The typical Torontonian isn’t the only one being priced out of the city’s sky-high housing market.
“It’s a huge trend toward renting,” Isnor said.
That’s partially a reaction to the estimated $700,000 hit the Hells Angels took when they lost their old clubhouse at 498 Eastern Ave. to the federal government.
The former clubhouse between Logan and Carlaw Aves. is on the market after years of being the stomping ground for the local downtown chapter of the Hells Angels.
The Angels had to vacate it in March 2007 after it was seized in a dawn police raid, and the property remained tied up in the courts until late last month.
They may have taken their lumps in real estate, but with 100 members, the Hells Angels remain easily the largest outlaw biker club in the Toronto area, Isnor said.
They’re followed by 40 members each of the Outlaws and Vagabonds; 18 members of the old Para-Dice Riders; 10 members of the newly arrived Satudarah club, from Holland via Indonesia; and 10 Loners, a longstanding York Region club.
In Hamilton, there are 30 members of the independent Bacchus club while Peterborough is home to six members of the California-based Vagos.
There’s peace for now amongst local bikers because the smaller clubs know enough to stay out of the way of the Hells Angels, Isnor said.
“They’re like a rowboat against a battleship,” Isnor said.
The Hells Angels also have a network of less powerful “support clubs” who have affiliation with local street gangs, Isnor said.
While the Hells Angels lost their Leslieville clubhouse, they’re not wandering the streets.
Instead, they have settled into a rental home in Parkdale on Elm Grove Ave.
There aren’t any signs outside like in the old days, as the club’s trying to keep a lower profile.
Since the new clubhouse is a rental, they don’t have to worry about also losing it to proceeds of crime legislation, Isnor said.
“They learn how to get around those things,” Isnor said.
Nationally, the Hells Angels have reorganized after massive raids put the vast majority of Quebec members behind bars.
Now, Ontario and Quebec are in the same region, with most of the power residing in Ontario, Isnor said.
“The Hells Angels are so entrenched here,” Isnor said. “They learn from our investigations.”