First, I underestimated the effects
of middle-class stagnation.
With wages flat and families squeezed, many
people have to return to the boarding house model of yesteryear. They
have to rent out rooms to cover their mortgage or rent.
They exist in many condo corporations everywhere but are in very large
numbers near colleges and universities, in the downtown core and in
condos that are along the subway and street car lines.
Renting a bedroom is a lot easier than having a boarder and is a lot
more common in condominiums. It is the reason some condo owners can
afford to buy and keep their units.
Most likely, the majority of condo townhouses have separate basement
and roomers sharing two-bedroom units are quite common in many condo
In the summer 2014 issue of Condovoice. a lawyer wrote:
"Unlicensed rooming houses are operating in many condominiums in
We recently toured a 4-bedroom townhouse which had been converted into a
12-bedroom rooming house. While a 12-bedroom condominium unit may be
hard to picture, unscrupulous unit owners with an imagination and a
desire to collect large sums of rental income each month can create
rooming houses that shock even the most seasoned property managers."
are a couple of listings (Feb 2015) for condo townhouses that have been
converted to rooming houses situated just south of York University.
This condo townhouse is listed as a Great Investment For Student
Shared Accommodations. How many students/sardines are packed in this
"investment" is not mentioned.
This four-bedroom residential condo
townhouse that has five bedrooms and five bathrooms, two fridges,
security and three televisions. Lots of parking too.
Who has ever heard of a townhouse with five bathrooms? Wonder which
room was converted into the fifth bedroom and bath?
This little rooming house business sold for $425,000—just over asking.
Think the federal and provincial governments support the small business
owner? Sure they do but not as much as some condo owners.
Here is a recent listing for a unit in a Mississauga stacked townhouse
condo that has been converted into a seven-bedroom unit by enclosing
the two balconies and converting them into bedrooms.
This illegal business has a cash flow of $2000+ a month.
single-family units are subsidizing this unit through higher water,
heating, garbage disposal costs and higher maintenance costs. That is
so nice of them.
In condo townhouse complexes, the most obvious sign of boarders is when
there are too many cars to fit in the exclusive use driveways and there
no longer is any empty spots in the Visitor's Parking lots.
In condo towers, overcrowding becomes obvious when far too many people
want to have the lobby door opened, and elevator access, because they
don't have Fobs.
People moving their personal items in and out of units without booking
the elevator is another sign that a condo may have overcrowded units.
The most obvious physical sign that a non-related roomer is sharing a
is to see keyed locks on the bedroom doors.
Toronto has clusters of detached rooming houses in Toronto and their
neighbours don't like them. Most of the largest complaint clusters
about illegal rooming houses in the city’s inner suburbs are near
post-secondary campuses, where supplies of cheap student housing
haven’t kept up to demand.
This includes York University Heights, Smithfield near the Humber
College North Campus, and Highland Creek near University of Toronto
It is common to see detached and semi-detached rooming houses for sale
on MLS. In February 2015 there was semi-detached home just south of
York University for sale that featured seven bedrooms and seven
A second semi-detached that was for sale at the same time offered:
Fantastic Investment!! Steps Away From York U Campus, Future TTC
Subway, 11 Bedroom Semi-Detached Home, Fully Tenanted, Monthly Rental
Income Over $5500/Month, Great Investment, Start Collecting Rent
Today!!! Tons Of Upgrades To Many To List, Prime Location, Make This
Gem Yours Today!!! We Can Help With Financing, Call Us Today For More
**** EXTRAS **** 2 Fridge, 2 Stove, 2 Washer, 2 Dryer,
I wonder if those appliances are coined-operated.
Rooming houses in areas such as Parkdale, Cabbagetown and South
Riverdale are legal if they are licensed and inspected by the city.
However in 2015, the city is looking at increasing the number of areas
that licensed rooming houses will be allowed to operate.