City Building Permits


Issuance of Building Permits to Condo Owners could be a huge problem

The City of Toronto Building department have to be extremely careful with issueing building permits to condo owners.    Many times Condo Owners may approach the Municipalities for a building permit however according to their Condo Declaration, they must obtain Board of Director approval prior to any renovations.  Unfortunately the Municipal structure within the buildings do not check to ensure that the owners have proper authorization and they proceed with the issuance of a permit.

This situation is a huge problem within in the Municipalities because if the owner proceeds with the renovation, they can be requested in accordance with the Condo Act and Declaration to have the unit returned to the natural state prior to the renovation at the full expense of the owners.

In the case of the LIVE-WORK Units, the problem deepends because it is highly possible that plumbing and fire safety compliances may have been tampered with during the renovations.  In the case of non-compliance to the Condo Declarations for renovations, all legal expenses are the responsibility of the owner.

Toronto Sun Money

Building permits rise as condo demand returns

by QMI Agency  May 6, 2010

The number of new building permits rose 12.2% in March from the previous month, driven mostly by requests for new condo developments in Ontario and British Columbia and by industrial developments, government figures showed.   The total value of permits increased to $6.3 billion, almost 39% higher than the same month last year, Statistics Canada said.  The value of permits rose in all provinces except Quebec.

The data showed that the first gain in building permits in four months, StatsCan said.  Permits for multi-family dwellings surged almost 54% to $1.5 billion, their highest level since July 2008.  Single family dwelling permits were unchanged ont he month at $2.7 billion.

The number of permits for industrial projects also jumped, increasing 57% in their third consecutive monthly gain.  The rise was led by demand for transportation related buildings in Alberta and Ontario it said; There was also robust requests for permits for government buildings and religious insitutions, with a gaikn of 18.1% to $523 million.

However, the value of permits for commercial buildings dropped 4.5% to $1.2 billion on lower demand for hotels and office buildings.


LIVE-WORK UNITS - are NOT Commercial Units

Operating in non-compliance of the Declaration

Avoiding Commercial Taxes


The majority of Live-work units in Toronto are zoned residential.  In most cases they are main floor condo units having a door with direct street access and a common element door.  The Condo Declarations stipulate that the owners or occupants must live in the unit to work in it.  These properties are zoned "residential" therefore taxes are assesssed on a residential basis.  The City of Toronto has been notified of this problem and Condo Corporations should beware of non-compliance to their declaration.  Owners across the City are operting these live-work units as a full scale commercial business and registering with local BIA groups as a commercial business.  Taxes for commercial properties are substantially higher than residential.  The market value of a commercial unit is also considerably higher than a residential condominium unit.    At the present time, these business are operating under the radar, all condo owners should recognize that this situation is not in the best interest of your corporation.


HIGHER UTILTY COSTS FOR CONDO OWNERS These units were not constructed as a commercial unit and the added utility costs of a 9:00 am - 5:00 pm  full scale business could be increasing your common element utility costs.