The City of Toronto has recently announced that the registration system for short-term rental operators or hosts will launch on September 10, 2020. Homeowners who rent their principal home or condo on a short-term basis (a period of less than 28 consecutive days) must register with the City by the end of year and renew

As of August 15, 2020, gyms and recreation spaces are allowed up to 50 patrons for each indoor sport or fitness room, with physical distancing of at least two meters.

Now that Ontario has eased gym restrictions, condominium corporations should review their amenities reopening protocol, which might include a requirement that users sign a waiver of liability before being allowed access.

But are waivers enforceable?


Continue Reading Re-opening amenities – Is signing a waiver enough? 

As we blogged on July 14, 2020 – The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services intends to proclaim a “Condominium Guide” into force effective December 1, 2020.  Submissions from the public on the proposed contents are due August 14, 2020. 

We made brief submissions on further potential headings for the Condo Guide table of contents.  These include status certificate and pre-construction condo purchase topics, first year deficiency and funding issues, conversion condominiums, and touch on the requirements for condo insurance, owner insurance and an explanation of standard unit vs. improvement coverage 

In our view, the suggested contents are comprehensive and hopefully the plain-language content will be too! 

In making our short notes, we had longer thoughts.  Here are some items we hope get fleshed out in the Condo Guide content: 


Continue Reading Considerations on the proposed “Condo Guide” 

Prior to COVID-19, condos could have electronic meetings and electronic voting only if they had a by-law authorizing it.

During COVID-19 the Condo Act is amended to temporarily permit condos to conduct business virtually during a “temporary suspension period” (i.e., between March 17, 2020 and a date at least 120 days from the termination of the emergency period). Right now, condos can call and hold electronic meetings and owners can vote electronically without a by-law.

Anecdotally, we have chaired and participated in several owners’ meetings during the pandemic. Our lawyers have taken additional, high level electronic platform training. We have participated in meetings run by third party service providers and have run and moderated our own owners’ meetings from our own platform.

Our key takeaway? The chair is vital to keeping an electronic owners’ meeting on track.


Continue Reading The new hot seat – the electric (meeting) chair

The massive ice storm that recently devastated the Toronto area felled whole trees and large branches.  This damage to the urban canopy knocked out electrical service to hundreds of thousands of people and caused untold property damage.

Icestorm2013

With the post-storm clean-up now underway and expected to last several weeks, condominium managers may need guidance dealing with trees that fell from neighbouring properties onto condominium common elements.

Ownership of a tree is usually clear-cut – trees belong to whoever owns the land on which the tree is situated. If, however, a tree’s trunk is growing on the boundary between adjoining lands, section 10(2) of the Forestry Act provides that the tree is the common property of both owners.   But what is a trunk?  Luckily, the Ontario Court of Appeal released a decision just a week before the ice storm clarifying that, for the purpose of the Forestry Act, the “trunk” is “that part of the tree from its point of growth away from its roots up to where it branches out to limbs and foliage.”


Continue Reading Fallen trees – Don’t be a sap