Demovictions are on the rise in Toronto. Some fear they'll make the rental market worse for everyone
Updated: Oct 13
by Lane Harrison, CBC News, October 3rd, 2023
As Toronto renters feel the squeeze of a competitive market with prices that won't stop climbing, some in the city are sounding the alarm about a practice they say is displacing them while temporarily taking affordable units off the market: demovictions.
A demoviction, or demolition driven eviction, is when a landlord evicts tenants from a building so that it can be demolished and redeveloped into new apartments or condos.
Megan Kee, an organizer with the advocacy group No Demovictions facing demoviction herself from her rent-controlled midtown apartment, says taking prospective renters out of affordable units and adding them to Toronto's market is not what the city needs.
"Demolishing this very limited part of the housing system is going to displace a huge number of renters who have nowhere else to go, especially because we have historically low rental vacancy rates," she said. "Thousands of tenants displaced by demovictions will now be competing for housing in an already tight rental market, [which] will impact affordability for everybody."
On Monday, No Demovictions held a protest downtown attended by about 100 people who called for demovictions to be stopped. Since 2017, there have been 81 apartment buildings approved for demolition and replacement in Toronto, according to data from the city's website. Those buildings included 3,225 rental homes and 1,757 affordable units. During those years, 2022 saw the most approvals with 23, after eight approvals in 2021 and 11 in 2020.