Horrific viral videos show what it’s like to live in Toronto’s infamous ICE Condos
If you live in Toronto, you’re almost certainly familiar with the ICE condominium complex – whether it’s because at some point you’ve dropped by for an afterparty, visited a friend staying at an Airbnb, or read on the one of the different shootings, stabbing and other crimes that took place there.
Horror story can be found all over the internet about the two-tower complex in Toronto’s South Core, but a recent pair of TikTok dispatches of a former resident really takes the cake by showing how hellish it can be living in the city’s most famous ghost hotel.
I’m talking about long hours of waiting for elevators, constant fire alarms late at night, stairs full of rotten trash and lots of stray bullets flying, many of which have never been reported.
Originally posted on TikTok in July, the piece below and an even crazier sequel have been uploaded on twitter last week and have since gone viral among stunned (but not really) Torontonians.
Like the family ??? pic.twitter.com/00whjghIBo
– Shandokay (@ShansAshley) August 27, 2021
Loucks moved to Toronto in 2017 after graduating from Western University. While originally living in the Little Italy area, her work with TIFF and as a bartender prompted her to find a place right in the city center in July 2020.
“My roommate and I visited three or four units in different buildings, but our real estate agent really sold the ICE condos and in the end we signed our lease there,” she told blogTO .
“The owner met us to give us the keys, then returned overseas where he spent the following year. We had very minimal communication after that first day.”
Loucks was initially thrilled to live at 12 York Street, between Bremner and Harbor, a short walk from the city’s biggest attractions.
“At the time, I had high hopes of moving alongside the Rogers Center and Scotiabank Arena, being a huge Leafs fan and a huge concert lover,” she said. “Somehow, in three years of living downtown, I had never encountered or been notified of ICE buildings.”
It didn’t take long for her to regret signing the $ 2,600 per month lease.
A few months after the start of the pandemic, after losing her restaurant job, Loucks said she was spending more time at home and was starting to notice major issues with the building.
“There was a constant smell of garbage and trash in the hallways and stairs because the garbage chutes were never operational,” she said, noting that the mask warrants were never enforced. and that “social distancing was non-existent inside the building”.
“An elevator had been broken since the day we moved in … We were always told we didn’t know when it would be fixed, but that a service team had been notified,” she said.
“Often both elevators were out of service for lower floors, leaving anyone with mobility or grocery issues, pets and large items stranded.”
With over 1,300 homes between the two buildings and capped elevator space, fights began to break out between residents. Loucks says it was not uncommon for nine people to sneak into an elevator that had been booked for three.
“The incidents around the elevator could quickly become physically aggressive and several people have been involved in altercations for asking people to enforce social distancing,” she said.
“I did not invite my family to visit the unit for fear of an elevator incident that was likely to occur. The only time my father came to the unit to help me move out, a grown man called me ugly for asking him to wait for the next elevator. It was embarrassing. My poor dad had no idea how to react.
Here is part 2😭 this season is even more entertaining pic.twitter.com/FIicV9kv30
– Shandokay (@ShansAshley) August 28, 2021
Elevator problems have become painfully common in Toronto condominium and office buildings over the past decade, but ICE residents have additional and more frightening issues to deal with – mostly passing guests and violent crime.
“There were more Airbnb residents than actual apartment building residents,” Loucks said, echoing a common complaint among people living in the area.
“The building was consistently welcoming Airbnb customers versus actual residents. My roommate got a drink once asking a young group of Airbnb customers to wait for the next elevator,” she said.
“The result was that they crammed six people into the elevator, pushed her out and threw a drink at her as she walked over to the concierge desk to report the incident. that they were Airbnb customers that nothing could be done, and no one knew who they were.There were no rules or safety measures for residents.
Despite multiple complaints to building management from Loucks and other residents, the situation only got worse. They called city officials to report the lack of social distancing and two showed up, but again, nothing has changed.
It was after two shots were fired during his stay in the building, and after management denied that a shot had occurred despite a bullet impact in the lobby glass, that Loucks contacted the police. .
“The shooting on March 6, 2021 was not reported in the media and by the building. If residents had missed the 11 shots at 4 a.m., they would never have known it had happened. “she said. “Violent incidents were never dealt with unless they were covered by the media and should have been.”
After an initial email telling her that such investigations “take a long time to come up,” Loucks says she never heard from the Toronto Police Department again. When questioning officers stationed outside the building about the shooting, she said they recommended she move out as soon as possible.
Unable to break out of their lease and feeling unsafe, Loucks and her roommate stayed inside their apartment as much as possible and, on advice from building security, avoided groups of four to five people. in corridors and halls.
“It was a constant stream of chaos,” she said of her final months in the building. “I once saw a man trying to get through vehicles in the parking lot. I went up to the lobby to report the man to the security team. They were already busy putting an end to a fight in the lobby and I didn’t want to get in the middle of it. “
– Brian James (@Mr_Brian_James) March 6, 2021
“I decided to share it because I hope the people in the GTA see it and don’t make the same mistake we did by not researching the building before signing a lease. Or maybe the potential customers from Airbnb see the video and decide not to book there, ”she told blogTO.
“I feel bad for the people who have invested in buying a unit in this building so that it is overrun with crime and short-term tenants.”
Loucks says the strong and abundant reactions to her videos were “oddly justified,” noting that she tried to pretend that things were going well at the time, but that “the anxiety this place caused was catastrophic for me. I still dream of being trapped. in the apartment. “
“I have a whole year of terrible memories there, and I hope I can help at least one person avoid creating similar ones.”