Terminating condos in Ontario

Learn to terminate condo corporations like a pro
By Chris Jaglowitz on September 3, 2014

It is estimated that almost 10,000 condo corporations have been created in Ontario since 1967, but no more than a half dozen have ever been terminated.

To explore a relatively obscure but increasingly important area of our condo law, the Real Property and Civil Litigation sections of the Ontario Bar Association have teamed up to present an educational session on court-ordered termination of condo corporations on 22 September 2014.

Here’s the blurb:
The recent termination of Simcoe Condominium Corporation No. 32 is believed to be the first termination of an Ontario condominium corporation under court supervision and one of only a small handful of condo terminations in Ontario’s legal history. Attend this program to hear directly from the lawyers who handled the termination of SCC #32 about the steps and procedures undertaken to terminate a condominium corporation. Through this, you will gain practical insight into a novel area of condominium law – one that may become increasingly pertinent to both real property and litigation lawyers as older condominium corporations begin to reach structural life expectancy.

The program is open to members and non-members (including non-lawyers), either by attending in person at the OBA in downtown Toronto or by live webcast at a computer near you.

If you’re downtown, consider attending in person. The hospitality is warm and the food is good.

Those outside Toronto (or too shy to dine amongst a room full of lawyers!) or people pressed for time can opt for the live webcast option at a reduced price ($40 for members and $60 for non-members).

Here are registration links for attending in person, and for live webcast. Please be careful to choose your desired option (in-person vs. live webcast) accurately.

The evening includes Q&A with the speakers. As program co-chair, I would be glad to ask the speakers your questions if you send them to me in advance. Alternatively, ask them yourself at the in-person session or submit them electronically during the webcast.

SCC #32 was unique
Simcoe Condominium Corporation No. 32, established in 1998, was not a normal condominium corporation. It was a time-share. It was not even a normal time-share, one that has a 40 year leasehold arrangement, but was one of the very few time-share condo corporations in Canada.

It was more of a vacation destination than a primary residence.

The timeshare condo corporation was slowly going broke. The vast majority of owners who voted (by a mailed ballot) wanted to terminate the corporation and sell the assets.

The corporation was not in a financial crisis but if they did not terminate the corporation, that is the direction they were going.

They had a few other things that helped. There were very few, if any, mortgagees that had to agree to the termination and be paid off from the selling price and the corporation was not yet in heavy debt.

Total # of possible votes
Yes votes
Yes votes from SCC #32
No votes
Voters who abstained

The affidavit of Mina Lawrence, the president of the time-share corporation can be found here.

Lessons here?
Mina Lawrence's affidavit is a good source of information for the boards of any distressed condo corporations that are thinking of terminating their corporations. (I know of a couple that have considered it.)

Termination will not be easy. Low income residents will not easily find alternative housing, most of these condos are deeply in debt and many owners have mortgages that need to be paid off so termination will not be easy.

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