Jessica Bell MPP, University–Rosedale

Government of Ontario

Bell: Ford actions put 3,440 affordable rental homes in Toronto at risk

Published on May 10, 2023

QUEEN’S PARK – In Question Period today, MPP Jessica Bell (University-Rosedale), NDP Housing critic demanded the Ford government respect the City of Toronto’s renter protections and commit to saving people’s homes.

This week, the City of Toronto sounded the alarm that the Ford Conservatives have given themselves the power to weaken Toronto’s rental replacement by-laws. The City of Toronto has an important by-law that requires any rental unit demolished must be replaced and given back to the tenant at the same rent. Ford’s Bill 97 is set to change that – leaving renters vulnerable to losing their home.

The report is set to be debated at City Hall today.

“With average rents in Toronto over $3,000 a month, losing your home to demolition is devastating", said Bell. “Ford’s plan is increasing anxiety for renters across the city, who fear they could lose their home at the whims of a developer and leave them with nowhere to turn. Instead of protecting people, Ford is leaving them with zero support.

Currently there are 73 rental buildings approved for demolition and conversion in Toronto, putting 3,440 affordable rental homes at risk. Since 2007, the City of Toronto’s rental replacement plan has ensured the replacement of 5,000 rental units, preventing those residents from losing their homes.

“The cost of living is already making life difficult for people. Making it easier for developers to remove affordable housing with no plan to replace it is completely out of touch with the reality for renters right now,” said Bell. “I am calling on the Minister to protect renters and get serious about affordable housing solutions. Because right now, his plan just isn’t cutting it.

There will be a rally beginning at noon today at 25 St. Mary Street, one of the buildings slated for demolition. From there, attendees will march to City Hall, where tenants from buildings at risk will rally to save their homes.