November 2, 2020

Who is threatening whose lives at Ledo Hotel?

As you might remember, I recently had to vacate my live/work studio (620 sq feet with 3 huge studio windows for $800) at 17 Paton Road in Toronto, because our Fire Chief and Chief Building decided that my ex-landlords’ progress towards making it Fire Code complying were too slow and not convincing enough (they had installed a whole new interconnected fire alarm – possibly over-complying – and we had sprinklers – yes that too- , but no 2nd exit and that, i am quoting, disturbed the sleep of our Chief Building – who did not think that we would loose speed and mind to be asked to relocate in the middle of a pandemic.).

Well, the story of Ledo hotel is not unsimilar. In both cases, we end up with displaced low-income tenants and an empty building ready for an exquisite non-affordable or even non-residential development. This is very sad and i can’t help but think that how our City officials apply their rules is participating in gentrification and painful displacement.

If you know anybody who lived at Ledo Hotel however, please let them know that according to the Sudbury’s “local priority rules” of access to social housing, they are (close to be) in a position to qualify for “Urgent Access” to rent-geared-to-income units. This is the good news:

Ledo Hotel in Sudbury deemed an immediate threat to life


September 8, 2020

I called Sudbury’ Housing Registry today and i learned 2 important things:


  1. Somebody in Sudbury whose housing is condemned by the City itself qualifies for Urgent Status which gives them priority access to Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) housing. This is very good news for you, because this is not the case in Toronto and this is why Toronto denied me access to the available RGI unit that Artscape had offered to me.
  2. I was told that i could have tried to apply for Urgent Status in Sudbury even if it was Toronto that had condemned my housing. Did i just miss my chance to move to Sudbury.

and, now, can i strongly encourage you to apply for RGI housing asap?

it will take time until a unit lands in your hands…

September 2nd, 2020

my housing crisis has ended. i am re-housed and my application for the Toronto Transitional Housing Allowance Program (TTHAP) has finally been approved. i spare you the details of the waiting in one limbo after the other and of the a-synchronicities experienced.

now, i find myself both humbled and furious in the face of what i have learned. i had never experienced before the subtle but more and more rooting breach of dignity that comes with the risk of loosing one’s right to housing and, that can’t be stopped by any friends’ help other than by providing housing. i am furiously disempowered while aware of the changes that our system would need to respect our right to housing.

we have to change something.

August 13, 2020

a housing crisis is an art piece.

my housing crisis took me through a storm of fear of homelessness and rage against the City Toronto which denied me access to the only truly affordable solution for me, a “Rent-Geared-to-Income” unit, this after letting me hear contradicting messages and wait for their final reply for more than 7 weeks.

now, i find myself with a contract signed for an apartment that i will never be able to afford on my own. how did this happen? well, to sign a contract is necessary to start the application process for a housing subsidy (shouldn’t it be that one gets the subsidy before looking for housing and signing a lease?) and to sign a contract was also my only solution for not ending up on the street on September 1st, when my building will be shut down.

i will move on wednesday August 19th and i still do not know if Ontario will approve my application for a subsidy. how is this even possible? when i pack my things, i feel i am in a parallel reality.

do you see the art piece?

will you help me hear it too?

July 12, 2020

from artist Carrie Perreault:

“I recorded it while sitting at my desk looking through kijiji for possible apartments for you. I’m sure you’re looking there all the time—sadly I didn’t see anything worth mentioning.”

July 12, 2020

i still do not have housing. i am constantly waiting for answers that either do not come or come back negative.

friends have offered generous emergency plans for temporary stays.

i have trouble keeping a sense of dignity, which affects my relations with others.

home is more than an image of home.

i have asked for advice from one of the most dedicated and respected activists working with homeless people and the media and we have not been able to come up with a single more idea about how to help with my situation.

June 19, 2020

ma propriétaire a “généreusement” annoncé qu’elle allait changer les serrures.

bien sûr, nous collectionnons conseil légal, mais, je suis né pour l’action et alors, il me faut bouger l’énergie qui se bloque ou je suffoque. alors, j’ai préparé une valise d’urgence qu’une de mes chères amies est venue chercher et amènera chez une autre chère amie qui sera d’accord de m’accueillir pour dormir si je me retrouve fermé dehors. j’ai une énorme gratitude pour ce berceau d’urgence. merci S. and L.

jusqu’où cette histoire va-t-elle aller?

j’approche mes limites.