Spacing Toronto: MAYOR’S RACE: EYES ON THE BALL, NOT JUST THE PRIZE
by John Lorinc, April 4th, 2023
Excerpt: "On Saturday afternoon, a group of about 150 people of all ages gathered at 145 St. George, an 11-storey 1960s-vintage apartment building immediately north of the subway station. Their goal: to protest the proposed demolition of this and several other mid- or high-rise rental buildings that sit on land deemed sufficiently valuable that developers can take them down and replace them with much larger ones, and still make a profit.
The applications for 145 St. George and 25 St. Mary Street both come from 10Block, a development firm. There are 389 apartments in these two buildings combined, many of them reasonably priced. Across Toronto, there are about 3,500 rental units in buildings with more than 20 apartments that are now facing demolition orders, according to a city spokesperson.
During Saturday’s protest, Jessica Bell, the NDP MPP for University Rosedale, cited more stats from the city and then sent me a list of current demolition applications.
Many are for a few dozen units, but there are several with over a hundred apartments, such as 55 Brownlow, a slab apartment near Mount Pleasant, Eglinton, 48 Grenoble, a nine-storey building in North York, and 7-11 Rochefort Dr., a low-rise stacked townhouse complex near the Science Centre.
The tenants’ associations in three of these buildings have found each other. There’s now a Twitter account and outreach to some local politicians, including mayoral candidate Chloe Brown, and the inevitable sign-up sheets. It will be interesting to see if this network grows, makes common cause with other increasingly dispossessed tenants’ groups, and gathers some political momentum. I suspect it will. And it should."