Astute viewers of this space might recall our reports over the last few years regarding the Radisson* Toronto East hotel (*the property has since been “de-flagged” by Radisson headquarters in Minnesota — but that’s a story for another day).
In any event, our last visit to the hotel was in February 2019. It was a short visit indeed, given that hotel employee/aspiring goon, David Strong, assaulted two Rebel News employees and tried to vandalize our equipment.
We successfully sued the hotel for this unprovoked attack in small claims court.
But as we shot our “victory video” on a city street near the hotel, we encountered a resident of the property, Noura Kreimlie, originally from Lebanon.
Noura lives at the former-Radisson along with her three children. While the hotel used to be open to the general public, it now exclusively houses refugee-claimants from the world over. That aside, Noura saw our mic flash and, unlike Mr. Strong, was happy to speak with us.
And what she said was equal parts disturbing and disgusting.
Namely, the hotel is allegedly in a filthy condition. It is also infested with bed bugs 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 shared with us several photographs and short videos that she has taken regarding the infestation. The photographic and video evidence is wince-inducing.
And the question arises: how is it that these living conditions are being tolerated?
Our theory: the hotel is allegedly 100% occupied, the rooms being paid for by taxpayer dollars. Given this is the hotel's new normal, why would the owners of this property invest a single dollar in terms of sanitation and pest control? This hotel no longer has to compete for business in a competitive market.
Granted, that is our theory as to why hygiene and sanitation are now afterthoughts at this property.
Still, we reached out to the hotel for their side of the story. And what are the odds? The person who took our call was the none other than that aforementioned hotel hooligan, David Strong. What followed next was one of the shortest interviews in the history of Rebel News:
David Strong: “Good morning, this is David speaking. How may I help you?”
Rebel News: “Oh, is this David Strong?”
David Strong: “Yes.”
Rebel News: “Oh, this is David Menzies with Rebel News. How’re you doing there?”
David Strong: Click (call disconnected)
Wow, David Strong is really Mr. Hospitality, isn’t he? Wonder what he charges to haunt a house?
Alas, we plan to follow-up this story with both Toronto Public Health and the federal government. Regardless where one stands on Canada’s refugee policy, the fact remains: nobody deserves to reside in a room rife with filth and vermin. How is it this property — situated in a Western nation in the 21st century — is able to get away with such appalling hygiene practices in the first place?
Stay tuned for more…