The City of Toronto has served up a removal notice for an illegal rooming house near Bathurst and Harbord Street. City officials have placed numerous signs around the property rendering the structure unsafe and forcing the tenants to relocate. The combined property at 102-104 Ulster St. has been used as a rental property with 12 illegal units and approximately 18 people living on site. Neighbours have complained for years about the horrendous looking semi-detached houses after the owner converted the property to a multiple dwelling unit; renovations and extensions were completed without the required building permits. According to the city, the property was only approved as a single family dwelling. Officials began actively pursuing the construction and illegal change of use of the property after reports about the houses emerged through various sources. Curbed spoke with city officials earlier this week and here's what they had to say:
There are numerous problems with the property that make it unsafe for the use as multiple dwelling units. Some of the issues are as follows, the lack of a fire alarm system, lack of proper exits, insufficient exits, unsafe exits, lack of adequate/proper fire rated separations between units, lack of properly rated fire separation for exits, lack of emergency lighting and exit signs, lack of proper fire dampers for mechanical system as examples of some of the issues. Simply the building is not safe for the current use. In 2013, the house was listed for sale for a ridiculous $6.5 million (most houses on Ulster Street are under one million). The house didn't sell and the owner took it off the market and continued renting it out. If units were renting out for $800/month, the owner was pocketing over $115,000 a year. If this owner doesn't comply, the city could order a demolition of the site and neighbours will cheer.
· Seaton Village Eyesore Brings Down Street Property Value [Curbed Toronto]
· Kensington Blaze Destroyed Suspected Illegal Rooming House [Toronto Life]
· Homeowners Charged with Running Illegal Rooming House [Toronto Star]