Parkdale tenants beat renoviction
Our neighbours at 12 Lansdowne received confirmation that their landlords have withdrawn all eviction notices against them. This includes N13 eviction notices for extensive renovations and N5 and N6 eviction notices for illegal acts issued against tenants who hung banners from their balconies. The tenants’ long-term, proactive, and direct approach to organizing won the day. Congratulations to our neighbours!
In the summer of 2020, Evan Johnsen and Neil Spiegel bought the 23-unit building at 12 Lansdowne in Parkdale. Tenants wasted no time in forming an organization at the building and they decided right then and there that they would collectively refuse the new landlords’ attempt to buy them out of their homes. Throughout the months of the pandemic, tenants continued to organize; they looked in after sick neighbours, got a neighbour back into his unit when he was locked out after a break in, and demanded repairs and pest control treatment from the landlord.
In January 2022, Johnsen and Spiegel tried to move ahead with their plan to evict the entire building by issuing N13 eviction notices but tenants were already prepared to fight back because they were organized. Tenants immediately responded by delivering a letter as a group to the landlords at their homes demanding that the eviction notices be withdrawn within one week. When the landlords did not meet their demand, tenants hung banners from their balconies and spoke out in the media. When the landlords retaliated by issuing eviction notices alleging that hanging banners is an illegal act, tenants held firm and continued to press their demands. When the tenants learned that their landlords meant to partner with a non-profit organization in order to raise rents on vacant units after clearing out the building using housing subsidies, tenants contacted the non-profit and backed them down from working with Johnsen and Spiegel. Despite the landlords’ attempts to single tenants out and to pick them off one by one, tenants remained united. Our neighbours at 12 Lansdowne know that organizing is what enables them to defend their homes.