Evacuated Parliament Street residents hold vigil for their homes

Residents of 650 Parliament St. and their supporters held a candlelight vigil in St. Jamestown yesterday evening to mark one year since they were evacuated from their apartments after a devastating fire.

About 1,500 people left their homes last August and still don’t know when they can return.

650 Parliament St. vigil seen from above
CIRCLE OF LIGHT: The candlelight vigil for 650 Parliament Street as seen from above — from a neighbouring apartment building.

Toronto mayor John Tory and Toronto-Centre councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam attended the vigil and spoke in support, while residents recounted their experiences on the day of the fire and since as they have sought word on when they can come back to their apartments.

Wong-Tam and Tory at 650 Parliament vigil
WORDS OF SUPPORT: Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, in pink, and Mayor John Tory, with microphone, spoke early in the evening.

Residents have faced repeated delays in their expected day of return. In the latest series of postponements, they were told in March that the return date of June was being pushed back to August.

Now building management is saying repairs will not b e completed until November, 15 months after the evacuation, and even then it might take longer to get safety clearance from the city.

650 Parliament vigil
VIGILANT: Residents held the vigil as word came that their return to their homes was being pushed back to November at the earliest.