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Toronto short-term rental advertisement using a popular meme has people furious

Toronto's housing crisis is a touchy subject, and when a company sent out flyers implying that condo owners should kick out their rental tenants in favour of short-term Airbnb stays, it struck a nerve.

A photo of a flyer for stayherecohosting.com, a company that manages Airbnb rentals for unit owners, has ruffled the feathers of housing advocates by using a popular meme to sell owners on the merits of managing controversial short-term rentals instead of long-term leases.

The ad suggests that condo owners can make more money switching to short-term rentals, claiming owners can rake in up to $7,560 per month, while leasing to a tenant will net an owner an average of $2,099 per month.

Meanwhile, there's a critical shortage of rental housing in Toronto, while the city has been placing new taxes and regulations on short-term rentals, which has been accused of siphoning off long-term rental units from the market.

And if the message of the ad wasn't enough of a problem for housing advocates, the packaging adds another level of cringe.

The ad makes use of the Distracted Boyfriend meme, a photo and image caption combo popularized in 2017 and often used to illustrate disloyalty or desire for something different.

It's so well-known, it even has a dedicated Wikipedia entry.

The ad has been described by commenters as sickening and repulsive, though others are defending condo owners' choice to get more money out of their investment.

blogTO reached out to stayherecohosting, though the company did not respond to our request for immediate comment on the flyer controversy.

Lead photo by

Emily Wong


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