It was supposed to be a safe, affordable home for Ontarians with nowhere else to go. But inside, it was horrifying.
A mentally ill woman, who was one of the first to be charged with first-degree murder in the tragedy, is now serving life in prison.
It was another tragic example of a government ignoring the needs of the most vulnerable when it comes to housing.
On June 18, 2016, the Ontario government announced it had selected a small group of nine “key players” to run a “public housing rehabilitation pilot project,” which would see housing made available under a new program called the Residence Program.
The program is one of the government’s plans to address the housing crisis, which has led to a spike in the number of homeless people in Ontario and is expected to continue growing at rates of 80,000 to 200,000 annually by 2031.
It’s hard to imagine what the homeless and vulnerable must endure before the programs are fully implemented.
But at least one woman was there to offer a glimpse into what life might have been like there.
Alicia Hylton’s daughter, Ashley, who did not want her name used because her mother does not want the media identifying her. Ashley Hylton, 30, was just 13-years-old when she went missing in 1997, leaving behind her parents and a 5-year-old brother in a small hometown.
Ashley Hylton, 30, (left) was just 13-years-old when she went missing in 1997, leaving behind her parents and a 5-year-old brother in a small hometown. Ashley Hylton, 30, (left), is pictured in 1997 with her dad, Brian Hylton, and two of their children, Brianna and Ashley, both in the family photo.
After Ashley’s father, Brian Hylton, took on the role of looking for the family’s daughter, he came