Toronto neighbourhood fights back against real estate agent
We've been seeing the poster plastered around Parkdale for weeks, but now we finally know who's been putting them up, and why.
The yellow signs featuring the face of an unknown grinning man and the hashtag #TheManWhoSoldParkdale have finally been explained by a website launched by an anonymous group of residents campaigning against gentrification in Parkdale.
"We are calling for an end to displacement realty – the practice of selling affordable homes at inflated prices which push new landlords into forcing out old tenants in order to increase rents," says the site.
As gleaned from the posters' floating heads, the hashtag, and the name of the website, the group is also calling out the person they believe is responsible for the problem: a real estate agent named Nick Brewerton.
According to the site, Brewerton is alleged to be personally been responsible for selling off more than 180 units of Parkdale housing in the last three years, business transactions which the group claims has resulted in the the loss of rooming houses and the eviction of low-income residents.
"Nick Brewerton is far from the only force at work in making Parkdale unaffordable," says the site. "But he is a significant player who is profiting more than most from the displacement of low-income communities in the neighbourhood."
Hey vampire realtors and weasel greedy developers. Leave #parkdale residents alone. People need a safe affordable place to live. They have that now. Get lost you creeps.That means you #nickbrewerton ! #CityRents #Toronto— frances farmer (@biosphere77) July 13, 2018
There's even a blog post on the website titled 'drinking alone' that's addressed to Brewerton personally.
"It sucks to be scrutinized in public. Of course it does," says the post. "But you know what’s worse? Losing your home and your community because someone else has branded them ‘desirable’, when you can’t afford desirable."
This morning the campaign has put these "SOLD" signs on 10 rooming houses in Parkdale this agent has sold. (Supplied photo) pic.twitter.com/JN5LyLjjSC— Ontario People Bot (@shawnmicallef) July 12, 2018
As of a few days ago, the campaign also started putting up fake 'sold' signs around Parkdale with Brewerton's face under the mock realtor name Displacement Realty Ltd. and a quote below which says, "Selling the soul out of your community."
Aside from dragging Brewerton online, the group is demanding that municipal and provincial governments institute rent control on vacant apartments in an attempt to deter landlords from forcefully evicting residents in order to up property prices.
The site also provides FAQs which include tenants' rights and a listing of all the Parkdale buildings that Brewerton has sold or is in the process of selling called The Nick Brewerton Report.
On top of that, the group is also offering 'Nick-Free Zone' door posters, which they're encouraging residents to hang up in order to remind them that real estate agents aren't permitted on to a property without giving a legally required 24-hour notice.
Brewerton's website features public listings in areas all around the GTA, but judging by the fact his face is pasted all around Queen and Landsdowne, Parkdale is undoubtedly his least favourite neighbourhood right now.
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