renoviction

Toronto house renting for over $15K per month (but that’s not why people are mad)

A three-storey single-family home in Toronto’s Trinity-Bellwoods neighbourhood has been listed for rent at a pricey $15,750 per month. Apart from the price, Internet sleuths are aghast that the 2,300-square-foot house at 140 Harrison St. was once an affordable home to long-term tenants before the property was sold and renovations took place. Some say, it was a classic case of ‘renoviction.’

For about a decade, it has been alleged that three tenants and their landlord shared the house, which was built in the late 1800s and divided into separate rental units.

The landlord reportedly placed it on the market in early 2021, and it sold for $1.75 million in two days. A reported former tenant, whose longtime tenancy came to an end in 2020, told CTV News that she noticed that the dynamics of the neighbourhood started to transition from young artists and musicians to business professionals. She added that her rent was $870 (which was about $2,000 less than the average rent in Toronto at the time), and that by the time she left, she felt that she just couldn’t afford the neighbourhood anymore.

Toronto Life, which touted 140 Harrison as a House of the Week in November 2002, wrote that “the owners intended to renovate and move into the home. However, they’ve since changed their minds and are looking for a buyer with a taste for luxury.”

Some have called this out as gentrification, where low- to middle-income earners are essentially pushed out of neighbourhoods (Trinity Bellwoods, in particular, has been experiencing higher housing prices and demographic changes in recent years).

Post-renovations, the owners listed the property for $3.85 million in early 2022, but then lowered it to $3.8 million in 2023, where it remained unsold. On Twitter/X, people had more questions about the possible displacement of tenants:

The latest listing, which was posted with the staggering rent on Realtor.ca in late January, notes that the 3+1-bedroom/4-bathroom furnished house has a revamped interior with floor-to-ceiling windows, engineered hardwood floors, and a sleek kitchen, with upgrades to the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems.

Once again, people called out the homeowners. For information about tenant rights when faced with eviction that might be considered renoviction, RenovictionsTO is a good resource.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO