Last month, we brought you the story of Noura Kreimlie, originally from Lebanon and now a resident, along with her three children, at the former Radisson Toronto East hotel. (The property was “de-flagged” by Radisson headquarters in Minnesota for unknown reasons.)
In any event, while the hotel used to cater to the general public, it now exclusively houses refugee-claimants from the world over. Yet, based on what Noura revealed, trust us: you wouldn’t want to stay in this property — which is to say, these days, this property less resembles a Radisson and more so resembles a supersized Roach Motel.
That’s because Noura told us (and she backed up her allegations with photographs and videos) that the hotel is filthy and is infested with bedbugs and cockroaches. The insect infestation is so bad that Noura said she recently bought a pizza and a cockroach actually jumped into the pie the moment she opened the box. Noura also showed us photographic evidence that she has numerous bedbug bites.
But get this: upon airing the video, those responsible for the operation of this hotel were apparently shamed into doing something tangible to tackle the vermin problem. Noura told us while she received heat from a hotel employee for talking to us, nevertheless, pest control people soon descended upon the hotel to take care of the legions of assorted creepy-crawlies. (Surely the timing was a coincidence?)
Nevertheless, in the past few weeks, we have attempted to seek answers regarding this hotel. And we can tell you that transparency is certainly not a house specialty at this former Radisson.
After reaching out to the City of Toronto, here’s what we do know:
- As Noura informed us, the property is being treated for insect infestations. Finally.
- COSTI Immigrant Services, which has a relationship with the hotel, has informed the city’s Shelter, Support and Housing Administration of their ongoing measures to address pest control at this site and the city says it will continue to work with the shelter and clients to address client pest concerns.
The average cost of a shelter bed used to be $110 per day per resident pre-COVID-19. Last year, the cost more than doubled to approximately $250 per day per resident. The city claims this was a result of the increased response required to protect residents from COVID-19. This includes the room rate and all required supports, including food, security, cleaning, laundry, mental health services, harm reduction and community safety. The costs are anticipated to rise again due to inflation and other factors impacting global supply chains.
- Finally, the property is managed by the Sunray Group of Hotels. The city informed us the hotel is owned by 2361173 Ontario Inc. After we conducted a title search, it turns out that the owner is the same company as the management company — namely, Sunray. (Why the city would not tell us that in the first place is odd.)
Indeed, it should be noted that as we continued to probe for more information, the city said all further questions would have to be provided by Sunray. The only problem is that our emails and voicemail messages to the company went unanswered. We also personally visited the Toronto headquarters for Sunray, which happens to be situated about 300 metres away from the former Radisson (which means company executives surely must’ve known about the unhygienic conditions.) Alas, nobody at Sunray would come on camera to speak with us.
However, a visit to Sunray’s website would seem to suggest that this company has a cozy relationship with the Justin Trudeau Liberals. For example, there is a photo from October 2019 that depicts Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posing with Ray Gupta, the franchisee of the Four Points Sheraton Windsor. The fawning copy reads: “PM Justin Trudeau stayed at our Four Points Sheraton in Windsor along with his family. Home to our Fionn's Windsor pub while on the campaign trail. Our PM was greeted by franchisee, Ray Gupta. Although the PM himself did not dine at the pub, his entire entourage did! Great job, Fionn's Windsor!” (Of note: we imagine the PM instead called room service for his meal, not wanting to eat with our dominion’s great unwashed masses. As well, Mr. Gupta is now CEO of Sunray, but apparently too busy hob-knobbing with senior Liberals to make time to answer questions.)
And one of the more important questions is how was it this infestation situation was allowed to occur at the former Radisson, a property Sunray both owns and manages?
Since nobody at the company has the common decency to answer our queries, here is our theory: the hotel is apparently 100 per cent occupied, the rooms being paid for by taxpayer dollars. So, why would Sunray invest a single dollar in terms of sanitation and pest control given that this hotel no longer competes for business in a competitive hospitality market?
Bottom line: once again, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, your tax dollars hard at work…