Depending on whom you talk to, conditions in three big apartment buildings on Thorncliffe Park Drive are getting worse — or better.
Last week, the Thorncliffe Park Tenants Association invited Newstalk 1010 radio host John Tory and MPP Kathleen Wynne to visit the buildings at 71, 75 and 79 Thorncliffe Park Dr.
“Cockroaches are there, mice are there, bed bugs are there,” said Abbas Kolia, president of the tenants association. He called the building “filthy,” and added, “It’s getting worse and worse every day.”
And the association says that despite previous rallies and involvement by local politicians, Q Residential, the building’s management, isn’t heeding tenants’ concerns.
Tory said he would talk to Q Residential, after touring the apartment buildings and speaking with tenants.
“I’m going to talk to these landlords myself, because I know some of the people involved,” Tory said, “and just say ‘How can you put up with this sort of thing?’ and see what they have to say for themselves.”
He also requested a list of outstanding work orders, and promised that if nothing is done, he will invite tenants onto his radio show to tell their stories.
After the tenants rallied in 2011, their city councillor, John Parker of Ward 26/Don Valley West, set up a meeting between management and tenants. Parker says he’s stayed in touch with Q Residential, to “keep an eye on the buildings,” and things have now improved.
“The problems are not nearly as bad as they were in years past. I used to hear a lot of complaints from residents of these buildings. Those complaints have diminished substantially recently, although there are a few individuals who complain quite often,” he said. “So fewer complaints from fewer people, but some tenants still come forward with a lot of complaints.”
Kolia, who has lived at Thorncliffe Park for more than 30 years, disputes that. He said no improvements have been made.
“It’s only one meeting he wants to have and we go to the meeting where nothing happens,” Kolia said. “No progress. Nothing has been done.”
Lorne Stephenson, senior vice-president of Conundrum Capital Corporation, the buildings’ owners, said that for the last three years management has been repairing all of the garages, and working on other ongoing issues such as repairing stairwells and plaster bubbles that reoccur due to humidity.
“It’s an ongoing process,” he said. “We’re spending significant dollars there every year.”