Toronto renters take on a foreign-owned developer in TVO Original Charlotte’s Castle

Premiering September 26, watch a group of unlikely activists battle for a local cultural landmark

Toronto, Ontario, Sept. 12, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Renters everywhere are struggling with rising costs and limited housing options. TVO Original Charlotte’s Castle profiles a group of tenants who fear that their homes in a downtown Toronto heritage building will soon disappear if they don’t put up a fight. Premiering Tuesday, September 26, 2023, at 9 pm on TVO, and streaming online via TVO Today, YouTube, smart TV services and the TVO Today mobile app, this new documentary spotlights individual lives impacted by Canada’s housing crisis. 

“Housing is the biggest concern anywhere in Ontario right now,” says John Ferri, VP of Programming and Content at TVO. “While the headlines are dominated by a lack of affordable housing in this province, we don’t often hear about how city life suffers under such financial pressures. Charlotte’s Castle shows how quality, well-loved housing can be more than an investment opportunity—it can sustain a thriving community.”

The building at the centre of the documentary is Spadina Gardens, a mid-rise apartment located at Spadina and Lowther in downtown Toronto. Built in 1904, it is the oldest building in the city to maintain its original floor plans, making the living spaces a rare find in a dense neighbourhood dominated by glass condo towers. 

“In Charlotte’s Castle, we embarked on a cinematic journey to explore not just bricks and mortar, but the very heart and soul of our communities,” says director Jamie Kastner (There Are No Fakes, The Skyjacker’s Tale). “This documentary is a testament to the indomitable spirit of those who’ve fought for their homes and the preservation of landmark housing. Charlotte’s Castle reminds us that the preservation of these castles, big and small, is the preservation of our collective identity and the promise of a more equitable tomorrow.” 

The current and former tenants profiled in Charlotte’s Castle include eclectic personalities from Toronto’s creative arts industries. They share a common passion for defending what they see as the erosion of a city’s soul—the creative spirit that attracts developers in the first place. 

Watch the premiere of TVO Original Charlotte’s Castle at 9 pm on September 26, 2023. Sign up for the TVO Today Docs Newsletter and follow @TVODocs on Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date programming information.

Trailer available on YouTube.


TVO Media Education Group inspires learning that changes lives and enriches communities. Founded in 1970, we are a globally recognized digital learning organization that engages Ontarians of all ages with inclusive experiences and diverse perspectives. Through video, audio, games, courses, newsletters and articles, we’re investing in the transformative potential of education for everyone. Funded primarily by the Province of Ontario, TVO is a registered charity supported by thousands of sponsors and donors. Visit for more information. Stream TVO on your favourite device.

Cave 7 Productions is an award-winning Toronto-based boutique production company specializing in unique, idiosyncratic feature documentary films. Established as a distinctive maker of internationally appealing work that has been shown on a raft of broadcasters including: Netflix, Amazon, BBC, ZDF/ARTE, Bravo, Sundance Channel, Canal D, TVO, CBC, Super Channel, VPRO & NPS, SBS, TV2, YLE. Cave 7 has achieved quantifiable real-world results, including helping win a precedent-setting appeal that reversed an Ontario superior court ruling, and launching a criminal investigation into widespread fraudulent production of and distribution of Indigenous art (There Are No Fakes) and inspire the Innocence Project US to investigate the case of five wrongfully convicted black men (The Skyjacker’s Tale).

Media contact:
Sean Minogue, TVO
[email protected] 

Twitter: @TVODocs 
Facebook: @TVODocs 
YouTube: /TVO

Sean Minogue
[email protected]

Originally published at