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York West ACORN Pushes Back Against Billionaire Landlord & Wins! - ACORN Canada

York West ACORN Pushes Back Against Billionaire Landlord & Wins!

Posted September 18, 2023

TORONTO – The York West ACORN chapter’s reorganizing drive in the Jane & Finch neighbourhood of Toronto culminated in a big meeting this past Saturday, September 16, where tenants in buildings owned by the Sorbara Group of Companies met with representatives of their landlord and property manager and won all of their demands! Organizing works!

The reorganizing drive kicked off in mid-July, when tenants from 5000 Jane St, 4001 Steeles Ave W, 11 Catford Rd, and other Sorbara-owned properties attended a chapter meeting and shared their experiences of neglected repairs, broken elevators, stolen packages and cars, dirty stairwells, pests, a lack of security cameras, and poor service. ACORN members then voted to form an Organizing Committee and unanimously decided to support tenants living in Sorbara Group buildings in their fight for better conditions.

The York West Chapter meets on July 20 to discuss issues in Sorbara Group-owned buildings.

Members organized a quick hit outside of the Sorbara Group’s head office at 3700 Steeles Ave W, where they spoke out against deplorable conditions and threatening letters from management before delivering a letter to a company representative and successfully pressured the Sorbara Group to commit to meeting with tenants to resolve issues in their buildings.

Tenants speak out against deplorable conditions in their buildings during an action outside of the Sorbara Group’s head office on August 1.
Another photo from the August 1 quick hit.
ACORN members deliver a letter to a representative of the Sorbara Group of Companies, demanding a meeting to discuss building issues.

Throughout the month of August, the York West organizing committee met multiple times to plan ACORN’s campaign against the Sorbara Group, including planning the Big Meeting in September. ACORN canvassed all of the company’s residential properties to bring more tenants into the campaign for better conditions, and members held multiple outreach tables and a flyering party at the Jane & Finch Mall to raise the campaign’s profile and build momentum. The organizing committee also unanimously adopted a list of demands to present to the landlord and property manager, including installing and repairing security cameras, thorough building-wide pest treatments, replacing all elevators in all buildings, expediting repairs, and more.

The York West organizing committee met on August 3 to begin planning outreach strategies for the campaign’s Big Meeting.
The York West organizing committee met on August 17 to continue discussing issues in Sorbara Group-owned buildings.
The York West organizing committee met for the final time on August 29 to vote on ACORN’s demands and plan the Big Meeting agenda.
Jacquie, an ACORN leader, sits outside of 20 Broadoaks Dr on September 7 to inform tenants of ACORN’s campaign against their landlord and to get them involved.
ACORN leaders pose for a photo after a successful flyering party at the Jane & Finch Mall on September 9.

The demands were presented at York West ACORN’s Big Meeting on September 16, at the Northwood Community Centre. Dozens of tenants from all over the neighbourhood came out to learn more about ACORN, the campaign in Sorbara Group-owned properties, and hear from ACORN leaders, Humber River-Black Creek MPP Tom Rakocevic, Ward 7 City Councillor Anthony Perruzza, and Ward 4 TDSB Trustee Matias de Dovitiis.

The York West organizing committee introduces itself at the Big Meeting on September 16.

After weeks of pressure from ACORN, the Sorbara Group of Companies and their property manager, DMS Property Management, agreed to send a representative each to the meeting. ACORN leaders negotiated the demands with the landlord’s representatives while tenants interjected to share their experiences and pressure the landlord for better. After nearly an hour of tense negotiations, both representatives signed onto ACORN’s demands and committed to working to implement them, admitting that Sorbara Group-owned residential buildings have faced neglect and mismanagement in recent years but that they’re working to improve the situation.

Representatives from DMS Property Management and the Sorbara Group of Companies respond to ACORN’s demands during the Big Meeting on September 16.
Tom Rakocevic, the Member of Provincial Parliament for Humber River-Black Creek, speaks in favour of ACORN’s demands and urges the landlord to listen to their tenants.

Still celebrating their victory, ACORN members concluded the Big Meeting with fresh elections for the York West chapter. Jacquie Mitchell was elected as the chapter’s new chair, while Kemba Robinson was re-elected to the board as co-chair and Marilyn Stevens was elected as secretary. York West ACORN is now bigger, stronger, and ready to keep fighting for working people across the Jane & Finch community. Organizing works!

If you live near the Jane & Finch neighbourhood and would like to get involved, call the Toronto ACORN office at 416-461-9233 or email