200 seniors at Mississauga’s Chartwell assisted living home in shock after surprise eviction notice to make way for condo development 
(Pamela Leerkmakers/Submitted) 

200 seniors at Mississauga’s Chartwell assisted living home in shock after surprise eviction notice to make way for condo development 

Hundreds of Mississauga seniors and their family members are enraged and feeling powerless after learning the devastating news that residents are about to be uprooted from their homes as detailed in an eviction notice from Chartwell Heritage Glen Retirement Residence, to make way for a condo development after the property was recently sold. 

According to its website, Chartwell is the largest operator in the Canadian seniors living sector with over 200 retirement communities in four provinces (operating homes in B.C., Alberta, Ontario and Quebec), including properties under development. The national seniors home operator has more than doubled its profits from 2022, bringing in more than $125 million in 2023 compared to $49 million the year before.

More than 200 seniors who reside at the Chartwell Heritage Glen residence in Mississauga have recently learned they will be evicted from their homes by July 31st after the property was sold for a private development, a decision that was made by the retirement home company after it deemed the buildings, located at 6509, 6515, and 6521 Glen Erin Drive in Mississauga, have aging infrastructure that is too unstable to keep the facility operating. The buildings have since been sold to Minto, a private developer, that intends to redevelop the site into residential condos for all ages.

The facility was constructed in 1980, according to a list of Chartwell’s properties on its website. 

The decision has left hundreds of residents on a fixed income scrambling to find housing in a market that is unaffordable for many of them. The sudden uprooting has many residents and their family members feeling scared, uncertain about where the soon-to-be evicted residents will end up. 

The current state of senior care in Ontario, where wait lists are growing, and the rapid increase in housing costs for them means many of the residents will now face nearly double their current rent and will likely need to relocate outside of their neighbourhood—an option that may not be viable for those who require more intensive care. 

Pamela Leermakers, whose mother-in-law is a resident at Chartwell, said the whole situation has left her family “devastated and frustrated.”

The shattering news came in an N13 eviction notice — a form of eviction under the Residential Tenancies Act that allows a landlord to remove a tenant to undertake significant renovation work that would require the vacancy of the rental unit, or if they want to demolish it entirely — in March, telling seniors the residence was permanently closing and that they would have to move out by the end of July.

Leermakers said her family was “shocked” when they received the eviction notice, but there had been rumours circulating the past couple of months of a land sale. When Chartwell was asked about a rumoured sale, Leermakers said residents were quickly assured the building had not been sold.  

However, applications by Chartwell for some building changes which were approved in February by Mississauga’s Committee of Adjustment, in preparation for the sale, suggest the company’s plans were in motion long before tenants were finally informed. 

“It shocked us but still in the back of our minds, it's like, so they were lying to us. They didn't tell the seniors the truth that they had sold it,” Leermakers told The Pointer. 

Many other families are feeling the same frustrations.


 Pamela Leermakers, whose mother-in-law resides at the home, has been calling on elected officials to advocate for the seniors being evicted.

(Pamela Leermakers/X) 


“The renoviction of 200-plus of our society's most vulnerable people — I see them every day and they are vulnerable in mind and body — to throw them out on the street… is unbelievable,” Gordon Cork, whose father is a resident at Heritage Glen, told Mississauga councillors during an April 3rd meeting. “They can't raise the rents because the rent restrictions, so welcome to the age of rent eviction. Call it what you want, that's exactly what it is.”

“I've listened to these people. They wake up in the morning, and they're crying. They go to bed at night, and they're crying. My dad's the most toughest, stoic man I've ever met [and] when he understood the gravity of this, he cried.”

Jeffrey Fernandes said he has to send his father-in-law, a resident at the retirement home, back to India, as his family is unable to keep him here due to the skyrocketing prices of rent for senior retirement homes. His father-in-law will likely never see his grandchildren again, Fernandes said. 

It’s essential “to recognize the profound impact these evictions have on our elderly populations,” he told councillors. “For many seniors, this retirement residency is not just the building, but it's their homes and their communities that you have come to rely on for support and companionships. stressing this stability can have consequences on their physical and mental wellbeing.”

In response to residents’ concerns, Chartwell has assured it will be helping them find new housing options and providing three months rent as compensation — something it is required to do under the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act — while stating that it provided tenants with four months' notice, instead of the three months required under the law. The company has told residents it will cover all relocation expenses within a 50-kilometre radius. Seniors have also been provided with three months’ rent toward first and last month's rent — something residents’ families say is not enough given the current affordable housing crisis.

“I think Chartwell thought they were doing us a favour by giving us an extra month to look,” Leermakers said. “It took us six months from when my mother-in-law moved here to Mississauga to find something, and we got her into Chartwell. As a senior, they need a lot more time to be looking.”

One of the biggest concerns for Leermakers and her mother-in-law, like many other residents and families, is the lack of units at roughly the same price, which is all many on a fixed income can afford. 

According to the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA), “more than 43,000 people are waiting for long-term care”, a waitlist that “has nearly doubled over the past 10 years and is expected to grow, adding 1,000 people per year and reaching 48,000 by 2029,” forcing people to move into the private system. The average senior will wait 126 days to access long-term care, with some waiting up to 2.5 years, OLTCA states, and there are just over 76,000 available long-term care spaces for residents. These spaces are at full capacity.

In a letter to the City of Mississauga, Chartwell CEO Vlad Volodarski said the organization “has been, and continues to be, committed to support [seniors] during this transition,” highlighting that it has engaged in regular communication with affected stakeholders, third-party transition specialists, provided financial assistance “in excess of regulatory requirements,” and offered discounted accommodation at other Chartwell residences.

As of the April 4 date when the letter was issued, Volodarski said Chartwell’s teams have successfully found alternative accommodations for 83 of the impacted residents and are working with the remaining seniors and “are confident” they “will find acceptable alternative accommodations for them within the time frame outlined in our notice.”


According to the Ontario Long Term Care Association the waitlist for people waiting for long-term care has nearly doubled over the last decade and is expected to keep growing.



“We share a sincere concern related to the important group of residents whose rent requirements and care needs are either significantly below the cost of living in a traditional retirement residence or who require a long-term care placement,” Volodarski stated in the letter. “We have attempted to work with city and regional staff to prioritize this group of residents for urgent relocation to subsided housing spaces or long-term care beds operated by the City of Mississauga.”

While he highlighted publicly funded “subsidized” spaces paid for by taxpayers, the Chartwell CEO, who faced widespread criticism when his company was hit with a class-action lawsuit in Ontario over its disgraceful record during the COVID pandemic, did not address what Chartwell is doing to take responsibility itself for the seniors currently under the company’s care. Volodarski's letter did not mention demands to be relocated to an acceptable Chartwell facility at a cost in line with what the Mississauga residents are currently paying.  

The company made national headlines throughout the pandemic, when it was reported that 486 seniors died in Chartwell facilities, a rate that was almost 30 percent higher than the industry average, with evidence of residents who contracted the virus that were not properly isolated, poor use of personal protective equipment and shoddy protocols to protect seniors and staff.  

The aggressive profit-driven company was heavily criticized for its bottom line approach in a sector that should not sacrifice the care of vulnerable seniors to enhance its shareholder returns. It was reported that former Ontario PC premier Mike Harris served as Chartwell’s Board chair, earning almost $230,000 annually, on top of approximately $7 million in Chartwell holdings at the end of 2019. 

The Doug Ford PC government faced widespread backlash when it pushed through legislation during the pandemic that protected long-term care homes from legal challenges such as the class action lawsuit filed against Chartwell in Ontario which alleged a lack of accountability to its vulnerable clients. 

While the aging infrastructure of the Mississauga facility made it unsustainable to continue as a retirement residence, which Volodarski said had been operating at less than 60 percent capacity and has been declining for several years, he said its future use as a multi-residential building under Minto, “will add much-needed inventory to Mississauga’s housing stock.”

This means nothing to the seniors being uprooted including some who have been offered alternative accommodation in places they did not choose. Location is a main issue for many, on top of the increased costs. Leermakers said the compensation offered by Chartwell will only cover one month's rent if her mother-in-law, who, like many seniors, is on a fixed income, moves to another retirement home. Other families of residents have said they are looking at double or triple the cost of what they are currently paying. 

The Mississauga resident said she is concerned some residents will be left in a situation where they do not have anywhere to go.

“We've been looking and there's nothing out there,” she said. “There's nothing out there by anywhere and we don't really want to move her to another town. My mother-in-law has said a lot of the ones that have moved, have moved out of Mississauga because there's no affordability. There's no rent that anybody can afford.”

Leermakers believes Chartwell should be grandfathering seniors into another Chartwell-owned location in the area and honouring the same rent prices, including utilities and a meal plan, especially for low-income seniors.

“These new Chartwells don't have a kitchen like the ones that they're in now, so we would have to pay for meal planning,” she explained. “Well, we can't afford the meal plan on top of rent, so I think the whole thing should be grandfathered in. The leases should be extended to another Chartwell.”

Residents have also cited concerns over the lack of notice provided to tenants when the lands were first put up for sale. However, under the procedural bylaw for the Committee of Adjustment, notice of an application for a variation is only required to be provided to the property owner, not the individual tenants within the building. Minor variances for the renovations were presented and approved at a February 18 committee of adjustment meeting, with no objections, to allow for the property to be sold and converted.

Renovation plans presented to the committee suggested the retirement home at 6515 Glen Erin Drive — zoned for residential uses, long-term care facilities and apartments with a maximum height of 12 storeys — would be redeveloped to include 331 units, with 22 additional two-bedroom suites and 14 fewer single-bedroom dwellings. Switching the building use from retirement residence to all-ages accommodation does not require city council and planning committee approval, something that has now been deemed an oversight by many members of City Council. 

In the wake of the news which has left hundreds of seniors in a precarious situation, the City is asking for the retirement home operator to do more. But legislation that governs residential tenancies and retirement homes is provincial, leaving limited powers for municipalities to step in. 


Mississauga Councillor Martin Reid presented a motion during an April 3rd meeting calling on Chartwell and the Province to do more to support the seniors suddenly facing eviction.

(Alexis Wright/The Pointer)   


On April 3, City Council approved a motion, spearheaded by the area representative, Councillor Martin Reid, requesting Mississauga's acting mayor write a letter to Chartwell asking them to do more for the seniors. The motion also asked that notices for applications to the committee of adjustment include details if there is a change of use from a seniors residence to another type of residence permissible under the existing zoning. It also included a request to send a letter to the Province urging the government to change the Retirement Homes Act and extend the notice of eviction period from 120 days to 180 days under provincial standards. A similar motion was also passed at the Region. 

The letter to Chartwell requested the retirement home operator increase the amount of rent provided to each resident from three to six months, extend the eviction notice from 120 to 180 days, and offer each resident “a comparably sized unit in another Chartwell residence at their current rental rate.”

In a separate letter to Paul Calandra, Minister of Municipal Housing and Affairs, City Council called on the Province to make changes to provincial legislation and “proclaim into force the amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act set out under Bill 97,” noting “these residents should be protected and a situation like this should never happen again.”

“The notice provided by Chartwell was insufficient as many residents did not find out until recently that the property had been sold and that they would no longer have a place to call home,” the letter stated. “While Chartwell has given each resident three month’s worth of rent, new accommodations will be at least double their current rent paid. This is not fair to the residents of Heritage Glen and will leave many in a precarious position.”

“We would also ask that you review this situation in particular and take any action necessary to ensure it does not happen again elsewhere in Mississauga or across the province,” it added. “While the site will be the home of new housing units, the displacement of existing residents is unacceptable and unfair.”

Speaking at Queen’s Park on April 8, Calandra assured there are requirements in place to ensure “all of the individuals who are currently residents within that facility are transitioned into a new facility before they can move on out.” He also said local MPP Nina Tangri has been “working very closely” with the City, residents — contrary to what her constituents have said — and Chartwell and the government is “quite encouraged that all residents will be treated in a respectful manner.”

Families have said Tangri has not provided proper representation. Her office did not respond to The Pointer’s requests for comment.

As residents continue to call on the municipal and provincial government to step in and fight for the seniors who are about to lose their home, Leermakers says her family is continuing to explore their options, which she says are very limited. 

“We're kind of counting on a miracle at this point because we just can't find anything,” she told The Pointer. “We're not sure what we're going to do. We're hoping that the City can put some pressure on Chartwell.”

“I don't know what to do, honestly, we don't know,” she said in dismay. “We're just buying time right now.”



Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @mcpaigepeacock

At a time when vital public information is needed by everyone, The Pointer has taken down our paywall on all stories to ensure every resident of Brampton, Mississauga and Niagara has access to the facts. For those who are able, we encourage you to consider a subscription. This will help us report on important public interest issues the community needs to know about now more than ever. You can register for a 30-day free trial HERE. Thereafter, The Pointer will charge $10 a month and you can cancel any time right on the website. Thank you

Submit a correction about this story