Parkdale rent strike


Parkdale tenants launch a rent strike against

above-guidline rent increases and for repairs

By Frances Sedgwick
True North Perspective

Frances Sedgwick's keen eye and ear for the human condition reveals the heart and soul of Parkdale in southwest Toronto, one of the country's most turbulent urban areas where the best traditions of human kindness prevail against powerful forces that would grind them down. True North Perspective proudly presents a column by writer Frances Sedgwick. Her critical observation combined with a tender sense of humour will provide you with something to think about ... and something to talk about.

Monday 1 May — Parkdale Tenants rally as the Rent Strike gets underway in buildings managed by MetCap in Toronto’s Parkdale.

Effective May 1, hundreds of Parkdale tenants will hold back their rent in defiance of their landlord's drive to push them out of their homes. More than one hundred MetCap tenants, neighbours, and supporters marched in Parkdale to announce the beginning of the rent strike. In front of their buildings on Tyndall and Jameson, tenants called on their neighbours to join the rent strike to stop the above guideline rent increases and for repairs in their buildings.

Tenants in multiple MetCap buildings in Toronto have been organizing for the past few months to fight rent increases and get repairs done in their units. It hasn’t been easy for MetCap to ignore the organizing going on in Parkdale and as of May 1 it will be impossible.

In a continuing  attempt at the gentrification of Parkdale by driving out low income tenants and families, MetCap has been intimidating tenants taking part in this strike — this has backfired. Several tenants hung signs in their windows and from their balconies advertising the strike. They were given eviction notices. City News coverage: 

Tenants checked with their local Counselor Gordon Perks about their legal rights and got this reply:

"Some tenants in Metcap buildings in Parkdale have told me that they received eviction notices from Metcap.  Metcap has stated that the eviction is because placards in their windows or their balconies violate City advertising sign bylaws. This is not true.

"I have confirmed with City Staff that these placards, expressing personal or political viewpoints, are not the kind of advertising signs that we regulate. We do not and cannot prevent people from expressing personal or political viewpoints. Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects such expressions."

Wow, another blow to MetCap.

Parkdale tenants took things into their own hands since there has been no action from governments to control unscrupulous landlords who are trying to drive working class tenants out of Parkdale by increasing rents beyond their reach while neglecting basic repairs. The tenant’s only weapon was to withhold their rents.

 “The people united will never be defeated”

Way to go Parkdale you are leading the way!!!

My Parkdale