'I'm living in hell': Downtown Toronto tenants forced weeks without air conditioning, indoor temperatures exceed 30 C

Grid Condos at 181 Dundas St. E. (Courtesy of Moos Tagram)

On May 20, Grid Condos’ HVAC system was set to switch over from heating to cooling, but that never happened.

Instead, 360 Community Management say they were made aware that day of a failure within their heat exchanger, meaning that air conditioning into the 50-storey building would be compromised.

Now, at least 23 floors are without air conditioning and will remain that way for up to six weeks. This weekend’s extreme heat warnings caused some residents significant distress.

“I live on the 21st floor of Grid Condos, facing southbound. My unit is consistently reaching temperatures of 31+ C degrees,” Zach Comeau told CTV News Toronto.

“I feel sick and weak every morning due to the intensity of the heat.”

Comeau says it took property management over two weeks to give residents a timeline for when the cooling system would return.

When residents did receive a timeline, Ammar Zubaid called it “the cherry on the cake” — it could be up to six weeks until the cooling system would be fixed, which resident Fouad Makadsi calls “pretty much all summer.”

When reached for comment, 360 Community Management told CTV News Toronto that the delay was due to sourcing parts internationally.

“We realize that there's a timeline, so we are trying to do everything that we can with the current COVID-19 restrictions and whatnot,” Chris Antipas, of 360 Community Management, said.

“The parts are coming in from out of the country which adds to the complication in getting this rectified as quickly as we possibly can,” he continued.

Antipas added that 360 Community Management provided fans to each affected unit, although some residents contacted by CTV New Toronto denied this claim.

“It’s actually 32 C in my unit,” Moos Tagram explained.

“I’m living in hell. I’m working on the night shift and can’t sleep as I should. We have to open our window that faces a construction site using a jackhammer from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” he continued.

While resident Rachel Dickey may not be losing sleep during the day, the heat is providing a different kind of challenge to her working life.

“I work from home in a corporate job, as many do, and have had to keep my camera off as I appear so hot that it's verging on unprofessional,” Dickey said.

“[I’m] genuinely not trying to be dramatic, but both my roommate and I have felt faint at various stages during the past weeks,” she said.

Dickey says just today she bought a $600 stand-alone air conditioner.

“We will see if we can return it once (if) the building AC ever comes on.”