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Landlord threatens to evict residents for joining tenants' group, court told

Toronto Star - April 7, 1987
By Tom Spears


Metro landlord Phil Wynn is demanding would-be tenants of a highrise sign a promise to give up their apartments -- as a condition of renting them in the first place, a District Court heard yesterday.

The tenants are then told Wynn's numbered company will use the handwritten documents to throw them out if they have anything to do with the tenants' association at 125 Lawton Blvd., a tenant spokesman said.

Tenants are applying under the Landlord and Tenant Act to have the court force Wynn's company, 410717 Ontario Ltd., to make improvements to the building.

The building in the Yonge St. - St. Clair Ave. area has 118 units, most of them one-bedroom apartments.

In the nearly two years since the new landlord bought the building, the tenants say, there have been frequent problems with snow clearance, garbage, cleaning, elevator maintenance, heating and security.


Janitor fired

The tenants are asking the court to order wide-ranging changes in the way the building is run, said lawyer Don Howieson.Such an order could include rent abatements, or a clean-up of the property, repairs, improved secruity or more heat. Howieson said in an interview outside the court.

Yesterday, David Bull -- a tenant of 125 Lawton for 14 years and vice-president of the tenants' association -- told the court Wyn's company fired the janior and superintendent when it took over.

The current property manager insists her job is to collect the rent, ot to clean or repair, he said.

Bull said the buildings problems include:

  • A front door with no lock or an inadequate one for the past year and a half. "When the lock is working all you need is a comb to push the bolt back and gain entry";

  • No shovelling in winter, so that residents have to take a run at the ramp from their parking garage to get their cars out;

  • Inadequate heat, with the amount of natural gas used dropping by 20 per cent the winter after Wynn's firm bought the building, despite Environment Canada recording a colder winter than the previous year.


As bull spoke a row of six bottles -- containing cockroaches residents say come from 125 Lawton -- sat on the center table of the courtroom, with labels showing the numbers of the different apartments.


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