GWLRA (formerly Vertica) Update – August 2019

Members of the High Park Tenants’ Association regularly meet with representatives of the two landlords in our area, Minto and Great West Life Realty Advisors Residential (GWLRA, formerly known as Vertica Resident Services). These meetings inform the landlords’ representatives of tenant complaints and work towards finding solutions to residents’ problems.

Many GWLRA/Vertica residents have expressed confusion about the property management company’s new name. To clarify, Vertica was always a wholly owned subsidiary of GWL Realty Advisors. The new name is re-branding, and as such it does not reflect any changes in ownership or management. Please note that Vertica e-mail addresses are no longer monitored and residents needing to contact GWLRA staff need to use the information on the updated contact list.
The ongoing plumbing replacement project at 40 High Park and 77 Quebec Avenue continues, although management attests that the work at 40 High Park is almost complete. In-suite replacements at 77 Quebec will continue in the fall. GWLRA has promised proper 24-hour notice of entry will be given. During the last stage of plumbing replacements, management failed to observe this required notice on several occasions, citing the difficulty of scheduling the repairs.  The HPTA encourages residents to call the Ontario government’s Rental Enforcement Unit to file a complaint if contracts enter their unit without notice. Entry without notice is an offence under the Residential Tenancies Act and is taken seriously by the government.

The construction of the two new buildings on High Park and Quebec will be finished in 2020. As the projects near completion the level of noise will decline. However, the current parking ramps at 77 Quebec Avenue and 40 High Park will be demolished as part of the construction. Demolition of the 77 Quebec ramp will begin in August, 40 High Park in October.

GWLRA insist that they have intensified their pest control efforts in the area, particularly at 77 Quebec, which has ongoing problems with rats and cockroaches. It seems likely that GWLRA are waiting until the ground floor renovations are underway to address the root causes of the problem.

While GWLRA initially claimed to be planning a meeting to inform 77 Quebec Avenue and 40 High Park tenants about aesthetic renovations to the ground floor of each building, they have decided not to pursue this. There will be no meetings held to address residents’ concerns. 

The HPTA proposed a negotiated rent reduction/abatement for 77 Quebec Avenue residents, due to the particularly poor conditions of that building. GWLRA are firmly opposed to this idea and will not discuss any form of compensation for the deteriorating conditions of 77 Quebec. 

The HPTA showed GWLRA staff photographs of dangerous sidewalks around 35 and 65 High Park. GWLRA responded that they will address these hazards with their contractors.
The furniture removed from the 95 High Park lobby will be returned in September or October.

Window replacements– a disruptive project, but also necessary due to freezing cold residential units in the winter– have been delayed until 2020. GWLRA said the environmental study required was late, which has forced them to postpone the planned replacements.

Some members of the community have asked the GWLRA to address concerns about the strong smell of cannabis coming from apartments and balcony. GWLRA have said they will reiterate their message to be respectful of your neighbours. 

After a year of constant disruptions, GWLRA claims all elevators in their High Park properties are now in working condition, and have passed the necessary safety tests.

Some residents have wondered whether there would be an summer barbecue party, as Vertica had put on in the past. GWLRA cited low attendance as the reason they are not having a party for tenants this summer, although in September there will be a “tenant appreciation week.”

Residents of the High Park Village side of the GWLRA portfolio had complained about the lack of landscaping and flower planting. In response GWLRA has had landscapers on site and claims to have planted $3000 in new flowers.

GWLRA will look into implementing a lost and found bin in laundry rooms. In addition they said they will begin refilling the hand sanitizer stations outside garbage areas. 

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