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Gosford fire residents demand answers from property management

Last Updated Dec 9, 2019 at 6:22 am EST

A group of residents displaced by a fire last month is rallying today, demanding answers from the property management of a North York highrise.

Tenants of 235 Gosford Boulevard are calling on Ronkay Management Inc. to engage in better communication and accountability.

Approximately 700 tenants were forced to evacuate when a five-alarm fire ripped through the building on Nov. 15, killing one person. Some of those people were temporarily housed in a shelter at York University for two weeks until they were transferred to alternative accommodations at a nearby hotel.

Organizers say a large number of the people displaced are now being denied transition payments and have been left on their own to find a place to live.

“I’m homeless before the holidays. This is the lowest point in my life so far,” one residents tells CityNews.

Mayor John Tory said earlier this week the city is also watching the situation carefully.

“We’re watching something that we believe is principally the landlord’s responsibility [and] we’re going to make sure those responsibilities are properly carried out,” Tory said.

Lawyer Darryl Singer, who is representing the Gosford Boulevard residents, announced earlier this week plans for a possible class-action lawsuit against the building’s landlord unless they responded to three things — transition cheques, transportation assistance for children to get to school and/or daycare and alternate accommodations.

Singer said that the landlord had also filed a “Form 1” document in the courts which he called “highly suspicious.”

A vigil is also being planned for the man who died in the fire when he became trapped on the balcony of the eighth floor unit which investigators say was the source of the fire.