Toronto metal musician denied an apartment because he's a metal musician
by Sam Sutherland
July 30, 2012
Faces of pure evil
Because, without realizing it, we have slipped into an alternate 2012 where heavy metal is outlawed and practiced only by exiled shamans in far-off woods, you apparently can’t rent an apartment and also play in a band.
This surprising amendment to Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act was discovered by Michael J. Crossley, bassist for Toronto-area totally evil metal outfit Vilipend, when he was recently denied tenancy based solely on his post-work fondness for playing bass loud and growing his hair long. While the band has toured to evil cities like New York and Philadelphia to play their demon raggas, performing alongside hellbound metal peers like Converge and the Dillinger Escape Plan, Crossley has maintained a non-evil, grown-up full-time job at a prominent national magazine for years. And, according to Tumblr, he’s also a nice guy who likes kittens. Sick ones.
Seems like Crossley had a verbal agreement with a prospective new landlord, when the necronomicon incantations of Vilipend were brought to the teen movie villain’s attention. And then this happened:
“I will be straight up with you both. We were quite ready to make a decision in your favour the other night.
However, upon investigation of the band Vilipend, it has brought forward some concerns for us. We are uncomfortable with the energy that this music manifests.
We really enjoyed meeting with you both and you have shown both professionalism and patience in this process. We thank you for that. However, we feel it is not the best fit for our house and our other tenants.”
What year is it? What movie are we living in? Besides being a blatant violation of the Human Rights Code (regulation 290/98, according to the couple’s own thoughtful response), this is… well, it’s a blatant violation of the Human Rights Code.
If nothing else, “too metal to rent” is good for a line or two in the band’s next bio. But seriously, Toronto. What are you, metal Footloose?
UPDATE: Without a written legal agreement in place, this is unlikely to be an actual violation of Ontario’s Human Rights Code, as pointed out by several readers. But we can all agree it’s still appallingly discriminatory.