650 Parliament Updates

650 Parliament Help Line: 416-929-3532 x9

650 Parliament Response Office: Unit 110 at 240 Wellesley St East (beside Hair salon)

Email:  650parliament1@gmail.com

Website: http://WPSQ.ca 

Wellesley Parliament Square Property Management Office: 416-929-3532 

Twitter: @650Parliament 

Facebook: Wellesley Parliament Square


 

650 Parliament Update: November 15, 2019

Update November 15, 2019

The Landlord has provided an update on the building rehabilitation status, as well as an update on when tenants may be able to return to their units. The return date has been pushed back until at least early 2020. In response, Councillor Wong-Tam has wrote a letter to tenants which can be found below.

This update also contains a small update from Toronto Building. It and a link to the Landlord's update can be found after the jump.

 

Letter from Councillor Wong-Tam

Last week it was announced that 650 Parliament tenants would not be moving back to their building this year. The Landlord announced that tenants would instead be given an update in "early 2020" with details about re-occupancy. This once again represents another setback for the over 1,000 residents who remain out of their homes with their lives on hold.

Many 650 Parliament residents continue to rely on the charity of friends and family. Others continue to sublet or live in temporary accommodations. Some are dealing with this instability with their children, mobility and/or health problems. Most tenants who have contacted our office have told us that while they may have a roof over their heads, they do not have a home. For all of these tenants, the chance for their lives to return to a sense of normalcy remains elusive with this recent news.

This cannot continue. With the remaining renovation work largely being cosmetic in nature, I expect the landlord to be able to provide more than vague statements as to when tenants may be able to return. At this point, their contractors should be able to provide details, including actual timelines, allowing the Landlord to commit to a return date. 650 Parliament tenants who have seen return dates broken again and again and again deserve nothing less.

One other concerning issue that has come to our office's attention has been reports about compensation that the Landlord has been providing those tenants who are staying with friends and family, or who are in housing that requires a rent subsidy. Residents are reporting that these payments have not been received since September. The Landlord has confirmed with our office that there have been no change in the compensation being provided. This issue has been further brought to the Landlord's attention; I expect that these financial issues will be addressed in short order; many tenants cannot and should not bear this financial burden.

It has been a long year and despite the setbacks, I do want to provide at least some good news for tenants. This upcoming December 10, I will be hosting a Christmas and Holiday party for Ward 13 residents at the St. Lawrence Market Great Hall. I will be providing more details in the coming weeks. Our last few in-person meetings have involved lawyers and legal briefings. I would love an opportunity to see you all where our concerns are primary activities that night will be music and dancing!

Yours in service,

Kristyn

 

650 Parliament Update: November 1, 2019

Update November 1, 2019

The landlord has provided an updated notice on the relocation unit contents. This update follows the recent matters that were before the court about that were discussed in previous updates.

The landlord has also provided more information on the replacement furniture option. We have received some questions from residents about whether they qualify for this furniture replacement option. We have been told the Response Centre is aware of these details and are communicating directly with affected residents.

The landlord has not provided any further updates on when tenants will begin to return to the building at this time. We understand that this is a question on many residents minds; we will of course continue to ask the landlord for updates on this matter.

650 Parliament Update: October 17, 2019

October 17, 2019

On Thursday October 10, 2019, I attended the meeting held by Strosberg Sasso Sutts and Charney Lawyers. The event was well attended by residents who asked many questions and Class Counsel did their best to answer. Despite all claims to the contrary, it is still unclear when residents will be able to return to their units.

On October 15, 2019, there was a motion heard in the Ontario Superior Court where the lawyers for the tenants and the lawyers for the landlords all agreed on a new protocol for tenant access to contents. This new protocol allows for tenants to decide which of their contents they want to dispose of, and which they wish to have moved back up to their units or elsewhere. Under this new protocol, you are being asked to make an appointment to inspect your contents and advise Access Restoration Services (ARS) as to what you want to do with them, so that ARS can finish clearing out and repairing the building.  

The new court-approved protocol gives tenants two (2) weeks to make an appointment to show ARS staff what they want to dispose of and what they want to have moved back into their units, or to another location within the GTA. The new protocol also involves a Caution for tenants to sign due to the risk of their property having been contaminated during and after the fire and the emergency response, as well as a new offer for replacement furniture. Your lawyers have reviewed and approved of the Caution. 

The appointment process is largely the same as it was this summer. Please review the Updated Notice of Relocation of Unit Contents for appointment protocol and times. 

The Updated Notice of Relocation of Unit Contents, please click here. 

The draft order for the Revised Content Removal Protocol can be found here. 

For further information, please contact your Class Counsel from Strosberg Sasso Sutts and Charney Lawyers.

650 Parliament: Update October 9, 2019

October 9, 2019

The 650 Parliament Landlord has provided clarification to their motion that will be the subject of the tenant meeting with class counsel tomorrow. Following a discussion with counsel from Strosberg Sasso Sutts and Charney Lawyers, counsel for the 650 Parliament Landlord, Borden Ladner Gervais, has posted the following letter.

Counsel for the landlord are claiming the following:

  1. The intent of their motion is to dispose of contents that are "toxic, dangerous belongings that tenants abandon, or agree they do not want returned";
  2. They are not intending to impose any new costs on tenants;
  3. Tenants will have the option of returning their contents to their refurbished unit at no cost;
  4. Tenants can choose to retain all their unit contents should they wish;
  5. They want tenants to acknowledge the potential health risks associated with property that may choose to retain;
  6. There are tenants who appear to have abandoned their contents, and they want the court's permission to dispose of those contents; and,
  7. There is an option being provided to tenants to have their furniture be replaced with a package of new furniture if they agree to have ALL of their existing furniture disposed of.

Please read the full letter on the Landlord's website. We recommend you attend the meeting with Strosberg Sasso Sutts and Charney Lawyers on Thursday, October 10, 2019 (tomorrow) at 6:30 p.m. at the Ontario Bar Association Conference Centre, 20 Toronto St., Suite 200, to discuss the Landlord’s motion if you have any questions.

650 Parliament: Update October 4, 2019

October 4, 2019

Our office was notified today of an upcoming motion by the 650 Parliament Landlord through the court system to ask the court's permission to "permit it to dispose of any contents that have not been removed once tenants have been given an opportunity to remove the contents from the building."

Councillor Wong-Tam believes this motion is unfair to tenants and should be withdrawn by the Landlord. Please see her statement below.

Class Counsel from Strosberg Sasso Sutts and Charney Lawyers will be holding a meeting for 650 Parliament tenants on Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at the Ontario Bar Association Conference Centre, 20 Toronto St., Suite 200, to discuss the Landlord’s motion. Please see the e-mail they sent to 650 Parliament tenants below as well.

 

650 Parliament: Update October 2, 2019

October 2, 2019

Toronto's Fire Chief, Matthew Pegg has released an update into the fire investigation of 650 Parliament Street. The Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal (OFMEM) could not conclusively determine what caused the fire in a year ago on August 21, 2018. However, the Fire Marshall's report has advised that the catastrophic failure was potentially caused by water damage to the building's electrical system, a lack of a neutral bond wire and/or due to the age and maintenance of the building's electrical system.

 

650 Parliament: Update September 16, 2019

September 16, 2019

Toronto's Fire Chief, Matthew Pegg has released a brief statement about the causes of the fire that struck 650 Parliament on August 21, 2018. As reported in the media, the Ontario Fire Marshall has finished their investigation and determined that what occurred was a "catastrophic failure of the electrical system in the building caused an explosion in the electrical room, and smaller explosions and fires throughout the building."

This Fire Marshall's report is confidential, and therefore Toronto Fire Services cannot release the report. If there is any further information we are able to share, we will provide it to 650 Parliament residents.

In addition, Toronto Building has provided a brief update on work being done at 650 Parliament. Work on building systems is substantially complete, with the remainder of the work largely finishing work (i.e. drywall, painting, etc.).

 

650 Parliament: Update September 3, 2019

September 3, 2019

There is no news to share with this update. We eagerly await the release of the Ontario Fire Marshall's report, from which we expect to know more about the causes of the August 2018 fire at 650 Parliament Street.

We will provide what information about the Fire Marshall's report that we can when we learn more.

 

650 Parliament: Update August 15, 2019

August 15, 2019

This update provides some recent news about 650 Parliament following the 1-year anniversary of the fire that has pushed tenants out of their homes. The last year has been a difficult year for all 650 Parliament tenants, and our office wants to acknowledge not only the struggle that residents continue to go through, but how incredibly patient and understanding residents have been throughout this harrowing process. 

Included in this update is a statement that Councillor Wong-Tam made on August 14, 2019 to recognise the anniversary. An interview that Councillor Wong-Tam did with CP24 on August 14, 2019 is also included.

The landlord has provided an update through the media which indicates the likely return date is November 2019. The landlord has estimated that approximately 65% of the work required to rehabilitate the building has been completed to date. The landlord has also published a statement on their website which is also linked to in this update.

A recent article by the Toronto Star by Donovan Vincent has provided some information about a soon-to-be-released report by Ontario’s Office of the Fire Marshal. According to a representative with the Fire Marshal, water got into the building’s electrical room, potentially due to heavy rainfall, which in combination with a decades-old electrical system played a role in the fire. The Fire Marshal's report is expected to be finished next week, and the summary of the causes that led to the fire will be made public. 

 

650 Parliament: Update August 1, 2019

August 1, 2019

This update provides information about the recent court decision regarding the relocation of contents from apartment units from 650 Parliament. Information about the court order and the notice from the landlord is provided in this update.

The court order, certified on July 17, 2019, can be read here, along with reasons for the decision by Justice Belobaba here. If you are looking for clarification on the order, or if you feel the Landlord is not living up to the agreement, please contact class counsel at Strosberg Sasso Sutts LLP and Charney Lawyers.

Additionally, as a result of the court action, the 650 Parliament Response Office is now required under court order to return all phone calls and e-mails from tenants within two business days.  

While not an update, our office has received questions about whether the Ontario Fire Marshall has finished their investigation into the August 2018 fire. The answer is unfortunately that the investigation is still ongoing.

Phone: 416-392-7903
Constituency Office: 100 Queen St W A5, Toronto, ON, M5H 2N2