Thursday, September 27, 2007

Abandonment Issues: October 29

Calling all housing activists

Toronto has Abandonment Issues

We need a Use It or Lose It bylaw

Panel discussion and map exhibit

Monday, Oct. 29, 2007
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Parkdale Activity - Recreation Centre
1499 Queen Street West
Speakers, maps, and campaign information

Help solve Toronto’s abandonment issues!

Join a group of housing activists to map the city’s wasted,
abandoned, and underutilized buildings, lots, and spaces and
push for the adoption by Council of a bylaw allowing them
to be expropriated and turned into affordable housing.

The project

We want our research to support a campaign for a Use It or Lose It bylaw that would see abandoned buildings expropriated by the City redeveloped as affordable housing or community infrastructure along socially just lines.

This project is about mapping missing housing and social centres, but it is also a critique of gentrification, neighbourhood blight, and the local and global forces that cause both of these problems. Through this project we hope to promote awareness of how the issue of abandoned buildings, and the lack of affordable housing and social services are connected to larger patterns of displacement and instability that stem from social and economic inequality.

Contact us with any questions, ideas, suggestions at

Abandonment Issues is part of a larger Toronto mapping project, organized by the Toronto School of Creativity and Inquiry and exhibiting between 14 September – 27 October, 2007 at
the Toronto Free Gallery and various sites throughout the city. For more information on “A Potential Toronto” mapping project, please visit

Abandonment Issues is also supported by St. Christopher House, PARC, Multi-Story Complex, the Women Against Poverty Collective, and ACORN.

Types of abandonment issues

We're looking for all sorts of abandoned or underused buildings:

Public ownership - owned by the City of Toronto, Province of Ontario, or Government of Canada, or by organizations closely linked to government e.g. TTC or TPA. Private ownership - owned by for-profit businesses, or by private owners. Semi-public / Institutional ownership - owned by organizations such as hospitals or universities, or by groups with Boards of Directors and any government funding.

Derelict buildings – where the landlord has let the building fall into a state of extreme disrepair, and there are often very few tenants occupying it. Boarded up – where the building is clearly closed up; we want to know these addresses, but also, if possible, how long the building has been out of use and who were the previous owners. For sale – where the building has been for sale for an extended period of time, and it is languishing on the market.

Schools; Single-family dwelling; Apartment building; Church or other centre of worship; Community Centre; Other institutions; One more floors of high rise tower, etc.