Artists and Authors Against Encampment Evictions

John Tory
Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão
Janie Romoff, General Manager of Parks, Forestry and Recreation
Mary Ann Bedard, Shelter Support Housing Administration

The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated Toronto’s housing crisis. We have seen encampments cleared and their residents and advocates criminalized. The city’s own self-reported numbers have time and again shown a shelter system at capacity and unable to provide proper COVID-19 precautions. The city’s alternatives — places like the Toronto Plaza Hotel and Delta Shelter Hotel — are far removed from people’s communities, and saddled with regulations (curfews, visitation policies and spot checks) that both rob residents of their agency and prevent them from accessing vital social supports and resources. Encampment residents are regularly denied sanitation. Meanwhile, the Landlord and Tenant Board has been escalating its number of evictions.

This is a letter from the city’s authors, artists, cartoonists, illustrators, booksellers, publishers and editors calling for a moratorium on all encampment evictions and the repeal of by-laws that make it illegal to camp. Encampment clearings do nothing to keep Toronto’s unhoused safe and do nothing to combat homelessness. They are carried out in direct opposition to the Centre of Disease Control’s recommendations that cities not clear encampments, because doing so can “increase the potential for infectious disease spread.” It is an unconscionably cruel practice that has resulted in injury, trauma and death.

If the city is serious about treating housing as a human right, it must immediately invest in deeply affordable housing and permanent Rent-Geared-To-Income options. It must provide encampment residents with basic survival gear and ensure them unfettered access to sanitation and washrooms. It must stop treating encampment residents like criminals.

Authors and artists are no strangers to a housing crisis that has displaced our communities and the brutal market logic that has left many of us in precarious living situations. We condemn the city’s encampment clearings and stand in solidarity with the encampment residents creating their own systems of support and survival.

Signed,

AA Bronson
Aaditya Aggarwal
Aamna Muzaffar
Aaron Leighton
Aaron Rotenberg
Aaron Hill
Aaron Tucker
Abby McGuane
Adam Bunch
Adi Berardini
Adrienne Scott
Aeyliya Husain
AGO Youth Council
Aidan Belo
Aidan Cowling
Aisha Ghali
Aisha N
Aisha Sasha John
Ajla Odobasic
Alana Traficante
Alana Wilcox
Alani Caruso-Fitterer
Alessandra Abballe
Alex Bowron
Alex Nierenhausen, Store Manager, Librairie Saint-Henri Books
Alex Tindal
Alex Williams
Alexa Hatanaka
Alexander Carson
Alexandra Molotkow
Alexandra Napier
Alexia Bréard-Anderson, Director, Xpace Cultural Centre
Alexis Fawn
Alexis Kyle Mitchell
Ali Kazimi, York University
Ali Vanderkruyk
Alicia Nauta
Alisha Van Wieren
Alison Lang
Alison Pick
Aliya Pabani
Alize Zorlutuna
Allan Ryan
Allie Harvey
Allyson Mitchell
Althea Balmes
Althea Thauberger
Alvin Luong
Amanda Acorn
Amanda Wand
Amber Helene Müller St. Thomas
Amber Williams-King
Ambera Wellmann
Ame Henderson
Ami Xherro
Amil Niazi
Amish Morrell, faculty member, OCAD University
Amy Gottlieb
Amy Gottung
Amy Lam
Amy Miranda
Amy Siegel
An Nguyen
Ananya Ohri
Andrea Battersby & Geoff Doner, Bureau Of Power And Light
Andrea Fatona
Andrea Werhun
Andrew Buszchak
Andrew Finlay Stewart
Andrew Harding
Andrew James Paterson
Andrew Townsend
Andrew Woodrow-Butcher
Andrew Zealley
Andrew Zukerman
Andy Fabo
Andrea Creamer
Angel Callander
Angela Shackel
Angelica Alejandro
Angélica Granados López
Anita Ragunathan
Ann Dean
Anna Fitzpatrick
Anne Bourne
Anne K Abbott
Anne-Marie Cosgrove
Anne O’Callaghan
Anni Spadafora
Annie Dunning
Annie Koyama, Publisher, Koyama Press
Annie MacDonell
Annie Wong
Anshuman Iddamsetty
Antoine Bourges
Anton Piatigorsky
Anupa Mistry
Arezu Salamzadeh
Aries Cheung
Art Metropole
Arthur Kavanagh
ArtReach
Aryen Hoekstra
Ashley Driscoll
Astrid Yates
Atom Egoyan
Aubyn O’Grady
Augustina Sia Saygnavong
Ava Matin Nejad, Mirror Doodles
Ayumi Goto
B.H. Yael, OCAD University
Bailey Corneal
Barbara Balfour
Barbora Racevičiūtė
Barbara Simms
Beena Mistry
Ben Dugas
Ben Edelberg
Ben Robinson
Ben Wannamaker
Berenicci Hershorn
Between The Lines Books
Bill Burns
Benjamin de Boer
Blair Swann
Blythe Haynes
Bojana Stancic
Brad Casey
Brad Tinmouth
Brandon Celi
Brenda Joy Lem
Brenda Longfellow, York University
Brandan Doty
Brendan George Ko
Brendan Lehman
Brennan Kelly
Brett Story
Brette Gabel
Brian Smith
Brian St. Denis
Bryan Sutherland
Bridget Moser
Broken Pencil Magazine
C Magazine
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Cailleah Scott-Grimes
Caitlyn Murphy
Callum Schuster
Calvin Love
Cameron Lee
Camille Intson
Camille Rojas
Canzine
Cara Mumford
Cara Spooner
CARFAC Ontario
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Carine Zahner
Carly Harris
Carolyn Taylor
Cartoonists Against Amazon
Cassandra Alexander
Catherine Fatima
Cathy Crowe
Cayley James
Celia Perrin Sidarous
Chaddy-Ann Newton
Chala Hunter
Chandra Melting Tallow
Charlie Tyrell
Charles Bierk
Chip Zdarsky
Chris Curreri
Chris Gehman
Chris Kennedy
Chris Randle
Chris Wiseman
Christopher Willes
Christa Couture
Christian Siroyt
Christina De Marchi
Christine Swintak
Christy Kunitzky
Chrysanne Stathacos
Claire Greenshaw
Claire Harvie
Clara May Puton
Clare Samuel
claude wittmann
Claudia Dey
Claudia Edwards
Clayton Hanmer
Cleopatria Peterson
Cléo Sallis-Parchet
Coach House Books
Cody Caetano
Cole James
Colin Medley
Colour Code Printing
Coman Poon
Connor Willumsen
Cosmo Dean
Cotey Pope
Courtney Rafuse
Courtney Todderash
Craig Calhoun
Craig Daniels
Creato, a dedicated space for Latinx Creatives in Canada
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d hansen
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Dan Werb
Dana Prieto
Daniel Griffin Hunt
Danielle St-Amour
Danika Zandboer
Darren Rigo
Daniel Rotsztain
Daniel Sarah Karasik, Artists For Climate & Migrant Justice and Indigenous Sovereignty
Daniel Tahmizian
Daniella Sanader
Dave Howard
David Alexander
Davida Nemeroff
Dean Baldwin
Deb O’Rourke
Debbie Ebanks Schlums
Deirdre Logue
Derek Coulombe
Derek Jancar
Design Justice Toronto
Devaki Majoomdar
Devon Rowcliffe
Diana VanderMeulen
Dorota Dziong
Drawn & Quarterly Books
Drew Shannon
Dustin Lawrence
Dylan Glynn
Ebony Jansen
Ed Kanerva, Koyama Press Employee
Eden Frymel, Mirror Doodles
Elana McMurtry
Eli Langer
Elida Schogt
Elisha Lim
Eliza McFarlane
Elizabeth Johnson
Ellen Bleiwas
Ellen Fielding
Elsa Delage
Emily Carroll
Emily Donaldson
Emily Fitzpatrick
Emily Fox
Emily Hammersley-Ambroise
Emily Hughes, Hercinia Arts Collective
Emily Nixon
Emma Aurelia
Emma Healey
Emma Sharpe
Emma Steen
Emma Welch
Erdem Tasdelen
Eric McBain
Erica Genereux Smith
Erika DeFreitas
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Flora Shum, Co-Director, Paperhouse Studio
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Francesco Gagliardi
Francisco-Fernando Granados
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freygl gertsovski
Gabby DaRienzo
Gabrielle Moser, Curator, Art critic
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Garvia Bailey
Gary Kinsman
Gaye Jackson
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Gina Badger
Ginette Lapalme
Gord Rand
Gwynne Phillips
HaeAhn Kwon
Haley Cullingham
Haley Mlotek
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Hannah Sung
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Insomniac Film Festival
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Jordan Reg. Aelick
Jordan Tannahill
Jordon Melaragno
Jorge Lozano
Joseph Ollmann
Joseph Strasburg
Josh Rosen
Joshua Best
Joshua Vettivelu
Joy Wong
Joy Xiang, editor, Canadian Art
Julia Breckenreid
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Julia Robins
Juliane Foronda
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Katia Houde
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Kate Wilson
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Larissa Diakiw
Larissa Tiggelers
Laura Bydlowska
Laura Carusi
Laura Dawe
Laura DeHaan, Grace & Victory micropress
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Laura Gladwell
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Laura Rafferty
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Leila Fatemi
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Lena Suksi
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Liam Todesco
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Lunch Inc.
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Madelyne Beckles
Mads Clement
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Magdalene Redekop
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Margaret Christakos
Margarita Soria
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Margot Fabre
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Marie Rickard
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Marisa Gallemit
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Mark Kingwell
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Marusya Bociurkiw
Marvin L. Antonio
Mary Bunch
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Maryanne Casasanta
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Matt Nish-Lapidus
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Matthew Daley
Matthew Fava
Matthew Forsythe
Matthew James-Wilson
Matthew Volpe
Mathieu Bourassa
Maxine Dannatt
Max Lester
Maya Baumann
Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts
Meera Sethi
Megan Franklyne
Megan MacLaurin
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Meghan Harrison
Meghan McKnight
Mehrnaz Rohbakhsh
Melinda Josie
Melissa Smith
Melissa Vincent
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Miao Liu
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Michael Comeau
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Michael Simon
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Michael Zryd, York University
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Shameless Magazine
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Sheila Forde
Sheila Heti
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Sheila Sampath
Shelby Wright
Shellie Zhang
Shoshonah MacKay
shrunken studios
Simon Cole
Simon Schlesinger
Sky Goodden, Publisher and Editor, Momus
Sofia LaGrotta
Sojourner Truth Parsons
Sook-Yin Lee
Sofia Banzhaf
sol Legault
Sonya Filman
Sophia Oppel
Sophie McCreesh
Sophie Sabet
Sophie J Williams
Sophie Yanow
Sophy Romvari
Soraya Roberts
Spencer Julien
Sruti Islam, Newsletter and Events Coordinator, Librairie Saint-Henri Books
Stacey Roderick
Stacy Lee Kong
Stefana Fratila
Stephan “Sven” Goslinski
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zoe barcza
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If you are an artist, author, editor, publisher, collective or arts institution that is Toronto-based or Toronto-affiliated and want to be added as a signee, please e-mail authorsartistsesn@gmail.com with how you’d like your name to appear.

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