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EXCLUSIVE: Residents at Toronto hotel say they're being booted for Syrian refugees

Last Updated Jan 26, 2016 at 7:28 pm EDT

Some long-term residents at a Toronto hotel say they’re being evicted on short notice to make room for an influx of Syrian refugees.

One woman, who didn’t want to be identified, told CityNews she’s been living at the Toronto Plaza Hotel at 1677 Wilson Avenue with her three kids for the last six months.

But when she approached management to continue her weekly $300 payments she says she was told she had to leave —  that day.

She says she had to beg for one extra night, but the next morning she was evicted.

“It’s really hard,” she said. “Many tears.”

“They gave us a whole bunch of reasons but the bottom line was they needed the space.”

“Everyone deserves a home and anyone can come to this country to get help, but you can’t take some children out and put them nowhere for others to live.”

She and her children now resort to sleeping on the floor at a friend’s house.

“For them to do this is not fair,” she added. “These people (refugees) are getting three meals a day? What about us?”

Garnet Fulton says he’s been living at the hotel for several months with his wife and two-year-old daughter.

He pays $1100 a month for a small room.

Fulton says he received a notice on Monday saying he had until Friday to leave.

The notice read: “We will no longer be facilitating any extended stay guests as hotel operations have evolved to meet growing demands.”

Fulton also believes he’s being pushed out to accommodate Syrian refugees.

“I asked if I could stay until the first (of the month) to look for a place and they said no.”

The Toronto Plaza Hotel says about 80 per cent of the hotel is being used to house refugees, but wouldn’t comment on allegations that long-term residents were being kicked out to make room for them.

When asked if residents were being displaced by refugees, Immigration Minister John McCallum said it’s the first he’s heard of it.

“I was entirely unaware of that,” he said. “I will look into it…but I had not heard that before.”