It was supposed to be a safe, affordable home for Ontarians with nowhere else to go. But inside, it was horrifying: It was the home of a man arrested for sex trafficking. When Toronto police raided the house in November 2016, they found a collection of disturbing images of alleged victim after alleged victim with their faces tattooed on the ceiling of a closet.
The couple, Jennifer and James (“Jim”) McPherson, spent about $300,000 to convert the modest bungalow into a home with two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen at the front and rear and a small bedroom upstairs for their son, Jovanni.
The family had also bought a luxury SUV for $85,000 and added a $75,000 pool for the backyard.
None of the items were purchased with money from the government. According to police and court documents, the family made the investment with the money from their bank accounts.
The couple sold the house in July 2017, in a deal to repay their bank loans, according to public documents obtained by the Star from Ontario Superior Court records.
This month, the couple — who live in Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary — sued the province over what they describe as the “unjust and unfair” way they were treated by the public health care system. The couple says they were financially forced to sell their home at the peak of Ontario’s housing crisis, and they were unable to pay for it.
According to the Toronto property and wills board, the couple owes $2.2 million in unpaid mortgage on the five-bedroom bungalow. The public advocate’s office and lawyers for the couple say they do not have this debt.
In mid-October, the couple had another shot at buying the house back from the province, but it was denied.
Last week, the couple learned they could get relief from the courts. The province’s lawyers said the house is not part of the public