bridle path shooting

Toronto's richest neighbourhood upset after mansion rented on Airbnb

A multi-million dollar home-turned crime scene on Toronto's Bridle Path has been taken off the short term rental market, according to Airbnb, following a near-deadly shooting.

Police say that a man whose identity has not been revealed was found lying on the ground outside a home in the ritzy North York neighbourhood around 6 a.m. on Sunday. Shell casings and bottles of alcohol were also found scattered across the front lawn.

While breathing and conscious, the man was said to be in life-threatening condition on account of gunshot wounds when police arrived. He was rushed to hospital and is now expected to survive.

It was far from the only shooting to take place in Toronto over the August long weekend, but its location in a neighbourhood widely considered to be one of the city's fanciest — a place where Drake himself decided to build an opulent, $6.7 million mansion — has made it one the most high-profile.

That, and the fact that the $14.2 million mansion had been rented out through Airbnb at the time of the incident (for a cool $2,468 per night, though neighbours say they've seen the rate go higher).

Police estimated that about 20 to 30 people were at the home when they arrived, though the circumstances of the gathering are not yet known.

What we do know is that Airbnb has since pulled the listing from its site, and that the guest who booked the property is suspended while the vacation rental company investigates.

"The reported behaviour is abhorrent," said Airbnb spokesperson Benjamin Breit in a statement of what happened at the mansion on Sunday.

Neighbours who spoke to CBC, CityNews and The Toronto Star appear to agree, and say that the home has been regularly used in such a manner by Airbnb renters over the past two years.

At least one area resident has complained to the city and says an investigation is ongoing, but to date nothing has been done to stop the rentals and ensuing late-night parties.

The City of Toronto has struggled in recent years to regulate Airbnb rentals, which are increasingly blamed for taking condo units that could be permanent homes off the rental market.

Fortunately, a number of short-term rental regulations that were approved by City Council back in 2017 (and delayed in 2018) are finally set to come into effect near the end of this month, if all goes well with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

Lead photo by

Airbnb


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