John Lancaster

Senior Reporter, CBC Toronto

John Lancaster is a senior reporter with CBC News focusing on investigative and enterprise journalism. His stories have taken him across Canada, the US and the Caribbean. His reports have appeared on CBC Toronto, The National, CBC's Marketplace, The Fifth Estate-and of course CBC online and radio. Drop him a line anytime at

Latest from John Lancaster

Ontario regulator warns real estate agents to watch for signs of fraudulent home sales

The body that regulates Ontario's 100,000 real estate agents and brokers is urging them to be more vigilant when verifying the identity of a client, amid a wave of fraudulent home sales and mortgages in the Toronto area.
CBC Investigates

Couple whose Toronto home sold without their knowledge says systems failed to protect them

Nearly a year after discovering something was wrong with their property, a couple is sounding the alarm on how they say current identification requirements in real-estate transactions are failing to protect Ontario homeowners from having their houses sold without their knowledge.

What we know about 'stand-ins' used by organized crime to sell homes without owner's knowledge

The same fraudulent driver's licence was used to rent two Toronto homes that organized crime tried to sell without the homeowner's knowledge, according to a private investigator working on the cases. 

How organized crime has mortgaged or sold at least 30 GTA homes without owners' knowledge

CBC Toronto has learned a handful of organized crime groups are behind these real-estate frauds — in which at least 30 homes in the Greater Toronto Area have either been sold or mortgaged without the real owners' knowledge. Those revelations come from a private investigation firm working for a title insurance company to try and get to the bottom of the scams, which are costing insurers millions in claims. 

It's happened again. 2nd Toronto home listed for sale without homeowner's knowledge

When Melissa Walsh’s great uncle moved into a long-term care home in late 2021 just before his 95th birthday, her family decided to rent out the east end Toronto home he’s owned since the 1970s to help pay his expenses. Instead, It turned into a "real-estate nightmare."

Toronto businessman accused of $12M pandemic Ponzi scheme found and charged with fraud

A Toronto businessman accused of orchestrating a $12-million pandemic-related Ponzi scheme was arrested and charged with fraud by Toronto police on Monday, just hours after investigators discovered his location, CBC News has learned.

Facing sky-high connection fees, rural Ontarians go off the grid

When Craig Timmermans set out to build a new headquarters for his companies in northern Ontario, he reached out to the power company to find out how much it would charge him to connect to the grid. He was shocked to find out it would cost $80,000.

Hydro One wants to charge this homeowner $60K to connect power to his new house

Allan Robinson says he and his wife, Debbie, saved for a lifetime to build their new home in Minden Hills, Ont. Even though construction is almost complete, he says they can’t move in because they can’t afford to pay Hydro One the $60,000 the utility wants to hook up the electricity.

This former cop was awarded $630K in lost wages. Now, Toronto police may try to take it away

When former police officer Ralph Thistle finally received $630,000 in lost wages, he thought his lengthy battle was finally over. But now, Toronto police are taking the first step to potentially appeal the payment, CBC News has learned.

Toronto-area private school scrubs its web links to principal convicted of abusing student

Hours after media reports revealed a disgraced former Toronto-area public school teacher was the principal of a local private school, his name and any ties to him have been scrubbed from the school's website.