Toronto ACORN Tenants Speakout at 1755 Jane St
Posted September 1, 2022
On Saturday, August 27th, 20 ACORN members, community members, and tenants at 1755 Jane St showed up for an awesome tenant speakout!
Tenants at a Medallion-owned building, 1755 Jane St, are frustrated with their landlord’s constant neglect of vital repairs and other serious issues in the building. Tenants planned this action during a tenant meeting on August 17th– to meet outside the building, share their stories, and march over to a Medallion office down the street at 5 Harding Ave to deliver a demand letter.
The following is an excerpt of the letter that outlines the tenants’ demands;
Some of the issues that must be addressed include:
- Getting rid of the mice, cockroaches, bed bugs, and other pests in the building
- Fixing the shared laundry machines
- Replacing broken in-unit appliances like fridges and stoves with functioning ones
- Fix the water damage. This means:
- Fix the warped flooring in units
- Fix the leaking ceilings
- Fix the holes in the ceilings
- Address the mold
- Repair the toilets and showers
- Generally commit to an acceptable level of general maintenance. This means:
- Replacing the superintendent, Alex, who has attempted to intimidate tenants through violence
- Fix the garbage chutes
- Fix the broken closets, doors, and kitchen cabinets
- Everyday aesthetic maintenance like fresh paint.
It was a beautiful August day well spent. ACORN members and tenants at 1755 Jane St, Violet and Veronica, ran the agenda for the day and did an amazing job. One tenant in the building, Pearl, even brought snacks to hand out.
Several tenants and ACORN members addressed the crowd to share their stories and struggles with renting in Toronto.
ACORN member and 1755 Jane St tenant Violet said, “We are here to talk about the deplorable conditions at 1755 Jane St […] We are human beings, and we need to be treated like human beings.”
ACORN member and Weston chapter Chair Bob said, “We all need safe housing. We pay to reside in these buildings! We need these buildings to be maintained properly.”
Former MPP for York South—Weston, Faisal Hassan, also attended and spoke to the crowd, “These conditions, as you have witnessed, with the tenants’ stories, are horrible cond
itions! We need to protect the tenants because they are following the rules. […] Medallion’s responsibility is to fix the maintenance issues!”
An ACORN member, Rikki, also brought drums for the kids to use to keep the energy up and recorded speakers, which is how we are now able to share quotes from the action. He also shared a brief statement with ACORN staff after the action, which included the following:
“We need to encourage the next generation to assemble and speak out, and draw attention to dirty corporations and politicians and the things that they do, without empathy, to the downtrodden. For if voices don’t speak out loudly, and in a resounding chorus, they may never be heard.”
After the speakers had wrapped up, the group marched over to the Medallion office at 5 Harding Ave, where everyone taped up demand letters over the entrance to the building itself and the office windows. Tenants were also able to hand-deliver a demand letter, however it was to a Medallion sub-contractor, as actual Medallion staff were not present.
The kids in attendance had a ton of fun taping up demand letters, and they helped tape up demand letters upon the group’s return to 1755 Jane St.
Overall, it was an awesome day, but it is just the beginning!
If you want to support the tenants at 1755 Jane St, there is an online petition that you can sign to send a message to Medallion to tell them that this is unacceptable. The tenants of 1755 Jane St deserve safe, healthy homes.
You can also follow the Toronto ACORN TikTok account to watch videos from the action and keep updated on what we’re up to!
Contact ACORN to learn more about how you can organise the tenants at your building today!