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Tenants protest poor living conditions after mice, cockroaches found in apartments
A small group of residents rallied along with a community group outside a pair of apartment buildings in the city’s Weston neighbourhood on Saturday after mice and cockroaches were found in their units.
Chanting “slumlords have got to go,” the group highlighted the conditions residents say they’ve been complaining about for too long without any action.
Several residents invited CTV News Toronto into their apartment, located near Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue, but asked not to be identified out of fear of reprisals from the landlord, Weston Property Management.
One man who moved into a studio apartment in March said that he has been spending at least $60 a month on cans of bug spray. He leaves mouse traps and cockroach traps near his kitchen windowsill.
He said he doesn’t want his identity known because he’s afraid of what could happen to him.
“I know how it works, when you fight, they fight you back, and the concern is there’s nowhere to move too.”
Cockroaches are caught in a trap at an apartment building near Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue. (CTV News Toronto)
Another man who shares his unit with his two young children said that dozens of cockroach traps he placed in his apartment two to three days ago are littered with the bugs. Despite that fact, the kitchen in his apartment looks clean.
Marcia Stone is a member of the local Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) chapter in Toronto. She says the group is speaking up on behalf of the residents.
“A lot of the tenants, not just in this building, a lot of tenants are afraid to speak up, or they don’t have that voice,” she said.
Janice Arsenault has lived in the buildings for the last two and a half years. She says that almost from the day she moved in there have been issues, from vermin, to insects to plumbing.
“The bathroom, if you turn the water on, at the bottom you can regulate the temperature, but as soon as you hit the shower button... there’s no cold water. So you step into a scalding hot shower, every time.”
But Arsenault says the landlord isn’t responsive to calls for help.
CTV News Toronto asked to speak with someone from Weston Property Management, but no one replied to our request for comment.