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  • Writer's pictureNo Demovictions

In the midst of a housing crisis, why is Toronto letting a rent-controlled apartment building be...

by Jay Cockburn, Ricochet Media, June 7, 2023

Excerpt: "The residents of 55 Brownlow Avenue are a mix of tenants: many on fixed incomes, all are renters.


Residents of 55 Brownlow Avenue want the city to stop the demolition of their building, which will displace tenant in 121 unite. Most are long-time tenants, many seniors on fixed incomes and working class families.


The tenants of these 121 units will all be displaced by the proposed demolition, or “demoviction,” as campaigners are calling it.


“It's essential that this government listen to renters and bring in proper tenant protections,” said MPP and Ontario NDP housing critic Jessica Bell.


“Renters are the victims of our housing affordability crisis. They shouldn't be our sacrificial lambs.”


This is not the only serviceable building being demolished to build taller condo towers.

In the Annex, 145 St George Street, a 12-storey building of 130 units built in 1959 is also up for redevelopment. City council also approved the demolition of 25 St Mary Street containing 259 units, a 60s-era building in the Church and Wellesley Village neighbourhood.

In fact, according to current applications around 3400 units are up for demolition across the city of Toronto, displacing thousands.


Megan Kee lives at 55 Brownlow and is part of the No Demovictions campaign group. Speaking to Ricochet at the rally, she said, “there are 73 buildings in the city of Toronto being evicted right now, and that represents over 10,000 people.”

Mayoral candidate Olivia Chow speaks speaks to the crowd at 55 Brownlow Avenue. The 15-storey tower is slated for "demoviction."

It is unclear how many are rent-controlled buildings.


Matlow, who voted for the demolition of 25 St Mary Street, said the demolition of 55 Brownlow is being reviewed by city staff. “Our best chance is if city staff recommend against the demolition and the application, because if they recommend for it... city staff would be used as a witness for the applicant if it goes to the tribunal.”


Removing affordable housing stock in a housing crisis that gets increasingly worse by the day seems unwise and irresponsible by any measure."

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