22 John in the news for large rent increases: quite a bit to do about much less than appears

The new rental building at 22 John was in the news last week for asking tenants to pay as much as 21.6% more than last year—an increase they’ve since backed down on.

From Google Maps

A spokesperson told The Star that tenants can reduce the rent increase  by signing a year-long lease instead of moving to a month-to-month agreement when their agreements come up for renewal. The increase could still be as much as 10%, however.

Chiara Padovani, a local advocate, said today on Twitter:

Padovani, who was a rival for the councillor’s seat, has started a petition calling for rent control province wide.

It’s a bit more complicated than that.

Rockport did not receive city tax money to build for-profit rentals. They received waivers  and $7 million in provincial and federal money—but it was to build  below-market apartments and public spaces. 22 John is a mixed-use building, with a jumble of market and subsidized spaces.

Rockport only received help to build the below-market spaces. They built the for-profit spaces with their own money. Those rents are—rightly or wrongly—theirs alone to set.

Frances Nunziata, rightly, voted against applying rent control on buildings just like 22 John: buildings in which mixed incomes live together. It was perfectly reasonable to do that; after all, mixed-income buildings are good and should be encouraged.



Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

6 thoughts on “22 John in the news for large rent increases: quite a bit to do about much less than appears”

  1. So you’re saying that you’re OK with a property owner/landlord providing incentives, like attractive rent, to ensnare new tenants and then pulling a bait-and-switch when it comes time to renew the lease a year later? This is unethical (and greedy) behaviour that you’re sanctioning. And it hurts real people who are forced to uproot their lives and move out of their homes when they discover they’ve been played. Rent increases in all buildingS should be limited to something around the annual inflation rate. Period. That’s real rent control.

    As for mixed income buildings, I’d suggest you look into co-ops. The model in those is pretty much “pay what you can” as determined by the other residents of the building. It works. Toronto’s St Lawrence neighbourhood has a co-op cluster and it has been praised globally as a model urban neighbourhood that works by bringing socio-economic diversity together. But I’m pretty darn sure that’s not what’s happening at 22 John. Your suggestion that it is a mixed income building is deceptive and misleading.

    1. That’s not what I said, though, Paul. I said that the rents are, “rightly or wrongly” theirs alone to set.

      At issue here is whether a government subsidy should be grounds to force rent control on the whole building. I think it shouldn’t be.

      If Rockport had build two buildings, A and B, and A was subsidized, would we ask them to hold the rent on B because they took government money on A? No, we would not. We might ask them to do so on other grounds, but not on the grounds that they received a subsidy for another building.

      Padovani and others are saying that they took money so should be required to stay rent increases on the for-profit side. I don’t think they should be forced to hold rents on those grounds.This is a mixed-income building, just like A and B rolled into one.

  2. Thanks for clarifying your stance, Adam.
    I wasn’t sure at first, but your “A/B” analogy works for me – not that I’d want to be dinged by a really hefty rent increase.


    Isn’t that building complex on Hickory Tree a CO-OP?

    And, how’s that working out – in comparison to that St. Lawrence Market site, Paul?

    Helpful or not?
    (At a glance, way different to me.)

    1. I’m not sure what your co-op point is and what you mean by “complex”. The single building at 111, across from the arena, is a co-op. The two buildings at 1 and 3 are condos. I’ve been in all of those buildings many times. The co-op is full of families with kids and if I’m not mistaken there’s a childcare facility on the ground floor. It’s an asset to the neighbourhood.

  3. “Complex” – a building development, a building with a series of units within that building or buildings, a co-op cluster or whatever you’d like to call it, that multi-unit dwelling, here, there or anywhere.

    Anyway, you mentioned the co-op downtown. The success story co-op located in the very touristy area of the city, the St. Lawrence Market. And, apparently a model urban neighbourhood, of sorts.


    And, good for them who get to live & perhaps work within walking distance of the old market.

    However, I just couldn’t help but notice that this location, Weston is a little different from that area around the Front Street area.

    Hey, perhaps the “hipsters” will snap out of it, tire of life downtown and come up to Weston and live on the edge of the Humber River valley – with that option of riding the rails back downtown at anytime, when needed.

    Come on up!
    More diversity.
    It might prove to be more affordable, too.

    But, in the meantime it’s good to know that people around here find a decent benefit from life lived on Hickory Tree, including childcare at that co-op site.

    Good for them.

    Cherish and look after it.

  4. This building should of been a private condo owner building…not another rental with artscape that is a farce….

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