Tenants fighting eviction from Parkdale warehouse find out landlord lacks building permit

February 9, 2018

A group of entrepreneurs and artists has been scrambling to find new office spaces, only to learn that the property they're being evicted from could sit vacant for a year.

The reason is the new owners have a permit to demolish the warehouse on Queen Street West and Dufferin Street, but they don't have the permit required to build on the land.

"I know they're legally allowed to do this, but it just makes you feel sick," said Sarain Boylan, an artist who works in the building, and who is planning to meet with city officials Friday to discuss the situation.

In mid-November, about 50 small businesses were notified that they would have three months to vacate their units at 390-444 Dufferin Street. That was in accordance with a clause in their lease that states a new owner has the right to kick the tenants out to demolish the building. 

Governments got involved

Finding a new work space, moving during winter and keeping up with Christmas orders seemed like a daunting task for most of the tenants, so they wrote a petition to the new owners, 390 Dufferin Residences LP., and sought help from a local councillor.

After CBC Toronto reported on the story the first week of December, Boylan, who speaks for the tenants, says the moving date was extended by a month to March.

"At this point, 75 per cent of the businesses are still here and those who rushed to leave aren't happy with their new space … We're going to be out on the street and [the owners] don't even have all the permits to move forward."

Three mixed-use towers ranging from nine to 12 storeys are expected to go up. No building permit has been issued and before the city can do so, certain conditions have to be met.

Read more: Tenants fighting eviction from Parkdale warehouse find out landlord lacks building permit