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,
From 650 Parliament Inc. management:
The landlord has provided updates on the building reconstruction and on the return date. Please visit their website to learn more: https://wpsq.ca/
From Toronto Fire Services:
No update to provide.
From Toronto Building:
Toronto Building has confirmed that they met with the Landlord's team leading the building reconstruction on re-occupancy. Toronto Building discussed providing a staged occupancy, where some tenants would be allowed to return to the finished floors while units on unfinished floors remained under construction. The landlord's team rejected this option as they felt it would extend the overall occupancy timeline; having few elevators for use by construction crews would add additional costs and delays. Instead, they will finish the rehabilitation of the building before allowing tenants to return. Toronto Building has also clarified that they no enforcement authority as to how the reoccupation of the building is to proceed.
Next update: December 1, 2019