Tenants’ union pushes for smaller rent increases

The new York South–Weston Tenant Union is asking the owners of 22 John to hold their rent increases to 2.2%, and they’ve signed up many community groups in support, in addition to Frances Nunziata and Faisal Hassan.

Late last year, the owners of 22 John wanted to raise rents on month-to-month tenants by as much as 25%. Tenants who signed yearly leases were asked to bear a smaller increase: about 6%. The owners later backed down on the largest increases.

The Tenant Union says that the building was “subsidized through millions of dollars in public investments”. This isn’t quite what it seems. The below-market units were subsidized, but there are also also at-market rentals built with the developer’s own money. These rentals received no subsidies, and the developers—rightly or wrongly—are entitled by law to increase those rents.

In the press release, Chiara Padovani said

“This is what York South-Weston is all about. When our neighbours are struggling, we step up and help each other out. Stable housing is key to building a healthy community, and we’re all part of this community.”

 

 

Is Weston Public Library built with “blood money”?

The Toronto Star has a piece on the history of the Carnegie libraries, including the Weston Public Library, which were built with funds from a robber baron.

“That’s why you don’t really see Carnegie’s name on a lot of the libraries. The agreement was, ‘We’ll take his money but we won’t put his name up,’” said Woodstock Public Library chief executive officer David Harvie, whose library is one of the most architecturally stunning examples of the genre.

Weston’s Carnegie Library that was saved from demolition.

IB students may be eligible for funding

Weston CI’s illustrious International Baccalaureate program took a hit when the TDSB announced that it would not provide funding to students. The cutbacks were part of savings measures.

This week, however, the TDSB announced that it would offer full and partial funding on the basis of need. Students with a family income of less than $75,000 are guaranteed some funding. The amount of the grant will depend on the family’s income, and complete grants covering the $1500 annual fee are available.

Families that make less than $30,000 will have the entire fee covered. Between $30 and $50,000, the TDSB will give a $1000 grant. Those families who earn between $50,000 and $75,000 will receive $500.

Families wishing to apply should do so before January 22.

Mount Dennis loses its most unusual store

Skull Store, the only place in Mount Dennis to buy an embalmed anencephalitic human fetus (risky click there), has had to move. They say “It’s the classic Toronto story – the building that houses our museum and store has been sold to developers and they are going to demolish it. We were given only 2 months to secure a new location and safely move well over 20,000 specimens – ranging from beads made from dinosaur poop to an entire pilot whale skeleton!”

It’s certainly a loss to Mount Dennis. The Skull Store also offered a free natural history museum.

The new location is 397 Dundas St E, Toronto.

Upcoming events

The city is hosting another chance to have input into the second phase of the Weston Heritage Conservation District. This phase of the plan will cover between Rosemount and Elm, and William and Church.

The meeting will be Saturday, January 18 at 1 pm at Artscape.


The York South Weston Tenant Union will be hosting a summit on Saturday, February 1 at 2:30 at the WKNC, 2017 Weston Road.


Shakespeare In Action has announced all kinds of new programming, including Story Tots, a March Break camp for 7–13 year olds, and a drama club.