Release date: June 1, 2020
The Government of Ontario recently announced the details of Phase 1 of the province’s re-opening strategy. As of May 19th, some services and businesses previously deemed to be “non-essential” were permitted to resume, subject to certain restrictions. Of particular interest to condominiums, the following services and businesses (among others) were permitted to resume:
- All construction
- Street-facing retail
- “Individual Recreational Sports” (though swimming pools and high-contact sports continue to be prohibited)
- Household services such as nannies, housekeepers, cleaners, pool cleaning and general repairs
- General maintenance
Since the effective date of the announcement, some condominium corporations have already permitted the resumption of in-suite construction, household and repair services. Others may have re-opened some amenities. Other corporations have taken a slower approach to re-opening.
Although the provincial government has relaxed certain restrictions, each condominium corporation must consider which measures are appropriate for their own particular community. The Covid-19 concerns in a townhome community, for example, will be different than those that arise in a multi-level building.
Boards of Directors must reasonably balance the needs of individual unit owners and residents with the overall security of the condominium community as a whole (that is, with a view to ensuring the safety of not only residents, but also contractors, staff, and visitors to the condominium). When balancing theses interests, condominium corporations may wish to consider the following:
- Recommendations made by public health authorities;
- The nature and character of the condominium (e.g. low rise, townhouse, etc.);
- The general vulnerability of the condominium population (i.e., more senior residents, residents with underlying health conditions, etc.);
- The density and physical size of the condominium;
- The existence and nature of any amenities;
- Any previous prohibitions or restrictions imposed by the board to limit the spread of the virus (e.g. a restriction on non-essential visitors); and
- The level of support/demand in the community for certain activities to resume.
We continue to wish each of our members health and safety as they navigate the phased-in re-opening of the province.