Specific Legal Issues

July, 15 2021 Published by Toronto and Area Chapter - By CCI-Toronto Chapter

Legislative Newsflash: Ontario Step 3

On July 16, 2021, the Province of Ontario is set to enter Step 3 of the Provincial Government’s re-opening plan. Step 3 allows for more relaxed public health restrictions, many of which may have an impact on the re-opening of condominium amenities.

CondoVoice

Release date: July 15, 2021

Ontario Step 3

On July 16, 2021, the Province of Ontario is set to enter Step 3 of the Provincial Government’s re-opening plan.  Step 3 allows for more relaxed public health restrictions, many of which may have an impact on the re-opening of condominium amenities.  You can review full details on Step 3 under O. Reg. 520/21: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 here

Step 3 is the last stage before public health restrictions are fully relaxed – there is currently no Step 4 of the Re-opening Plan.  While we all look forward to the end of this pandemic, we must remain vigilant and comply with public health guidelines to prevent any further increases in our COVID-19 case numbers, particularly in light of the rise of the variants, including the Delta variant. 

Following is a summary of what is changing (or not) in Step 3.  We remind all readers to consider the facts specific to their community and consult legal counsel.  There are additional considerations that can help a condominium corporation to limit its potential liability and ensure the safety of residents. 

Use of Masks & Screening

Mask-wearing requirements in common areas do not change as part of the Provincial Regulation.  The use of a mask in interior areas is governed by Municipal By-law, and same remains in effect in Toronto and surrounding areas.  Mask policies and signage must remain in place at this time.

As well, signage must remain in place with instructions for persons entering common areas on how to screen themselves for COVID-19.  If your condominium is also a workplace, you must actively screen all staff members before they enter the premises.

Public Events and Gatherings

The limit for indoor gatherings has increased to 25 people, and outdoor gatherings to 100 people.  This means that some (but not all) condominium corporations could once again consider holding in person meetings.  Reasonable judgement should be used before planning in person meetings, including considerations for building demographic, appropriate physical distancing, and local outbreaks/public health guidelines.

Re-opening Amenities

Step 3 will allow for most condominium amenities (that were not already able to re-open) to re-open, although with some restrictions.  Condominiums can elect to keep amenities closed if it is necessary to maintain safe operations.  While residents may be anxiously awaiting the re-opening of their amenities, condominium corporations must ensure that they are able to comply with all requirements.  Consider the following for each amenity:

Party Rooms, Libraries & Meeting Spaces

  • Indoor gathering spaces are limited to 25% capacity (determined by taking 25% per cent of the maximum occupant load of the business or facility, or part of a business or facility, as applicable, as calculated in accordance with Ontario Regulation 213/07 (Fire Code), made under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.)
  • Physical distancing of 2-metres is required.
  • The capacity limit must be posted in a conspicuous location.
  • Active screening of all users is required, including contact tracing information which must be maintained for at least one month.
  • Additional cleaning/disinfection of the facilities is required.
  • A safety plan must be in place detailing how the condominium will comply with the public health guidelines.

Gyms, Pools, Steam Rooms & Saunas

  • Physical distancing of 2-metres is required.
  • Capacity is reduced to 50% (or 25 people, whichever is less), calculated by taking 50% per cent of the maximum occupant load, as calculated in accordance with Ontario Regulation 213/07 (Fire Code), made under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.
  • The capacity limit must be posted in a conspicuous location.
  • Active screening of all users is required, including contact tracing information which must be maintained for at least one month.
  • Additional cleaning/disinfection of the facilities and equipment is required.
  • A safety plan must be in place detailing how the condominium will comply with the public health guidelines.

Outdoor Recreation (Playground, Tennis, etc.)

  • Physical distancing of 2-metres is required.
  • Outdoor gathering spaces are limited to 25% capacity (or 100 people, whichever is less), calculated by taking 25% per cent of the maximum occupant load of the business or facility, or part of a business or facility, as applicable, as calculated in accordance with Ontario Regulation 213/07 (Fire Code), made under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.
  • The capacity limit must be posted in a conspicuous location.

City of Toronto Guidelines

The City of Toronto has not yet published updated guidelines for condominiums under Step 3, however we recommend that all those responsible for the safe operation of a condominium corporation regularly review updates published by the city specific to residential buildings here.

Construction Activity

Residential construction was permitted to resume under Step 1 of the Re-opening Plan.  At this time, all construction activities are permitted without restriction.  Condominium corporations do still have the option to implement additional reasonable restrictions or requirements to promote safety of persons on the property


CCI is committed to providing regular ongoing updates regarding all legislation concerning condominiums, in order to keep our members abreast of changes they need to be aware of.


 

DISCLAIMER, USE INFORMATION AT YOUR OWN RISK

This is solely a curation of materials. Not all of this information is created, provided or vetted by CCI. Some of the information is only applicable to certain provinces. CCI does not make any warranties about the reliability or accuracy of any information found in the materials on this website. The information is not updated to reflect changes in legislation or case law and therefore may not always be current and up-to-date. We suggest you seek professional advice with respect to your specific issues or regarding any questions that arise out of the material. We will not be liable for any losses or damages in connection with the use of any of the material found on the website.

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