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May 15, 20

Ontario: Tenants Descend on Landlords’ Mansions

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Report on recent tenant action in so-called Ontario against threats of eviction from landlords.

On May 13th, tenants from Scarborough, Mississauga, and Parkdale visited the homes of their landlords as the (virtual) annual general meeting of the Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) was being held. No longer willing to endure landlords’ threats of evictions and demands of rent repayment, tenants took every safety precaution to collectively voice their demands for no evictions and for rent forgiveness for all tenants unable to pay during the COVID-19 crisis.

Our first stop was the home of Pinedale Properties CEO, George Grossman. Grossman’s company owns the buildings at 7, 9, & 11 Crescent Place where company reps have visited tenants’ units demanding on-the-spot rent payments with a handheld ATM. A company rep told one bereaved tenant whose relative had died from COVID-related illness that “COVID is nothing” and that “the economy needs to keep going”. This morning when tenants from Crescent Town attempted to deliver a letter to Grossman at his door they were greeted by a domestic worker employed at his residence. Grossman opted to cower inside his mansion rather than face his tenants.

Next we descended on the home of Starlight Investments CEO, Daniel Drimmer. In 2019 Starlight added to its real estate empire, buying GTA apartment buildings valued at a total of 3.75 billion dollars. Despite its growing financial power, in the past two months Starlight repeatedly sent notices to tenants demanding rent repayment and threatening to issue legal eviction notices. Shortly after we arrived Drimmer was seen pacing on his back patio while on his phone. Instead of talking to his tenants, Drimmer called Toronto Police Services and reported that tenants were engaged in “hate speech” against him.

Today tenants made it clear that we will continue to organize with our neighbours. Unless landlords’ threats of eviction and demands for rent repayment are withdrawn, and rent forgiven for tenants unable to pay during the crisis, we are prepared to escalate our action by bringing greater numbers of our neighbours to confront even more landlords where they live and do business.

For more information about Pinedale and Starlight visit www.landlordsoftoronto.com

Not yet organized with your neighbours? Visit www.keepyourrent.com

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Parkdale Organize

Rent strike campaign organized by residents in Toronto, Canada.

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