Toronto woman faces eviction after 36 years in same home because mother dies
A Toronto woman is calling on her landlord to show human compassion and not evict her out of the place she’s lived for the past 36 years because her mother died.
“I haven’t got a chance to mourn, like really mourn, because I have to think about where I’m going to live, what are these people going to do?,” an emotional Janice Walker said in an interview with CTV News Toronto.
The 55-year-old came to Canada from Jamaica in 1987. They moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Parkdale and have lived there ever since.
But at the end of December, at the age of 91, Walker’s mother died. When Walker informed the building of her passing she was shocked to learn she was listed as an occupant and not a tenant.
That conversation was followed up with a letter over her ‘unauthorized occupancy’. It states she has to pay about 50 per cent more to live in the apartment come February, respond in two days or else the eviction process would be started. A date that has now passed.
“My mom is not even buried and you’re kicking me out?,” she said.
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To make matters worse, Walker said she approached a building supervisor several years ago so that she would be listed as a tenant, and was under the impression the change had been made.
Walker was her mothers caregiver and works in retail. The rent is $1,084.20. Walker said she can’t afford to pay more and worries about being homeless.
“On Jan. 25, we offered Ms. Walker the very best lease rate for a one-bedroom apartment in the area and one that reflects her particular circumstances – which would allow her to remain in the apartment," said The Myriad Group in a statement emailed to CTV News Toronto.
The company also said it is still waiting for Walker’s response to the offer and that they invite her to respond to resolve the matter swiftly .
“We are committed to working with Ms. Walker to explore the best resolution possible. We assure you our actions (and offer) are in full accordance with landlord rights granted to us under the Residential Tenancies Act.”
A photograph of Janice Walker's building is seen here.
This isn’t the first time Walker has faced eviction. In June, Walker, her mother and dozens of other tenants from the same building were threatened with eviction after years of having air conditioning units and not paying extra to power them suddenly appeared to be getting enforced.
Walker complied with the landlord, pulled out the air conditioning, got fans and dealt with the sweltering heat.
“I panicked,” she said. “Because you see eviction notice and I have a mom in a bed that can’t move.”
The company told CTV News Toronto it has since reached a resolution about the AC units with tenants.
Parkdale Organize which supports tenants said those threats never materialized because the landlord didn’t take the eviction notices to hearings. It said the tactics used by the company which owns the building are part of a pattern in the GTA.
“All over the city, landlords are displacing tenants for profit, they want as much money as they can get out of the units, they think it’s their right to get market rent,” said spokesperson Emina Gamulin.
Walkers wants her name on lease and doesn’t want to pay more in rent. She said she has been a good tenant, paid the rent and has not caused any issues.
“I keep saying where is the human compassion?,” she said.
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