1528-30 Bathurst Street Tenants' Open Letter

Josh Matlow, Councillor, Ward 12

David Feldman, President & CEO, Camrost Felcorp

August 11, 2021

Re: Affordable Apartment Demolition at 1528-30 Bathurst Street due to Development at 65-83 Raglan Avenue

Dear Josh Matlow and David Feldman,

On March 31, 2021, tenants of 1528-30 Bathurst Street were given N13 notices by the numbered companies that had purchased our building. We were told our 6-unit building was being demolished and that our new landlord wanted us out of the building by July 31, 2021.

The actions taken by the City of Toronto and Camrost Felcorp have resulted in tenants being displaced from our building without any replacement housing provided. Due to the stress and uncertainty of the situation, and the lack of support from the City, other tenants have made plans to move. As the tenants at 1528-30 Bathurst Street we call on the City of Toronto and Camrost Felcorp to withdraw the N13 notices so that those who wish to remain in their homes may do so and to compensate those tenants who have been displaced.

We have learned that the proposed demolition of our building is linked to the development at 65-83 Raglan Avenue. In July 2019, City Council followed the direction of City staff in rejecting the zoning by-law amendment put forward by the developers for a 33-story condo at 65-83 Raglan (TE7.22). One of the main issues cited in the staff report concerned the lack of parkland and public space in the area of the development. The developer revised their proposal in October 2020, which now included parkland dedication at 1528-30 Bathurst, among other changes. At a subsequent LPAT hearing (PL190399), the developer confirmed that 1528-30 was purchased in order to create public outdoor space and pedestrian connectivity, to satisfy the City’s requirement. The revised proposal was approved by City Council in November 2020 (TE20.7), with the Council decision stating that prior to issuing permits on the Raglan site, the building at 1528-30 Bathurst Street would have to be demolished and the property conveyed to the City of Toronto. This approval was recommended by a new staff report that noted our building would be demolished but that did not include the 6 units at 1528-30 Bathurst Street in the Rental Housing Demolition section, wherein it was claimed that no replacement units were required in the development because fewer than 6 rental units would be demolished.

In addition to City staff and Council knowing in November 2020 that our homes were slated for demolition, City staff and our councillor’s office were notified in April 2021 that N13 notices had been issued to the 6 units in our building. Yet despite claiming that the eviction notices issued by Camrost Felcorp were not in line with the City’s rules and regulations, and knowing that no demolition permits had been applied for, the City made no effort to reach out to tenants in order to ensure they remained in their homes. Nor does it appear the City took adequate steps to ensure Camrost Felcorp followed the appropriate rules for demolishing 6 units of affordable rental housing. It is hard to believe that an established developer like Camrost Felcorp is unfamiliar with its obligations to tenants whose homes it wishes to demolish or the City’s rules and regulations regarding the demolition of rental housing. However, they chose to issue N13 notices without applying for permits and without ensuring tenants were provided with adequate replacement housing.

The Subcommittee on the Protection of Affordable Rental Housing was recently created to, among other things, examine the impact of N13 notices and how the City can better support tenants and protect their affordable homes. Meanwhile, the City has paid lip service to the idea of providing more affordable housing, protecting our existing affordable housing, and ensuring that when tenants are forced to move for development there is acceptable replacement housing provided. In our case the City knew about the plan to demolish our homes and knew about the N13 notices, yet nothing was done. We can only imagine what tenants across Toronto face in similar situations when the City is not notified of what is going on.

A few weeks ago, an employee of Camrost Felcorp entered apartments without notice, claiming that tenants should have been out of their homes already. This appears to be what they were hoping—that tenants would quietly leave after receiving the N13s, that the City would stay away, and that they would not be required to provide replacement housing for the people they wanted to displace so they could build a condo tower.

Unfortunately, some tenants have left, while others have made plans to do so. Others remain and intend to stay. We demand that:

  1. The N13 notices be withdrawn so that those who wish to remain in their homes can; and
  2. Adequate compensation be provided to those tenants who as a result of your actions have been displaced, including compensation owed according to the City’s own regulations, rental top-ups, and moving costs.

We look forward to your prompt response. Best regards,

Emma Denomme, Augustin Zaw-Tun, Christos Peristeris, Charmaine Remirez, David Candelaria, Hugo Delgadillo, Justin Escutin

cc: Jonathan West, Camrost Felcorp; Subcommittee on the Protection of Affordable Rental Housing (Paula Fletcher, Brad Bradford, Gord Perks)