Mapping Toronto’s Rental Complaints

MLS - Draft 2

Over at Torontoist, I took a look the City of Toronto’s data on complaints made to Municipal Licensing and Standards (ML&S) on multi-residential apartment buildings. All properties with at least 25 notices or orders that are either open, or issued and closed within the last two years are mapped; the ten properties with the highest number of offenses are highlighted and listed.

Many ML&S investigations are the results of neighbours’ complaints of improper waste disposal, graffiti, long grass, unkempt grounds, or fence disputes; these complaints are distributed all over the city. These are usually quickly solved, resulting in only one or a handful of orders issued. However, troubled buildings might have dozens, even hundreds of violations, ranging from poor groundskeeping, to poor interior lighting, to more cringe-worthy deficiencies such as failures to guard against pest infestations, leaking pipes, damaged and stained ceilings and walls, and unsanitary waste collection and storage. Failure to comply with enforcement officers’ orders can result in prosecution.

Most of the properties that I mapped are found in the inner suburbs, or in the Church-Wellesley, St. Jamestown, Midtown and Parkdale neighbourhoods of the old City of Toronto, where many older rental towers are located. A disproportionate number of problematic residential properties can be found in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (previously known as priority neighbourhoods) —25 of the 40 properties with at least 100 ML&S notices or orders are in NIAs. Of the 10 worst buildings, five are large, private rental buildings, the other five are owned by the Toronto Community Housing Corporation.

You can search the ML&S database by address for yourself here. It’s not a bad resource if you’re in the rental market and looking at perspective apartments.

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