PNLT Launches Saving Room Report

Toronto is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis: we can’t afford to lose any of the affordable housing we already have. Rooming houses must be protected!

Fortunately, Toronto is finally taking action to slow the loss of rooming houses in our city.  The City is currently looking to change Toronto’s Official Plan to ensure that dwelling rooms that are lost as a result of development are replaced. This is a step in the right direction, but a more comprehensive framework of policies and programs that deal with the protection and preservation of dwelling rooms is still needed. 

Public consultations on these proposed Official Plan amendments are scheduled for November 26th (Etobicoke), 27th (Downtown), 28th (North York), and 29th (Scarborough). Click here for details.  

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 are releasing the report, Saving room: Community action and municipal policy to protect dwelling room stock in North American cities, by Emily Paradis, PhD. Download the Executive Summary here or Full Report here. 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.

We encourage you to read the report and/or the Executive Summary and attend one of the City’s public consultations

Want to get involved in PNLT’s efforts? Join the Rooming House Preservation Policy Working Group!

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.



As real estate values across the city have climbed, the loss of rooming houses due to development has quickly escalated. People across the city are being forced from their homes and into homelessness to make way for housing for more affluent people.  

Last year, the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust conducted research on rooming houses in Parkdale. The Parkdale Rooming House Study confirmed an alarming trend that many of us are well aware of: the ongoing loss of rooming houses, with 28 rooming houses in Parkdale shut down over the past 10 years, resulting in 350 vulnerable people being evicted from their homes. The study found that there are 198 rooming houses left in Parkdale that offer affordable options for over 2,700 low-income tenants. These tenants are predominantly persons with disabilities, unattached individuals aged 45 to 64, and/or newcomers. However, the study determined that 59 of those rooming houses could soon be lost due to development, making over 800 rooming house tenants in Parkdale at high risk of becoming homeless.

And that’s just in one Toronto neighbourhood.

We are excited to announce the launch of the Parkdale Free School, a PNLT initiative that aims to organize free, informal classes and workshops across the neighbourhood!
Parkdale is a neighbourhood rich in knowledge, valuable skills and lived experience, and PNLT thinks it is high time our community find ways to share these assets with each other—in settings that are fun, engaging and accessible to all!


Radical Experiments in Land Stewardship
Nov 6th 7:30-9pm, PARC (1499 Queen St W) – Register Here

Self-discovery, Money and Corporations
Nov 6th 6-7:30pm, PARC (1499 Queen St W) – Register Here

Repair Café Toronto Troubleshooting Workshop
Nov 13th 6-8pm, PARC (1499 Queen St W) – Register Here 

Support the Preserve and Protect Fund for Affordable Housing in Parkdale

https://fundrazr.com/PNLTFUND50DONATE NOW

We need your support.

You love Parkdale because of its diversity. You love the vibrant local businesses, the fact that it’s home to newcomers, psychiatric survivors, and other marginalized communities, the diversity and richness that comes with being in an urban community.

How can you preserve the community you love, foster its growth and protect affordable space for those that need it?

The answer is simple: support Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust.

What we will do.

With your support, the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust purchases and protects land in a community ownership model. Imagine having stable affordable housing, community gardens and green space and affordable space for local non-profit organizations. Together we can preserve the character of Parkdale and protect its residents.

Our Goal.

Our goal is to raise $50,000 that acts as a “down payment” on property so we can secure it quickly and efficiently, or we risk losing it. Please join us with a contribution to our Preserve and Protect Fund.

The Impact.

The most significant factor in our ability to acquire land is the ability to act quickly. Once the land is secure, we can access other support including government grants and private investment to complete the purchase and develop the property according to PNLT’s needs. But without this Preserve and Protect Fund, we risk losing property, time and again. This has already happened with so many properties that would have been incredible opportunities had we been able to move quickly.

Support the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust today.