Letter to John Tory

Mayor Tory:

   The Downtown East is facing a housing disaster. Many people are unhoused and even greater numbers are inadequately and precariously housed. While this appalling situation continues, an oversupply of upscale housing is generated and this brings with it a process of gentrification that drives up rental costs and obliterates vital community services.

   In the very heart of the community, stands the vacant lot at 214-230 Sherbourne. For years, there have been calls for the city to step in and ensure that vitally needed social housing is built at this location. Now, Kingsett Capital, a firm that has a decidedly close relationship with City Hall, has acquired the property and intends to build a condo tower on it.

   Doubtless, you will be broadly familiar with the facts that we have just set out. We also wish you to understand, however, the sense of outrage that exists in the Downtown East community over what is taking place here. Not only are the vital needs of the low income people who live in the area being disregarded but, should this condo development go ahead, it will intensify the harmful gentrification process to a massive degree.

   We are calling on you to intervene in this matter and ensure that Kingsett is prevented from going ahead. Whether this result can be obtained by discussion and negotiation or it will be necessary to expropriate the property, this condo must be prevented. In its place, desperately needed social housing must be built at the location.

   We invite you to respond to this letter and inform us of your intentions. However, we must also tell you that we are going to hold you and the rest of the City Council accountable in this matter. We simply won’t tolerate this travesty and will act as necessary to challenge and prevent it.

   Thank you for your attention to this matter.

230 Fightback

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