'The cockroaches aren't scared:' Life at one of the most-cited buildings in Toronto

Bryan Rickey has lived in the apartment tower at 1501 Woodbine Ave. for six years

The 1960s-era high-rise was once the “gem of East York,” home to famous hockey players and a luxury indoor pool, he says.

But now, he and his fellow tenants confront mould, bad plumbing, broken elevators, warped floors, crumbling balconies and caved-in ceilings, Rickey said.

“You name it, this building’s got it,” he said.

1501 Woodbine ranks fourth on a new list of Toronto’s most-inspected buildings, having racked up 145 violations since 2014.

LandlordWatch.com was launched Wednesday by ACORN Canada and RentLogic. The site uses City of Toronto data to rank what it calls Toronto’s “worst” landlords and properties by the number of violations issued by city inspectors.

“Generally speaking, there is not a level playing field between tenants and landlords, but we can help level the playing field by making this data available,” RentLogic’s Yale Fox told Metro.


Ildiko Farkas points to the mould growing in her grandson’s bedroom at 1501 Woodbine Ave.

Ildiko Farkas lives on the 19th floor at 1501 Woodbine. She told Metro she’s complained repeatedly to property management about the door to her bathroom.

“The bathroom lock was so old, it got stuck and we had to break it down to get my son out,” she said.

Farkas said her family has struggled with water leaking from the ceiling and mould growing in her grandson’s bedroom.

“I don’t want to move because the school is here,” she said.

Her cousin, Henrietta Farkas, lives on the third floor.

“The cockroaches aren’t scared,” she said. “They crawl under the door from the hallway.”

The building is owned by Arsandco Investments. MetCap property management took over the building’s operation a year ago, but Farkas said little has changed.

“I cannot use my bathroom sink because it leaks everywhere. I have complained but still they don’t do anything,” she said.

MetCap president Brent Merrill told Metro his company was hired to bring change to the troubled building after a changing-of-the-guard at Arsandco.

“The people who own the building are investing lots of capital to bring it up to the MetCap standard,” he said. “When we took over, there were 60 in-suite related violations, and not a single one now.”

The city’s Municipal Licensing and and Standards confirmed MetCap had a plan and timeline in place to address outstanding violation orders and inspectors would be on site to ensure the work is done.

LandlordWatch’s list of most-cited landlords, ranked by violations issued by city inspectors since 2014:

1. Toronto Community Housing Corp.

2. Havcare Investments Inc.

3. Bnai Fishel Corporation

4. Arsandco Investments

5. Q Reit Sub Lp

6. Akelius Canada Inc

7. Gupta Rakesh, Gupta Swarash

8. 2021349 Ontario Limited

9. Imh 15 Eva Ltd

10. 2255761 Ontario Limited, Bell-Am Apartments Limited

LandlordWatch’s list of most-cited buildings, ranked by violations issued by city inspectors since 2014:

1. 500 Dawes Rd. — Havcare Investments Inc. — 174 violations

2. 1501 Woodbine Ave. — Arsandco Investments Inc. — 145

3. 104-105 West Lodge Ave. — Bnai Fishel Corp. — 138

4. 275 Bleecker Street — Toronto Community Housing Corporation — 130

5. 15 Eva Road — IMH 15 Eva Ltd. — 83

6. 34 Heydon Park Road — Gupta Rakesh, Gupta Swarash — 82

7. 650 Parliament Street — Parwell Investments Inc. & Bleeman Holdings Inc. — 79

8. 126 Bellamy Road North — 2255761 Ontario Limited, Bell-Am Apartments Limited — 76

9. 125 Lawton Blvd. — Robertson, Alexander —73

10. 20 Pell Street — Raimondo Puopolo Corp. — 64