New documentary to shine light on individuals affected by housing crisis in Canada

A new documentary which is debuting later this month, is putting a spotlight on personal stories of individuals who have been affected by Canada's housing crisis.

Photo credit: TVO

Tenants across the board are grappling with escalating expenses and a scarcity of housing alternatives. The TVO Original documentary, “Charlotte’s Castle,” delves into the lives of a cluster of renters residing in a heritage building in downtown Toronto who are apprehensive that their dwellings might vanish unless they muster a resistance.

The documentary, which aims to sheds light on the personal stories of individuals affected by the housing crisis in Canada, will debut on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, at 9:00 p.m. on TVO and will be available for streaming on various platforms such as TVO Today, YouTube, smart TV services, and the TVO Today mobile app.

“Housing is the biggest concern anywhere in Ontario right now,” says John Ferri, VP of programming and content at TVO. “While the headlines are dominated by a lack of affordable housing in this province, we don’t often hear about how city life suffers under such financial pressures. Charlotte’s Castle shows how quality, well-loved housing can be more than an investment opportunity—it can sustain a thriving community.”

The focal point of the documentary is Spadina Gardens, a mid-rise apartment complex situated at the intersection of Spadina and Lowther in the heart of downtown Toronto. Constructed in 1904, it holds the distinction of being the city’s most ancient structure that has preserved its original layout, rendering its residential units a unique discovery within a densely populated area predominantly occupied by modern glass condominium towers.

In Charlotte’s Castle, we embarked on a cinematic journey to explore not just bricks and mortar, but the very heart and soul of our communities,” says director Jamie Kastner (There Are No FakesThe Skyjacker’s Tale). “This documentary is a testament to the indomitable spirit of those who’ve fought for their homes and the preservation of landmark housing. Charlotte’s Castle reminds us that the preservation of these castles, big and small, is the preservation of our collective identity and the promise of a more equitable tomorrow.”

The documentary “Charlotte’s Castle” features a diverse group of current and former tenants, all hailing from Toronto’s vibrant creative arts sectors. They unite in their shared dedication to safeguarding what they perceive as the gradual decline of the city’s essence – the very creative vitality that initially draws developers to the area.

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