Toronto Star – “This Parkdale group’s ownership model keeps rents affordable, one building at a time. Other Toronto neighbourhoods are paying attention” – ” ‘It was a real relief,’ says tenant of Parkdale non-
profit’s purchase of affordable housing building”
Storeys – “36 Affordable Housing Units Coming to At-Risk, Low-Rent Building in Parkdale”
BNN Bloomberg – “Institutional investors can help with the affordable housing crisis”

April 26, 2021



Parkdale’s Neighbourhood Land Trust is proud to announce the successful acquisition of an at-risk low-rent residential building containing 36 apartments in Parkdale, in an effort to help protect our affordable rental stock. Over the past decade, Parkdale has lost more than 28 rooming houses and small buildings to gentrification and renoviction, displacing nearly 350 renters, and this move signals growing momentum from the land trust in implementing community-driven solutions to the housing crisis. With this acquisition the land trust has grown its community ownership in the area from 15 to 51 units of affordable rental housing – equivalent to a 240% increase.

Under community ownership the property will be operated as non-profit affordable rental housing for low-income households. The Land Trust has contracted Parkdale Property Management, a branch of the local charity Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre (PARC) to provide manage the property.  

“Community land ownership models empower communities to make important decisions about their neighbourhoods that result in tangible impacts. Keeping Parkdale open and accessible to everyone is a priority and that’s why we are protecting and preserving our existing affordable housing stock,“ said Teresa Portillo, President of the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust

The acquisition of the at-risk three-storey building was made possible through VCIB’s Preserve and Protect Guarantee Program, which was launched by the bank in October 2020. Through the program, VCIB accepts and holds funds from values-aligned investing organizations in an Impact GIC, which are then used to guarantee loans to the land trust for the purpose of rapidly acquiring at-risk affordable rental properties in Parkdale. In this case, VCIB was able to provide an $8.5 million acquisition facility to the land trust, supported by over $2.6M in guarantees put forward by investors, including local foundations.

“While all levels of government have mandates to tackle the affordable housing crisis, currently there are no municipal, provincial or federal programs that specifically support the acquisition and conversion of existing rental housing into permanently affordable housing. As a result, the land trust has turned to impact investors to support our community to preserve and protect affordable housing before it is gone,” said Joshua Barndt, Executive Director of the Neighbourhood Land Trust.

VCIB’s Managing Director of Commercial Impact Banking, Trish Nixon, said:
 “Community is in our name, and supporting organizations, like the PNLT, who are working on the ground to implement community-led solutions is core to VCIB’s values. We are committed to helping the PNLT meet its goal to preserve and protect 100 affordable units in at-risk rooming houses and apartment buildings by 2025. We are delighted to see our Preserve and Protect Guarantee Program in action as it supports the PNLT to safeguard Parkdale’s affordable rental housing.”

The City of Toronto’s Executive Director of the Housing Secretariat, Abi Bond, said: “Protecting the current supply of affordable rental housing is a key part of the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan, and one of most immediate and efficient ways to help address the significant affordability challenge we face in this city. The acquisition of this at-risk three-storey building is not only preserving affordable rental housing but also demonstrates the value of investors and community land trusts working together.” 

On this momentous occasion the land trust would like to thank our members, Board of Directors, staff and of course our supporters: Major Donors

  • John Murtaugh 

Preserve & Protect Impact Investors 

  • Metcalf Foundation 
  • Atkinson Foundation
  • Echo Foundation
  • VanCity Community Foundation
  • Toronto Foundation
  • Bealight Foundation
  • Catherine Donnelly Foundation
  • Fairmount Foundation
  • Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre

General Program Supporters 

  • Maytree Foundation
  • Metcalf Foundation 
  • Toronto Foundation 
  • United Way GTA

March 10, 2021

October 01, 2020

Fixing The Leaky Bucket: A Comprehensive Policy & Program Framework to Preserve Toronto’s Supply of Deeply Affordable Housing

The Neighbourhood Land Trust is honoured to publish a new research report – Fixing the Leaky Bucket: A Comprehensive Policy & Program Framework to Preserve Toronto’s supply of Deeply Affordable Housing.

Download Full Report
Download Executive Summary

Learn more here. 

May 01, 2019

The Land Trust Preserves and Protects an at-risk Bachelorette building in Parkdale!

We are happy to announce that the Land Trust, in close partnership with PARC, has acquired a 15 unit at-risk licenced bachelorette building in Parkdale!  – Read the Toronto Star front page feature and CBC story.

Championed by City Councillor Gord Perks, funding for this project has come from the City of Toronto Rooming House Acquisition Pilot Program, providing $1.5 million in municipal funding for the acquisition, coupled with a further $601,426 from Ontario Renovates for building improvements.

Against huge odds, we have removed this property from the speculative real estate market. We have done this to ensure that the tenants of this building will be safe from harassment, above-guideline rent increases and renovictions.

Most importantly, this success will ensure that existing tenants, many of whom are low-income, will continue to enjoy affordable rental housing. Additionally, for any new tenants being considered in the future, priority will be given to those who have experienced homelessness.

The acquisition is the first affordable housing project of the land trust. In this inaugural project, we are very happy to announce that we have committed to guaranteeing affordable rents in perpetuity.

Finally, this 15-unit Parkdale property will be owned by the Land Trust but will be operated and managed by PARC, (a United Way Anchor Agency), which now provides 71 units of affordable housing for adults who are low-income and or experience mental health and addictions challenges in South Parkdale.

This project is also the result of an incredible mobilization of energy by Parkdale residents. We are working together to fight injustice and build a more equitable City. We are working together to defend our amazing community from an all-out attack by predatory corporate landlords. We are working together to defend our homes and our lives. We are fed up and we getting more and more organized every day!

Thank you to all the Parkdale residents and allies who have contributed to this project as a volunteer, a donor and supporter!

Download the press release here.

Thank you to our funders:

  • City of Toronto
  • Ontario Renovates
  • Government of Ontario’s Local Poverty Reduction Fund, with administrative support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation
  • Maytree
  • Catherine Donnelly Foundation
  • Cota


November, 2018

New Report: Saving Room: Community action and municipal policy to protect dwelling room stock in North American cities

As our city considers new policies to protect dwelling rooms, we believe it’s important to draw upon the experiences of other cities. To help inform the discussion, we have released the report, Saving room: Community action and municipal policy to protect dwelling room stock in North American cities,” by Emily Paradis, PhD. The report looks at the comprehensive approaches other cities have developed to effectively prevent and respond to the loss of dwelling rooms in their cities.

Learning from these examples, it’s clear that Toronto needs a comprehensive framework that includes the following:

1. Regulations that put restrictions on the conversion, demolition, and renovation of rooming houses;

2. Programs that facilitate the transfer of ownership of private rooming houses to non-profits, and

3. Support for tenant education and advocacy.

Download the Executive Summary

Download the Full Report

This report was created as part of the Parkdale Rooming House Stabilization, Eviction Prevention and Preservation Strategy: an initiative of four collaborating agencies (PNLT, PARC, Parkdale Community Legal Services and Woodgreen) that are working together with tenants to preserve and protect Parkdale’s affordable rooming house stock. Our hope is that this jurisdictional scan on dwelling room protection policy can inform policy development, advocacy and organizing in Toronto.

This report was made possible through the support of the Local Poverty Reduction Fund of the Government of Ontario, which is administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Thank you to Maytree for its support with editing and production.

The overall strategy has received additional investment from the Catherine Donnelly Foundation, The Law Foundation of Ontario and Cota, as well as over 100 members of the Parkdale Community.