|Thursday, August 29, 2002
Squatters refuse to leave building
By GEORGE CHRISTOPOULOS, CITY HALL BUREAU, Toronto
Sun, Toronto, Ontario
Copyright © 2002, CANOE, a division of Netgraphe
Inc.All rights reserved.
Activists who took over an abandoned Parkdale roominghouse
say they're not moving until the city turns the building into a
proper homeless shelter.
Sue Collis, an organizer with the Ontario Coalition Against
Poverty, said yesterday the group has drafted a plan calling
on the city to turn "Pope Squat" into social housing.
She said OCAP will present the motion at next month's
meeting of the community services committee.
A homeless group moved into the empty King St. W. building
during the papal visit to Toronto and has been slowly
renovating the three-storey building.
Provincial officials maintain the 22-unit building has liens
and mortgages against it that have to be settled before
anything can be done with it.
However, Collis said the city has had the option of seizing
the building for unpaid taxes since Dec. 2000.
Council passed a motion last month that they would consider
social housing on condition the squatters vacate the
Collis says they're not going anywhere.
"We're not vacating until ownership is determined and until
the homeless people who were instrumental in opening the
place up are themselves housed," she said.
"We want the city to take over the property in question
without delay and begin its transformation into social
Although police have had some noise complaints, they say
they can't do anything until ownership of the property is
established and permission to evict the OCAP protesters is
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