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Parkdale rent strikes take protest to property owner's front door

Last Updated Jun 3, 2017 at 8:22 pm EST

The Parkdale rent strike reached a new level Saturday as a few dozen tenants boarded a yellow school bus and took their protest to the door steps of the property owners.

Wanted posters were plastered throughout the Forest Hill neighbourhood which is home to Guy Alberga, who co-owns four of the buildings in Parkdale at the heart of an on-going rent strike.

Metcap, which manages the properties on behalf of Alberga, has said the rent increases are justified because of money spent on improvements to the properties.

“We realize how drastic this action is but we are tired of CEO’s and people in power hiding behind their corporations,” said one of the demonstrators.

“We want to make sure we highlight the individuals who are decision makers and who can actually impact our community and get rid of the rent increase.”

About a half-hour into the protest, police arrived but were accommodating as the demonstrators mainly kept to the sidewalk and street.

In the last few days, tensions between the tenants and property management intensified. Metcap president Brent Merrill nearly ran over one resident during a protest on Tyndall Avenue. He has since personally apologized for his actions.

On Wednesday, the first hearing on the guideline rent increase – or AGI – for the property at 87 Jameson Avenue is scheduled to take place before the Landlord and Tenant Board. The decision in this case is expected to set the tone for the remaining hearings scheduled.