Toronto

Displaced 650 Parliament residents escape looming hotel eviction deadline

Displaced residents from 650 Parliament St. who were facing eviction from their hotels at the end of November have been granted a reprieve.

‘We have secured the funds necessary to continue to house residents in area hotels,’ management says

Several hundred residents from 568 units have been temporarily housed in hotels since the residential highrise was ravaged by an electrical fire on Aug. 21. (Chris Langenzarde/CBC)

Displaced residents from 650 Parliament Street who were facing eviction from their temporary accommodations at the end of November were granted a reprieve Friday. 

The company that owns the residential highrise said it has secured money necessary to continue paying for hotel rooms as residents search for new housing. 

About 200 people have been temporarily housed in hotels around the Greater Toronto Area since the residential highrise was destroyed by an electrical fire in mid-August. 

They were advised recently that they would be forced to vacate the rooms on Nov. 30, or to start paying for them out of pocket. 

This morning, however, the building's management announced that the rooms were secured until April 2019, and added that the earlier announcement was premature.

"It was issued out of a desire to keep tenants informed during this challenging period, and was issued at a point at which we were uncertain that necessary funding would be secured to continue this housing assistance," a statement from the management reads.

"Since the announcement, we have secured the funds necessary to continue to house residents in area hotels as they search for more permanent residence, as well as provide ongoing assistance for tenants residing in apartments, with friends and family, and in AirBnBs."

The Aug. 21 blaze, which started in the basement, sent thick plumes of smoke pouring out of multiple apartments, causing substantial structural damage and knocking out the electrical system.

In its statement, management warned residents that given the significant damage caused by the fire, a return home will likely not be possible for a minimum of six months. 

"We understand that this prolonged dislocation and the challenges of temporary housing are difficult, however, we will continue to do our utmost to help you find alternative, permanent accommodation," the statement said.

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