people and the parks, schools and other amenities.
I consider myself lucky that my daughter, her husband and daughter live in another apartment in this building. My granddaughter will not only be uprooted from her home, but also her grandmother and her friends.
Iryna, 40, and her family of four moved to Toronto from Italy and the 55 Brownlow's affordable rent and location allowed her children to attend schools nearby and be walking distance from her office. Iryna is saving to put her kids through post-secondary education and the family currently doesn't own a vehicle. With rents in the neighborhood skyrocketing, Iryna fears that without 55 Brownlow, her family will have to leave the community they've built over the past five years. "Renting even a two bedroom in the neighborhood would be unsustainable," she said.
CANEY & JUNYAN'S STORY
A year ago, Junyan and I moved from a $3000/month, 2nd floor Annex rental home to 55 Brownlow Avenue seeking more sustainable rent.
At first we were skeptical if apartment living would be for us, but we soon fell in love with the community and diversity we found in this building. Our neighbours are a mix of elderly individuals living alone, new immigrants, young families, and a mother and daughter duo.
During the pandemic, we also salvaged a couple of art spaces going out of business, and are now offering affordable rehearsal space for artists. We are artists ourselves, and it is this diversity that keeps Toronto a vibrant city. Please help us keep Toronto affordable for all demographics.
Karen dreamed of retiring next year. She has been living at 55 Brownlow for nearly 15 years, a location she moved to because it allowed her easy access to public transit and she can walk to work. But if she has to move, she says there's "no way" she can afford to stay in this neighborhood. “Let’s just say about 70% of my income would have to go to rent if I had to leave right now. And that’s before I retire,” she said.