Residents of WoodGreen community apartments – a housing project for people with HIV/AIDS in Toronto – are up in arms about the lack of sufficient air conditioning. The building, designed as a supportive housing area, lacks air conditioning in many rooms, areas that are home to hundreds of sick and unwell residents.
Temperatures in the housing units have exceeded 30ºC, leaving many residents unable to focus on tasks or live comfortably. Building staff have provided two cooled rooms in the lower floors, but many people are unable to access the shared cool areas due to disabilities or discomfort.
It’s certainly not the first public area in Toronto to lack adequate air conditioning. Many of the city’s high schools are left without air conditioning, deemed an unnecessary expense in Toronto’s harsh winter and a needless addition for the summer. With sweltering daytime temperatures, parents of students have expressed disbelief at the city’s refusal to install air conditioning systems.
For residents, portable air conditioning systems are a potential option. However, with many of WoodGreen’s residents lacking a source of income and reliant on building management, it remains unknown whether full access to cooled air will ever be available.