Displaced St. James Town residents will no longer have hotel rooms paid for
Kayla Goodfield, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, November 14, 2018 10:24PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 15, 2018 2:26PM EST
Residents displaced by a blaze at a St. James Town apartment this summer will no longer have their hotel rooms paid for beginning at the end of the month.
Tenants of 650 Parliament Street were sent a letter by the property manager on Wednesday.
“We have done our best to provide assistance to allow you time to find other accommodations and have helped with tenants who have found their own alternatives in the Greater Toronto Area,” the letter said. “We will continue to provide assistance to those who locate comparable accommodations, but we cannot continue the cost of providing hotel accommodation after Nov. 30.”
“We are therefore giving you notice that we will not fund hotel accommodation after Nov. 30.”
About 1,500 residents were forced from their homes due to electrical damage and safety concern caused by a six-alarm fire in the building back in August. Some of the residents have found alternative accommodations through family, friends or Good Samaritans, but others have been staying in hotels paid for by the property manager.
“I was shocked,” Mark Slapinski told CP24 on Wednesday night outside of the hotel he has been staying at. “This has been a nightmare and this whole thing just makes things worse.”
“I started off at my grandmothers, I stayed at a friend’s place, I was at the Delta Chelsea and now I’m here.”
Slapinski said he has been in contact with a community groups and legal counsellors to help figure out his next step.
Mayor John Tory said responsibility must be taken for the circumstances these residents are facing.
“Plans to stop paying hotels for 650 Parliament Street residents on two weeks notice is not acceptable,” Tory said in a tweet on Wednesday night. “They are homeless through no fault of their own.”
Upon signing a waiver and wearing proper protective gear, residents have been able to return to their units to collect belongings during allotted times.
Residents are not expected to be allowed to reoccupy their units until sometime in early 2019.