the half-empty apartment building
The building is a 50's/60's era 5-storey apartment block, one of the few places in Oakville with cheap rent. Apparently the landlord is waiting for most of the tenants to move out, so the building can be either fixed up, sold, or both. It's difficult for a landlord to perform successive evictions (the more you do, the harder and more expensive it gets) so when a tenant moves out, he doesn't advertise the vacancy. Then when there are only a few tenants left they can be evicted easily.
The building is half-empty at this point, even though there are (deliberately placed?) signs of occupation: flower boxes and chairs on the balcony.
We do our laundry in the downstairs laundry room, where the machines probably get as little use as the ones in private homes.
I'm reminded of the early days of the Empire State Building, when they had difficulty renting out the offices, and so they kept the lights burning in the offices at night to make the building seem occupied. Perhaps this is similar, but for the opposite reasons.