Tenants of a low-rent Parkdale apartment complex are celebrating a major win in their hard-fought battle to quash efforts by their landlord to evict them from the building for renovations.

In January, numerous tenants of 12 Lansdowne Ave. said they were served with N13 notices, which indicate that a landlord wants to evict their tenants for repairs or renovations, with the caveat that renters can return once the renovations are finished at a comparable rent price. Several tenants at the building are paying below-market rent.

Their landlord, since 2020, is 12 Lansdowne Inc. The sole director of that company listed in public records, as of January, was Neil Spiegel. Through a spokesperson, the company told the Star for a February story that it was committed to preserving the Parkdale site as affordable housing and letting tenants return.

But in what two tenants who spoke to the Star described as a surprising turn of events, tenants of the building received an email from their landlord’s lawyer on April 14, indicating the owner had rescinded the eviction-for-renovation notices filed against them.

Kim Breland, a tenant at the complex for 12 years, told the Star the email offered some respite in their collective pushback against the efforts made by 12 Lansdowne Inc. to have them removed.

“At the moment, we’re all safe from being homeless, which is a pretty wonderful thing compared to how we were feeling a couple of weeks ago,” Breland told the Star. “It is, of course, not over. We don’t know what curveballs they have planned for us next.”

Confirmation of the withdrawal, sent via email April 14 to the 12 Lansdowne tenants’ association and shared with the Star by a tenant, shows lawyer Douglas H. Levitt stating that “in an effort to rebuild your landlord’s relationship with its tenants, I am pleased to report that I have received instructions to withdraw the N13 forms that were served on the tenants, as well as the N5 and N6 forms that were served on those tenants that have banners installed on their unit balconies.”

The email went on to say that “no applications have been initiated at the Landlord and Tenant Board as a result of the above-noted notices of termination.” N13 notices can’t be enforced unless they’re approved at a Landlord and Tenant Board hearing.

The note indicates that the landlord is open to discussing the renovation of the residential complex with the tenants.

Levitt did not respond to questions sent via email, and Danny Roth, a spokesperson for the landlord, was reached for comment but did not respond to questions.

Breland had feared she and her neighbours in the 23-unit complex could lose their affordable homes. She pays $1,640 for a three-bedroom walk-up with a balcony over a tree-lined road, an amount well below the city’s market rate.

Breland credits the solidarity of her neighbours, who formed the tenants’ association after the notices were served, and support from Parkdale Legal Services for the favourable outcome. She said the battle created a lasting bond among neighbours, which she now sees as cohesive group linked by a common aim.

“We remained steadfast as a group,” she said.

In February, Roth told the Star that 12 Lansdowne Inc.’s renovation plans were “extensive repairs” to electrical, plumbing, heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems, as well as updates to “life safety systems,” structural renovations and “various improvements required” within common areas and the individual units.

Kevin Finn, another tenant, said quashing the eviction notices has lifted a “load off my mind. It feels like we’ve got a breath of air from the situation.”

Finn said he remains a “bit leery of their intentions still,” adding that the landlord will now have to work with its tenants to rebuild trust, while making the building a more livable place.

With files from Victoria Gibson

Jason Miller is a Toronto-based reporter for the Star covering crime and justice in the Peel Region. Reach him on email: or follow him on Twitter: @millermotionpic