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  • Writer's pictureNo Demovictions

Evictions due to demolitions set to hit all-time high in Toronto, data shows

By Carly Penrose, Investigative Journalism Foundation, 15 NOVEMBER, 2023


"Tenants in Toronto are calling for a pause on demolitions of apartment buildings after a record number of rental units were approved for demolition in 2023, according to a new analysis from the IJF.

Demovictions, or demolition-driven evictions, are on the rise in Toronto as an increasing number of buildings and rental units are expected to be demolished in the coming years to make way for higher-density developments in their place. 

Often championed as a way to increase density in a housing shortage, activists protesting demolitions of rental buildings say it will displace thousands of tenants in Toronto, superheat an already competitive rental market in the city and threaten existing affordable housing to replace it with more expensive luxury units without any rent control.

An IJF analysis of municipal data and Toronto city council meeting records between Jan. 31, 2017 and Oct. 11, 2023 found that 100 buildings containing 4,392 units across Toronto have been approved for demolition. One-third of these were approved in 2023 alone. 

Another 4,124 units in 71 buildings are facing demolition applications, according to data from Jan. 1, 2018 to Sept. 31, 2023 provided by Toronto City Planning. These units have yet to be approved for destruction. 

One of those units belongs to Megan Kee, a resident of 55 Brownlow Ave. Kee remembers the anxiety she felt when she was told, via a letter slipped under her door, that the owner was applying to demolish the building. 

“Knowing at that time that rents were increasing across the city, that affordability was worsening in all facets of life added to the stress,” said Kee, who is now an organizer with No Demovictions, an advocacy group made up of a coalition of tenant associations that joined together to fight demovictions in their buildings."

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