As Toronto and Peel entered “lockdown”, effective at 12:01 November 23, new questions are emerging about what this means for condos.
- Gyms and other recreational amenities: close them.
- Masks: wear them (except those who are exempt).
- Short Term Rentals: no new bookings after November 22, except to those in need of housing.
- Meetings: go virtual (board and owner meetings).
- Indoor gatherings: prohibited (except those who live alone, who are permitted to have exclusive contact with one other household).
With respect to recreational amenities, O. Reg. 82/20 (the “Regulation”) under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act requires the closure of all indoor recreational amenities in condos. There are very specific unrelated exemptions to the requirement to close (such as facilities used for the Olympics or other professional sports teams).
Section 1(3) of Schedule 1 of the Regulation provides as follows:
(3) Each person responsible for a place, or a part of a place, that is required to be closed by Schedule 3 shall ensure that the place, or part of the place, is closed in accordance with that Schedule.
Section 4(1) of Schedule 3 of the Regulation, which applies to all places (including condos) provides as follows:
(1) Each person responsible for an indoor or outdoor recreational amenity that is not in compliance with this section, and that is not a facility for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities that is permitted to open under section 48 of Schedule 2 [i.e. Olympic or professional sports training], must ensure that it is closed.
Remember, condominium corporations have obligations to ensure the property is reasonably safe and to manage the common elements. The Corporation also has obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to employees and other workers on the property to maintain a safe and healthy workplace and take all necessary precautions for the protection of the workers.
Everyone has a role to play in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Thanks to all those in condominium communities and beyond for continuing to support each other and playing your part, especially as we progress into this critical lockdown stage.