Photo Gallery: Tenants' year-long battle over Above Guideline Rent Increases

For more than a year, a group of tenants at three buildings in Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park Drive have withheld rent to protest what they say are above guideline rent increases being sought by their landlords. Starlight Investments and PSP Investments are goliaths among Canadian real estate owners, holding $28 billion of assets under management, with a portfolio of over 66,000 multi-residential suites.

The tenants, many of whom are new to Canada and struggling to keep up with the increasing cost of living, are resisting the attempts to raise their rents by 5.3 to 6.3 per cent, above the Government mandated limit of a 2.5 per cent annual rise. Starlight Investments maintain that they are following the provincial laws in their pursuit of Above Guideline Rent Increases (AGIs). They say that increased rents will help cover the cost related to "structural revitalization," but residents dispute that and say they are afraid the price hikes will force many of them out of the apartments they have called home.

The standoff continues as the owners seek settlement through the Landlord Tenant Board, while also filing for eviction notices.

Here, some of the Thorncliffe Park Drive tenants share their stories about the rent dispute.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 12, 2024.

The Canadian Press