MONTREAL – Pierino Di Tonno, 82, is an internationally recognized photographer, who has travelled the world to take photos.Di Tonno is a internationally recognized photographer and his apartment holds hundreds of historical photos. pic.twitter.com/lvjeRRvaDN— Felicia Parrillo (@feliciaparrillo) March 5, 2016For nearly 40 years he’s lived in a Saint-Laurent boulevard apartment, above the Milano grocery store.Recently, health problems landed him in the hospital for a few months, and when he returned, he was greeted with an eviction notice.“The moment I came here, I opened the door and it was not possible because they changed the locks,” he said.Di Tonno told Global News he’ll be contesting the eviction with Quebec’s rental board and a housing rights group in the borough will be helping him.
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Le Comité logement de la Petite-Patrie is helping Di Tonno contest his eviction. They say the eviction of seniors happen too often.— Felicia Parrillo (@feliciaparrillo) March 5, 2016“We have lots and lots of elderly tenants who are being evicted of their apartment, just because the owners want a little bit of money, just because they want to do a few dollars more per month,” said Martin Blanchard, from La Petite Patrie housing committee. “It is not acceptable.”The group said the owners of Milano, who also own Di Tonno’s property, want to subdivide the apartment.Di Tonno's apartment is located above Milano's grocery store. Group says its the same owners. pic.twitter.com/Bnu01prjEb— Felicia Parrillo (@feliciaparrillo) March 5, 2016So Saturday morning, the group organized a protest in front of the Little Italy grocery store, to pressure the owners to reconsider the eviction.Group called on the community to boycott the popular grocery store so they reconsider the eviction. pic.twitter.com/Vpf5ymkf2l— Felicia Parrillo (@feliciaparrillo) March 5, 2016“He’s 82-years-old,” said Blanchard. “It’s a tragedy for him to be evicted from his apartment. So we ask the population to boycott the Milano Grocery, until they understand that it is not acceptable to do such a thing.”According to the housing group, one third of those evicted in the borough are 65-years and older.They’re also urging the provincial government to adopt legislation that would better protect seniors who rent.“Every month or two months we meet with them to explain the project,” he said. “We’re fed up of explaining this project we want it to be voted and adopted at the National Assembly.”Global News reached out to the building owners for comment, but they have not responded.Di Tonno’s case goes before the Quebec rental board on March 8.
© Shaw Media, 2016