June 2, 2021
Dear friends, neighbours, and supporters of the Kensington Market Community Land Trust,
In March 2021, we were met with an opportunity to acquire the building at 54-56 Kensington Ave. Recognizing that a new commercial landlord would not be in the best interests of the tenants or the neighbourhood, the Kensington Market Community Land Trust (KMCLT) sought the assistance of our City Councillor Mike Layton to pass a motion at city council, granting us $3M towards the acquisition.
We are thrilled to formally announce that with the help of this city funding and other community support, we have acquired the building at 54-56 Kensington Ave, and as of June 1st, 2021, it is in community hands!
This building is particularly significant. In 2019, tenants living in 54-56 Kensington were unfairly threatened with an illegal eviction. With the support of Councillor Layton, MPP Jessica Bell, Friends of Kensington Market, and Kensington-Bellwoods Community Legal Services, tenants remained in their units.
The building has 12 existing residential units, most of which are currently affordable housing, as well as 5 commercial spaces, including a beloved variety store. The board is of the opinion that KMCLT could not find a more perfect building to fit our mandate, especially as a first acquisition. We are through our due diligence process, have conducted inspections, and we are confident in being able to carry the mortgage, do necessary repairs and upgrades, while also ensuring the perpetual affordability of the units.
Today, we are asking for support to continue doing this work. We are launching a GoFundMe campaign, which we hope you will contribute to if you are able, and share far and wide.
In a city where storefronts are closing down on every block, low-income earners and families are being forced to flee their homes, and artists are in exodus, the Land Trust model will help level the playing field and open up opportunity to everyone and create a more liveable, inclusive city.
SPREAD THE NEWS!
In sharing the news and call for donations on social media, we’d appreciate if you would use the hashtag: #CommunityOwnedKensington