The Tenant Association representatives met with CAPREIT in January 2019. We discussed a wide variety of topics. Let's bring you up to date.
We have discussed the status of the sauna several times over the last year with CAPREIT. The sauna hasn't been available to tenants for a number of years now. Here's an overview of recent history:
In our June meeting 2018 CAPREIT told us the sauna had been closed at some unspecified time in the past.
In our September 2018 meeting we asked CAPREIT to give each tenant a memo through the mail slots informing them of this the closure. They agreed to this.
By our January 2019 meeting this had not happened. We requested a rent reduction on the grounds that the sauna was an amenity the tenants had, but it has been taken away from them. CAPREIT declined this request and noted that a rent reduction would have to be requested within one year of the official closure. We asked for the official date of closure and were told in this meeting that it was in 2013. We asked CAPREIT to provide a copy of the memo announcing the official closure in 2013. Stay tuned and we will keep you up to date on this.
Visitor parking has been problematic here for a while now. The people renting monthly parking passes from Target Park were finally removed from visitor parking spaces in mid 2018. Then for months there was no management of visitor parking. The Tenant Association conducted an audit of visitor parking spaces and found a significant number of cars could park there for days on end. It was difficult to tell if these were genuine visitors, and it made it difficult for genuine visitors to find spaces. Here is an overview of recent history:
In June we told CAPREIT about the significant number of cars that appeared to be permanently parked in visitor parking. We were told that signs would be installed that month in the visitor area warning that unauthorized cars would be towed. Also the visitor parking policy was outlined: visitors can remain up to seven days a month, and should get a visitor sticker from the office. If a visitor is not staying overnight no authorization is required. Extra fobs are available to tenants whose guests are staying a few days.
In September we were told that CAPREIT was still working on a system for visitor parking but it wasn't ready to roll out yet.
In January 2019 CAPREIT said Target Park was going to monitor visitor parking and ticket unauthorized cars. There was no mention that Target would charge for parking again. Later in the month we were surprised to read the memo indicating that Target Park would be charging for parking again. Why is this a surprise? Because the City of Toronto banned paid visitor parking at apartment buildings (at a meeting on April 3rd 2013). You can read about this decision here: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2013.PG21.1 .
Tenants received another memo saying that this was all legal according to licensing project review number 16 178162 LPR 00ZR. We have asked CAPREIT to send us any documentation about this because at this point we only see a reference number on a memo. It explains nothing to us. We are pursuing this further and will let you know what we find out.
You might be interested in reading more more about Target Park and why a 2016 decision from the Toronto Licensing Tribunal ordered:
“Any parking lots that are not licensed by the City of Toronto and are currently being operated by Target Park, whether known to MLS or not, are to be immediately closed and shut down by Target Park.”
(source: https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/963b-TLT_Reason_TARGET-PARK-INC.-March-23-2016-Written-Decisions-Accessible.pdf )
We informed CAPREIT that many of the tenants don't believe the clothing donation box behind the building is operated by a charity. We have forwarded CAPREIT a number of links to newspaper articles discussing these types of boxes to show them that the charitable status of GEURC is unclear and should be revisited. The email has been forwarded for review to the person at CAPREIT corporate who brought GEUCR onboard.
Some of work we requested in the traffic circle has been done. There is more to come once the weather warms up again. This includes the curb cut at the portico for access to the front door, painting around the existing curb cut at the west end of the building to ensure cars don't park in front of it, and improved signage so cars know the correct path through the traffic circle.
Power washing of pigeon dung will continue in the warm weather. CAPREIT will hold some events in the lobby to inform tenants how to deal with pigeons and other pests.
Work on the bike room is complete and new racks have been installed.
The office is now open on weekends again. This will be helpful if you need a key for your storage room on the weekend. We discussed with CAPREIT how the small number of storage room keys has been difficult for tenants. They are listening and open to making more improvements on the key issue if it continues to cause problems for tenants. They have agreed to be more vigilant about getting storage room keys back after loaning them out. If you borrow a key please be sure to get it back to the office as soon as you can so that others can use it.
The stone wall in front of the building has been repaired and its appearance is greatly improved.
Many times we have told CAPREIT about issues with multiple work orders being needed to get one job done for a tenant. A new work order database will roll out as a pilot project at our building. This will track work orders. If a unit requires multiple work orders to get a job done, this will trigger a flag to the Operations Manager who will follow up with staff as to why the work is not done. This should reduce the need to have multiple work orders for a single issue.
CAPREIT is clearing snow on the sidewalks around the building this winter. They have purchased a tractor with a plow and a salting attachment. Now as you walk along Wellesley St., Jarvis St., or Cawthra Square your path will be free of snow.
CAPREIT will install some dog stations around the building. These will have plastic bags for dog waste and and a container to put the waste. Look for these in the spring.
We asked CAPREIT to install an air compressor in the parking garage so that cars and bikes can fill their tires. CAPREIT was quite open to this idea and is looking into its feasibility.
If you ever have a negative interaction with a staff member you should report it to the Operations Manager (Sam Bergeron). He will investigate and report back to you. If you are not happy with this resolution, you can contact CAP Cares (1-855-227-6478) to escalate the matter. If you are uncomfortable with having a maintenance worker in your suite while you are there, you can ask for a member of the office staff to be present. If you receive notice of entry for a day that is not convenient for you, you can ask the office to reschedule to another day.