As members of the Parkdale Community Economic Development (PCED) Steering Committee, we would like to voice our support for the 200 tenants on rent strike against MetCap. We call upon Metcap to withdraw their rent increases, cease their campaign of tenant harassment and eviction, and address the structural repairs necessary to allow for a decent, healthy, and affordable quality of life in their buildings. We call upon AIMCo to freeze their investments in MetCap until they comply to meet the demands of tenants. We also call upon the municipal, provincial, and federal government to address the rising pressures on high-rise rental apartments by developing policies and enacting regulations that protect the long-term affordability and preservation of rental units that house our City’s equity-seeking populations.
Increasing pressures from gentrification and real estate reinvestment have endangered local community assets. These assets have kept Parkdale affordable, and accessible to diverse community members, particularly low-income and marginalized community members. The pressures of gentrification-driven displacement have coincided with the rise of corporate landlords, who have been leading a campaign of harassment and displacement by evicting residents to increase rents above provincial rent guidelines. Currently three major corporate landlords in Parkdale – Metcap, Akelius and Wynn – own and/or manage around 2,000 units within 27 properties in South Parkdale, controlling close to 30% of total primary private rental units.
With the lack of secure long-term affordable housing, low-income residents have expressed mounting concern over their ability to stay in Parkdale. During our 18-month community planning study, many tenants who live in high-rise buildings owned by corporate landlords expressed feelings of stress and precarity brought upon by the systemic lack of repairs and harassment. What is important to note is that MetCap’s apartment buildings were originally built under the Federal Limited Dividend program, which provided public subsidies to private rental apartments for low-and moderate income people. If the government is aligned with protecting its renters – nearly half of the City’s population – then it is in the public interest to uphold the legacy of government investment in tower apartments by mandating landlords to conduct repairs and maintenance while sustaining units as deeply affordable.
What is at stake is the future of Parkdale. We stand in solidarity with Parkdale Organize in shaping that future into one that is more equitable, diverse, inclusive, and affordable.
Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre (PARC)
Sistering – A Woman’s Place
West Neighbourhood House
Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre
The Centre for Mindfulness Studies
Making Room Community Arts
The Jeremiah Community
West End Food Co-op
We are hiring Workforce Planning Coordinator, who will help coordinate efforts for Parkdale’s decent work vision that has emerged from the Parkdale Community Economic Development (PCED) Planning project.
The Parkdale Community Economic Development (PCED) Planning project is a multi-year community-based economic planning and development project in Parkdale. Led by Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre (PARC) in partnership with over 26 community partners, the PCED project started in 2015 in order to develop a Parkdale Neighbourhood Plan for decent work, shared wealth, and equitable development. Through the first round of the PCED project, the project has identified the following seven priority areas for community action and policy options: 1) social infrastructure; 2) affordable housing and land use; 3) decent work; 4) food security; 5) community financing; 6) participatory local democracy; and 7) cultural development.
The successful candidate will join the second round of the PCED project and take a lead in advancing two key initiatives within the Parkdale’s neighbourhood planning framework: Parkdale Community Benefits Framework development and the Anchor Institutions Roundtable for social procurement and local hiring opportunities.
Please see more details and application process here. Application deadline is February 1st 2017.
Special thanks to Atkinson Foundation’s Decent Work fund for generous support for the project.
The PCED project launched the Full Parkdale Planning Study report along with the Parkdale Neighbourhood Plan. Please download the full report from here or by clicking the image below.
The Full Parkdale Planning Study report can be read in relation to the summary report published earlier. The Full report details data analysis, needs & assets mapping results, key issues and opportunities for the seven areas of community action and policy options. The Full report also provides detailed descriptions of each direction, their rationales and inspiring examples from other neighbourhoods and cities.
Detailed action steps and implementation strategies are detailed in the Parkdale Neighbourhood Plan.
Since its establishment in 2012 and the incorporation in 2014, Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust has been working on its organizational capacity building initiative, partnership development and business planning.
This year 2016 is going to be a critical milestone for PNLT, as currently, PNLT in collaboration with Greenest City is acquiring the very first land, the Milky Way Garden, in Parkdale, thanks to a generous offer from local residents. The story behind this garden has been featured in the recent Toronto Star article.
For this first acquisition, PNLT and GC have launched the fundraising campaign!
As part of the Parkdale Community Economic Development (PCED) Planning project, we developed Parkdale Neighbourhood Wellbeing Indicators.
How do we know the local economy serves community needs and enhances community wellbeing? Conventional economic measurements such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are limited for this purpose as they tend to focus on economic growth. They also fail to consider complex social, cultural and ecological aspects that matter equally to the health of the economy and people’s daily life. This gap prompted us to develop a set of neighbourhood-based indicators to assess what matters to Parkdale as a starting point of community visioning for the PCED Planning project.
We conducted 8 separate workshops from May to June 2015. We engaged diverse community members – including PARC members, tenants, newcomers, immigrants, agency staff, cooperative members, residents in general and steering committee members – with a total of 97 participants. Based on the extensive community engagement and research, the 7 domains of Parkdale Neighbourhood Wellbeing Indicators (PNWI) were developed as shown above.
Each domain includes a set of indicators. Below is an example of Housing & Land Use.
A full list of indicators can be downloaded from here.
**Special thanks to Catalyst Centre and Sally Miller for workshop design, as well as to Daniel Liadsky for finalizing the draft indicators and identifying data compatibility and data collection strategies.
On February 27, the Parkdale Community Economic Development (PCED) Planning project hosted the Parkdale Community Forum at the Parkdale Public Library. The PCED project has completed the first stage of the project – one-year participatory planning and community visioning. The first stage has generated a range of promising directions and ideas. At this forum, over 100 community members came together to learn about outcomes from the project and promising directions for the future of Parkdale.
Throughout the planning process, community members identified the four overarching values for Parkdale – affordability, diversity, inclusion, and equity. But then, Parkdale is changing. Due to the current pattern of neighbourhood change, what is at stake is these Parkdale’s values. How can we protect affordability, diversity and inclusion while also promoting equitable development for shared wealth generation and decent work? This is one of the central questions for the PCED planning project.
To that end, we have identified a range of “directions” based on the inputs from the participatory planning process and research. There are seven key areas for community action and policy option:
- Social Infrastructure
- Affordable housing and land use
- Decent work and inclusive economic opportunities
- Health and food security
- Community financing
- Participatory local democracy
- Cultural development
The Parkdale Community Forum was held to report back promising directions as well as to kick off action planning process for implementation. The summary report can be downloaded from here!
Following photos are some highlights of the community forum.
The PCED project has been supported by Atkinson Foundation’s Decent Work fund.