Last year, tenants in the Toronto neighbourhood of Parkdale went on a rent strike and were able to win significant concessions from their landlords. A few months after the original rent strike, tenants at the 1251 King tower block were faced with the threat of a rent hike, and responded by organising a second rent strike, beginning at the start of February. Now, the tenants at 1251 King are also reporting a victory:
The rent strike at 1251 King has ended in victory. Nuspor has withdrawn the above guideline rent increase at our building.
Seven months ago the MetCap rent strikers declared victory. Their victory inspired us and made our rent strike possible. Like them we organized, took direct action and won.
We organized under different conditions. MetCap rent strikers won a six-month organizing campaign. Hundreds went on strike in a dozen buildings. We won in ten weeks in one high rise. MetCap is a Canada-wide company. Its main investor is a government pension fund. Our landlord is one wealthy businessman.
Both rent strikes had support within Parkdale. But whereas the MetCap rent strike had support across the City, the 1251 King rent strike was a Parkdale affair. There’s more than one way to fight back. There’s not only one path to victory.
Our success shows organizing is for all of us.
In Parkdale rent strikes are not just possible but are successful. Whether it’s a dozen buildings or just one, we deal with rising rents and other hardships by organizing. We can expand this work. We can bring in greater numbers of our neighbours. By organizing our neighbourhood we will grow stronger, more creative and more effective at winning the fights that need to be won. For ourselves, for our neighbours and for the future of our neighbourhood.
This is Parkdale. This is just the beginning.
– Statement of the 1251 King Rent Strikers’ Negotiating Committee
The video below was filmed around the start of the 1251 King strike: