Skip to content

‘Upside down’: Guest home residents given 60 days to vacate

'This is a very unfortunate situation... which impacts many individuals, their friends and family members. We will do everything we can,' says County of Simcoe official
Huronia Guest Home in Stayner is located at 300 Main St./7232 Hwy. 26 East.

The clock has started ticking for residents of Huronia Guest Home, who have been given 60 days to find new places to live.

On Tuesday, residents were given notices to vacate the assisted-living care home in Stayner, which has been at the centre of controversy since staff and residents went public last week with reports of a bed-bug infestation, a lack of food and staff allegations of non-payment since mid-December.

A letter of notice was given to the 24 remaining residents living at the home, who are now scrambling to find alternate accommodations in an already-strained housing market.

“The Huronia Guest Home has been faced with significant and overwhelming difficulties in maintaining the services provided at the guest home,” reads the letter, which was signed by owner Linda Liang. 

"As you may have been aware already, the Huronia Guest Home cannot continue to operate due to financial constraints. Unfortunately, there is no other choice but to close the guest home permanently.”

It adds that the building must by vacant by March 11.

The letter also acknowledges the difficulty residents may face while finding alternate living arrangements, and says monthly food and board costs will be waived in March, but that food will still be provided.

“Everything’s upside down,” Brenda Cator told CollingwoodToday on Jan. 11 when contacted for comment regarding the notice. Cator was one of three residents who spoke with CollingwoodToday for the original story outlining concerns of residents and staff.

SEE MORE: ‘Bed-bug central’: Residents of Huronia Guest Home speak out

Multiple sources, including Cator, have confirmed that the home has undergone a management change this week. Cator alleges the situation within the home has turned volatile.

“I’m just waiting for a place to go. I feel unsafe now,” she said.

As of Wednesday, Cator says her family has made arrangements to come collect some of her personal belongings so she doesn’t lose everything when she has to move.

Cator says her family cannot take her in as they all have stairs in their homes. As she is partially paralyzed on her left side, she needs to live in an assisted-living arrangement without stairs.

While Cator says some housing supports have been provided to residents, they have primarily been for low-income housing and she has not yet been contacted regarding arrangements for her specific circumstance.

“I have to wait. They have to find me a place,” she said. “Things will get better once I’m out of here.”

Late last week, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) issued a statement regarding the matter, noting that while some of the concerns at the home were a part of their purview, the home is bound by the Residential Tenancies Act as it is privately owned and operated.

"SMDHU conducts food-safety inspections, annual licensing inspections in licensed facilities, and complaint investigations of public health concerns of assisted-living facilities," wrote Heather Howe, a media spokesperson for the health unit.

As the Residential Tenancies Act is overseen by the provincial government, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark also provided a statement regarding the home.

“All landlords and housing providers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe and habitable home for their tenants. We expect everyone to uphold public health and property standards,” said the minister’s press secretary, Victoria Podbielski, in an emailed statement. “We encourage tenants with concerns about these issues to contact their local municipality for assistance.”

Podbielski added that any further questions regarding the home be sent to the community services department at the County of Simcoe, adding that while the county had formerly overseen operations at the home, the contract was terminated by home ownership in August of 2022.

On Thursday morning, the County of Simcoe also released a statement.

“The County of Simcoe and key area partners including the Township of Clearview, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, and the South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team acted quickly to assist these vulnerable residents,” notes the statement, which is unsigned.

“While this is a privately-run facility, community partners are taking significant action to support the residents in the home. Partners are meeting daily, and some agencies are providing in-home support and assessments,” it reads.

“A detailed action plan is being implemented, and we can confirm that partners are working extremely hard on identifying short- and long-term housing situations for the remaining residents.”

According to the statement, the home is currently being treated for bed bugs, and residents are being provided with transportation and housing placement supports. It also states that residents have been informed of the planned actions during the transition.

“This is a very unfortunate situation occurring at this privately managed facility, which impacts many individuals, their friends and family members. We will do everything we can to make them as comfortable as possible.”

As of the morning of Jan. 12, owner Linda Liang has still not returned multiple requests for comment from CollingwoodToday sent to her directly and through her lawyer, Nadine Schweishelm.

Reader Feedback

Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen brings 13 years of experience to her role as reporter for Village Media, primarily covering Collingwood and education.
Read more