Tenant says her son missed school due to broken, overcrowded elevators
Published Tuesday, April 9, 2019 7:12PM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, April 9, 2019 8:16PM EDT
A Toronto resident who lives in a west-end highrise said that her 15-year-old son missed school on Tuesday because she could not get his wheelchair into the building’s one working elevator.
Cell phone video shot by Ipek Kabatas around 8:30 a.m. shows the elevator stopping on the 19th floor, but it is too cramped to get on.
“We waited for over 20 minutes for an elevator, which finally came and was completely packed, Kabatas said. “We couldn’t get on. Waited another 20 minutes.”
At that point, the school bus that was waiting for Kabatas’ son, Dante, left without him.
In the video, Kabatas is heard saying “we’re stuck” as the camera pans to her son, who is reading in a wheelchair.
“The elevators need to be fixed,” Dante said.
The 41-storey Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) building, located near Fort York Boulevard and Bathurst Street, has three elevators, but tenants say that only one was working this morning.
Claudia Gomez told CTV News Toronto that she often takes the stairs from the 19th floor with her kids to get them to school every day.
“Imagine the elevators, very packed, and me walking down the stairs with three kids in the morning. It’s ridiculous,” she said.
Another tenant said there are numerous people with special needs who live in the building who are inconvenienced by the lack of functioning elevators.
“There are electric wheelchairs, there are children, there are old people also with those special needs as well,” Duwayne Wright said.
Toronto Community Housing has apologized to the tenants and said in a statement that the high-speed elevators in the building can only be serviced by the manufacturer.
“We have been working with the manufacturer to identify the problem and make the needed repairs,” said Bruce Malloch, the Director of Strategic Communications with TCHC.
TCHC officials are hoping to get the elevators repaired by the end of the week.
With files from CTV News Toronto's John Musselman.