UPDATE – Province is in a “Modified” Step 2 – How will Condos Be Affected?
As confirmed in our recent blog, Ontario is in a modified Step 2 of its “Roadmap to Reopen” framework. In that blog, we confirmed that it was unclear, based on a strict reading of the legislation, whether the regulations (requiring the closure of certain indoor amenities) apply to condominium corporations.
Since then, there has been much debate in the industry about the regulations and the applicability to condominiums, with some lawyers stating the regulations definitely apply and others saying they do not.
To add to the confusion, some correspondence has been provided by the Ontario Government and the City of Toronto stating that as condominiums are not public, the regulations do not apply. However, that correspondence did not address the key concern in that condominiums are places, condominium pools are deemed public pools and the Regulations are not specifically restricted to public places.
Due to the debate and uncertainty, we reached out to the Government of Ontario (no response), City of Kingston (awaiting a more fulsome response) and the City of Ottawa. City of Ottawa By-law confirmed that condominiums ought to align themselves with the regulations and ensure that their pools, gyms and indoor recreation facilities are closed (while in the modified Step 2).
We also note that while the City of Toronto has taken the position that the regulations do not apply, they strongly recommend that all condominiums close non-essential common areas such as gyms, pools, spas (whirlpool, hot tubs), playrooms and other high-traffic areas.
Where does this leave us?
Based on our communication with City of Ottawa By-law, the continued uncertainty with the Regulations, and the current state of the pandemic, it is our continued view that condominium corporations should keep their gyms, pools and indoor recreational facilities closed.
We also remind our readers that masks are still required on the indoor common elements and social gatherings are limited to 5 people indoors and 10 people outdoors.
See our previous blog with examples of certain amenities and our views on how the restrictions apply.
Finally, I would be remiss not to mention that, while condominiums cannot implement measures that are contrary to provincial guidelines, they can (and in many cases may find it safer) to adopt measures that are more restrictive. Condominium Boards must review what is necessary in the best interests of their own community.
Stay safe and stay tuned to Condo Law News to keep up to date on the latest developments in condominium law!