The purpose of surveillance video cameras
Police entry to a condo residental floor

Grandin Manor Ltd (a residental condominium corporation)
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
Office URL:
Case File Number P1815
Order P2016-02
07 March 2016

A unit owner of Grandin Manor Ltd., a condominium corporation, (the Organization) made a complaint to the Commissioner that the surveillance system installed in the Organization is not in compliance with the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). He complained that the Organization has not installed signs notifying individuals of the extent of surveillance it carries out and the extent to which surveillance cameras are in use.

He also complained that the Condominium Board reviews surveillance footage and uses information obtained from the footage to review bylaw infractions and to enforce compliance with the condominium bylaws.

Finally, he complained that the Organization collected his personal information with surveillance cameras when he scribbled comments on a notice posted in the elevator and when it used this information to send him a warning letter about his conduct.
The Adjudicator found that when visitors visit the condominium they have sufficient notice of the presence of surveillance that they may be deemed to consent to the Organization’s collection of personal information for the purposes of maintaining security in the building.
The Adjudicator found that when the Organization reviewed surveillance footage for the purpose of deterring the Complainant from scribbling comments on notices in the future, that it had done so for a purpose for which PIPA requires it to obtain consent and to provide notice prior to collection. She required the Organization to cease collecting and using personal information from surveillance cameras for purposes other than the obvious purposes for having surveillance unless it first provided appropriate notice under PIPA of its intention to collect and use information for these purposes.

So it appears that a condo corporation can use cameras to deter criminal acts but if it plans to review the video footage to enforce by-law infractions, then they need to inform the residents of this intent before doing so.


R. v. Boston, 2018 ONCJ 443
Court File No:  Oshawa 2811-998-17-35174-00
                         Oshawa 2811-998-17-35175-00
Ontario Court of Justice
Before Justice M.S. Block
Released:  03 July 2018

The only issue in this case that is of interest to condo directors and management is that the Applicants alleged that the detectives breached Boston’s right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure by going up to his condo's residential floor to make observations without appropriate permission from the property management.

The two defendants were suspected drug dealers and the cops were onto them.

The crown counsel told the police detective to get verbal permission to enter the building for investigative purposes (which he did from the security guard on duty) and to follow that up with written permission from the property manager.

That they did, so the police investigating and observing the suspects activities in the condominium were lawful.

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