65, retired lab technician
Evicted in 2018
I moved into a triplex in Danforth Village 18 years ago. It was a gem: a large two-bedroom unit with a leafy backyard, and I only paid $976. The landlord kept the building in beautiful shape, and he was always there when I needed help. I’d often cut the grass or shovel snow as a favour to him. Most of my neighbours had been living there as long as I had, and we were all good friends. For most of my career, I worked as a lab technician for Canadian Blood Services. When my office moved to Brampton, I retired early because I didn’t want to leave my place. I used to tell my landlord that he’d have to drag me out of there with a toe tag before I gave up my apartment.
Then, last year, he sold the building to a young couple with a two-year-old son, who bought the place for $1.25 million and became my new landlords. When I asked the husband what they planned to do with my apartment, he said, “I’ll let you know when I know.” Last August, he served me an N12, telling me that he wanted to move in with his wife and son. I had to be out of my place within 60 days. I was in a state of panic.
In addition to serving me an eviction notice, my landlord politely threatened to withhold the compensation fee of one month’s rent—which landlords are legally bound to pay—if I didn’t sign an N11, an agreement to terminate the tenancy. I was so preoccupied with finding a new place that I signed without seeking any legal advice. As a thank you, he paid for my moving costs, which came to about $500. The woman who lived upstairs also moved out after signing an N11. The tenant downstairs, a woman in her 80s, moved out early because she said the stress was affecting her health.
I had no idea how to go about finding a new apartment. The last time I had to look, there were no ads on Craigslist or Kijiji—you just had to fill out an application. I’ve never even owned a cellphone. And I knew I would never find something as good as what I had. Eventually, I secured a one-bedroom unit in an older building for $1,200. It’s a big adjustment for me, but at least I found something relatively affordable.
After I left my home, I kept my eye on Kijiji and Craigslist to see if it came up for rent. Within six or seven months, I found my old place, renovated and listed for $2,500. I thought to myself, You son of a bitch.