Day 6

Tenants protest charity-owned landlord

Tenants in Toronto are protesting rent increases from their Swedish landlord, Akelius. The rapidly-expanding company is owned by a charity, The Akelius Foundation.
The apartment at 188 Jameson Street in Toronto owned by Akelius. (RentersGuide.ca)
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Last week in Toronto, tenants protested a proposed rent hike in front of the headquarters of their landlord, Akelius. The Swedish company rents out over 2,000 units in Toronto and 500 in Montreal. This week, Akelius bought their first apartments in Brooklyn, part of a plan to buy a billion dollars worth of apartments in New York, Chicago, Washington, and Boston. Their rapid expansion isn't the only remarkable part of the Akelius story. The company is owned by a charity, The Akelius Foundation, which the company says is the single largest donor to SOS Children's Children's Villages. "As an Akelius employee, I'm immensely proud of the work we do," said Ben Scott of Akelius Canada. Cole Webber, of Parkdale Community Legal Services, says Akelius is, "A predatory landlord seeking to push long-standing tenants out of the building." Our colleagues at As It Happens reported on the Parkdale tenants' issues and the response from Akelius last year.