Vote to expropriate 214-230 Sherbourne lost but the fight continues


April 7, 2022

Yesterday – City Council voted 20-5 against the expropriation of 214-230 Sherbourne for much needed social housing. Mayor Tory and Deputy Mayor Bailão argued against saving the community of Dundas and Sherbourne, against investing in the generational resource of public housing for poor people in that neighborhood and the uplifting of the whole community.

“For the developers the property is about profits. For the City, the question of expropriation is about money. For our community it is about housing people; it is about life and death. By refusing to expropriate, they are bowing to the developers and, thereby, facilitating the destruction of our community,” says Dr. A. J. Withers from the Shelter and Housing Justice Steering Committee. An additional motion to try to protect the corner by seeking to purchase the adjoining plaza for the development of housing lost 10-15.

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Press Conference and Rally to Expropriate 214-230 Sherbourne St. at City Council

Wed Apr 06, 2022

Media Advisory:

From Regent Park Community Health Centre Advocacy Committee and the Shelter & Housing Justice Network

Wednesday April 6th:

9:00AM – press conference and rally Toronto City Hall

9:30AM – City Council – pack council chambers to demonstrate support for the expropriation of 214-230 Sherbourne for social rent geared to income housing

Hosted by Regent Park Community Health Centre Advocacy Committee

Speakers to include – Shelter Housing Justice Network, Councillor Kristyn Wong Tam, Toronto Drop-in Network, Downtown East End community  members

The City of Toronto’s bid to purchase 214-230 Sherbourne was lost.  However, the City still has the power to expropriate the property and turn it into desperately needed rent geared to income housing.  The out of control real estate market and private profit should not take precedence over the lives and safety of human beings.

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Media Release: Advocates Call for Expropriation of 214-230 Sherbourne St. After City Loses Bid

Regent Park Community Health Centre Advocacy Committee and the Shelter and Housing Justice Network are disappointed that, after nearly 10 years of organizing by many organizations and people in the community, the City of Toronto has failed to purchase the property at 214-230 Sherbourne Street. However, the City has the power to expropriate the site for social housing.

“We now call on Mayor John Tory, the members of the Planning and Housing Committee, the Executive Committee and all of Toronto City Council to expropriate this land and create 100% rent-geared-to-income social housing units,” says Josie Ricciardi, manager of community health programs at Regent Park Community Health Centre and spokesperson for Regent Park Community Health Centre Advocacy Committee.

A report on the “Revitalization for the downtown east” will be on the Toronto City Council Planning and Housing Committee agenda  on March 25th and on March 30 a report back from staff on the bid to purchase the property will be going to the Executive Committee. The community is mobilizing a call for the City to proceed with expropriation immediately. Continue reading

Isolation centre for unhoused people with COVID-19 nearly full as Omicron moves through shelters

Strain on Toronto hotel that serves as isolation centre comes as 34 homeless shelters in outbreak

by Muriel Draaisma, Kayla Hounsell

As 34 homeless shelters grapple with COVID-19 outbreaks, an isolation centre for unhoused people with the virus is 95 per cent full and that means the facility will accept only complex cases.

City officials have directed shelter staff to develop plans that will enable unhoused people infected with the virus to isolate “in situ,” which means remaining in place at the shelters in which they are staying.

Homeless advocates say people who try to access a bed at the isolation and recovery centre are not having any luck and they are urging the city to enlist outside help, including from the federal government, to manage the rapid spread of the Omicron variant in shelters.

They say the city needs to create space in the isolation centre. And they say they believe the shelter system may be collapsing because of worker burnout, staff shortages and the recent number of deaths in the shelter system.

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