François Saillant, spokesman and coordinator for Montreal social-housing advocacy group FRAPRU, said the tent city is a form of protest against the growing dearth of low-rent options in the city.
Saillant said more subsidies for housing co-operatives and non-profit housing units are getting cut, and that the residents living there are really feeling the burn.
"The rent of the people that are living there will increase a lot. Some people will pay $100, $150 more by month," Saillant said.
Coderre said he supports the group's mission, but a tent city in downtown Montreal could become a health and safety risk if more people join over the summer.
Saillant said the group has taken steps to ensure the camp is safe.
"We don't ask [Coderre] to agree with the camp. We ask him to tolerate the camp," he said.
Saillant said the location of the camp will be made public during a demonstration beginning at Phillips Square at 1 p.m.