City of Toronto Adopts By-Law Making Face Masks Mandatory on the Common Areas of Apartments and Condominiums

The City of Toronto has recently adopted a temporary by-law requiring masks or other face coverings to be worn within the enclosed common areas of apartment buildings and condominium buildings.

The new by-law amends certain provisions of By-Law 541-2020, that has been in effect since July 7, 2020, and that mandates wearing masks within indoor public spaces generally. The common areas of apartment buildings and condominiums were exempt from By-Law 541-2020 until now.

Under the new temporary by-law, the Owner or Operator of an apartment building (which includes building’s Superintendent or Property Manager), or the condominium corporation (in the case of a condominium complex) must adopt a policy ensuring that persons who are permitted to enter and/or to remain within any enclosed common area of the building wear a mask that covers the person’s mouth, nose and chin. Owners/operators and condominium corporations are also obligated to provide a copy of their building’s policy upon request from a by-law enforcement officer (or any other person authorized to enforce the by-law).

Likewise, employees will also be required to wear a face mask when working on the enclosed common areas. However, (a) persons unable to wear a mask/face covering due to medical reasons, (b) children under the age of two, (c) persons who are unable to place or remove the mask/face covering without assistance, and (d) persons who are reasonably accommodated by not wearing a mask/face covering in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code will likely be exempt from the requirement of wearing a mask in the enclosed common areas.

The new by-law defines “Enclosed Common Area” as including the following:

  • lobby
  • elevator
  • laundry room
  • meeting rooms
  • other common use facilities

Moreover, in addition to adopting a policy making face masks mandatory on the common areas, building owners/operators and condominium corporations are required to display signage containing the following text:

ALL PERSONS ENTERING OR REMAINING IN ENCLOSED COMMON AREAS ON THESE PREMISES SHALL WEAR A MASK OR FACE COVERING WHICH COVERS THE NOSE, MOUTH AND CHIN AS REQUIRED UNDER CITY OF TORONTO BY-LAW 541-2020

Owners/operators and condominium corporations must also ensure that all persons working on the premises are aware and trained to comply with the requirements of By-Law 541-2020 generally and the building’s face mask policy specifically.

The new by-law is expected to come into effect on August 5, 2020. It will be interesting to see whether other municipalities (including Ottawa) adopt similar by-laws in the coming weeks. We will be sure to keep you updated!

Stay tuned to Condo Law News to keep up to date on the latest developments in condominium law!

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