Parkdale is an immigrant rich, ethnically diverse inner-city neighbourhood just six kilometres west of downtown Toronto along the Lake Ontario shoreline. In the 2016 census, 87% of South Parkdale households were renters, with almost two-thirds in buildings 5+ storeys high. Half of these households spend more than one third of their income on rent, 11% live in inadequate dwellings in need of major repairs and 16% are in overcrowded units.
In recent years, a growing number of high-rises have come under the control of a small block of major off-shore real-estate developers and Parkdale, with a population of 22,000, now has one of the highest eviction rates in Toronto. The Neighbourhood Land Trust and its numerous partners are seeking to train tenants as community-based researchers to analyze the current housing crisis in Parkdale.
The Centre’s $48,408 grant will be used to instruct tenant-researchers, boost community participation and mobilize community groups toward the end goals: assessing and then addressing tenant needs by identifying alternative, community-based housing solutions and models to counter the push by foreign investors to radically transform the historic neighbourhood.