Purchasing/Living in a Condominium

April, 1 2021 Published by Toronto and Area Chapter - By Murray Johnson, John De Vellis, Stacey Kurck, Connie Pappas-Boccitto

COVID-19 and the Condo Climate

From the Spring 2021 issue of the CCI Toronto Condovoice Magazine.

Webinar Recap

COVID-19 has been a challenge to everyone, and Condos have experienced unique tests and stressors as a result. Every Condo community has a variety of people – both residents and employees – who are in different life circumstances and risk groups and have diverse views and priorities with respect to the operation of their Condos. Yet the tensions and stresses arising from COVID-19 are remarkably universal: access to amenities and common spaces, treatment of neighbours and staff, and concern for the safety and health of everyone in the community. How does a Condo protect its residents, its employees, its visitors, and itself in a time of widespread illness and upheaval?

On November 25, 2020, CCI-T held the webinar COVID-19 and the Condo Climate: Coping with the Stress of it All! to help Condo Directors and Managers understand the types and extent of COVID-related stressors in a community. Speakers John De Vellis of Shibley Righton LLP, Murray Johnson of Crossbridge Condominium Services Ltd., and Stacey Kurck of FirstService Residential joined moderator Connie Pappas-Boccitto of Royal LePage Terrequity Realty to identify areas of tension, such as amenity closures, positive cases, and harassment of employees. They provided recommendations and tactics such as response plans, amenity reopening plans, and communication tools, as well as the legal framework to support these measures, in addressing immediate and long-term issues, and to help Condos manage risk arising from COVID-related stress.

The energetic webinar included a number of live polls to get information about the attendees' experience with condo-related stresses: 64% reported they had witnessed or experienced workplace harassment in their communities; and in response to the query "If you have any amenities at your property, are they__", 71% reported their amenities are completely closed, 29% reported selected amenities are open, and 0% are fully open.

In the post-event survey, attendees provided valuable feedback on the session, including:

  • Pertinent information. Great value to homeowners to ensure the standards of management and Board to provide for Covid-19 measures Up to date information presented and clear examples
  • I found the recommendations for lots of detail in the safety plans helpful (e.g. separate plan for each amenity)
  • The information about requirements to have available for health inspectors
  • As Board President I heard helpful tips and guidance
  • Good coverage of a various range of topics pertaining to present circumstances

Thank you to the expert speakers and to all the attendees for participating in a highly relevant and informative webinar, which produced constructive and beneficial information for everyone.

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