Protecting rental units

The City cannot afford to lose its existing primary rental housing (private rental and social housing) if it is to meet the rental demand created by population growth. Toronto has strong policies to protect existing rental housing, especially important in the current context in which there has been no net increase in the supply of rental housing over the last decade.

How Toronto protects rental housing

The City of Toronto has a Rental Housing Demolition and Conversion Bylaw that prohibits the demolition or conversion of residential rental properties in any building that has six or more rental units.

In addition to the City's Official Plan Housing policies (Section 3.2.1), the passing of Bylaw 885-2007 (now Municipal Code Chapter 667) under Section 111 of the City of Toronto Act, 2006 gives the City of Toronto enhanced authority to protect rental housing from demolition and conversion to non-rental purposes (e.g. condominium, offices, or other non-rental uses).

In the case of redevelopment applications involving demolition, the policies provide that the City may approve demolition on condition that the rental units are replaced, tenants receive assistance with relocation and the right to return to the rebuilt housing.

New provincial legislation, the City of Toronto Act, provides the City with additional authority to refuse applications to demolish rental housing or to convert it to non-rental purposes, or if approved, to apply conditions.

How this affects condos
The City protects rental housing when applications were made to demolish or convert existing rental buildings to condominium or freehold ownership.

However, if the developer will provide acceptable replacement rental units in place of the ones that are being lost, then the proposed demolition can proceed.

So if a developer has a property that has 10 rental units, the city will let him demolish that property if he will create 10 alternative rental units in a different building. Therefore, some developers create a block of rental units in their exiting or soon to be built condominium projects.

Will the condo buyers know this?
If they ask they'll be told but who would think of asking?

It will also be stated either directly, or indirectly, somewhere deep inside the declaration. It is up to the buyers to read the documentation and understand what it says.

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