Healthy Homes, Public health, Public safety, Safe Buildings, Toronto

Remove lead pipes

By now you have likely read the news “Hundreds of thousands of Canadians could be consuming tap water laced with high levels of lead leaching from aging infrastructure and plumbing“.

Removing lead pipes from residential buildings and municipal infrastructure is the only way to eliminate health risks in our communities. While some may point to the cost of lead pipe and lead plumbing removal, no action comes with a higher cost to our lives and health care system. There is also the side benefit that replacing lead lines helps our economy and creates jobs. Take action, sign our petition to remove lead pipes from apartment buildings today.

lead

 

 

Affordable Housing, Healthy Homes, Parkdale - High Park, Public health, Public safety, Safe Buildings, Toronto, Toronto Election, Ward 4

Apartments are Less Safe than Condos

Below, we state the case for raising apartment building standards, i.e. to make apartments as safe as condos.

My wife and I live in a condominium building close to High Park. In the vicinity, there is an apartment building in the Parkdale-High Park neighbourhood where the residents have reported the following: elevators are frequently broken down, its walkways and sidewalks are not cleared from ice promptly, frequently there is an odour in the lobby, the garbage room often is a complete mess, and those are just some of the problems reported. In contrast, our condo has none of these problems. One could argue that our condo is relatively new, but even condos built in the 70’s do not have the issues we have seen in Parkdale-High Park, St. James Town, and in many other parts of Toronto.

So why do apartment buildings in Toronto have these problems and condos do not? The reason is the law. Specifically, the laws governing safety in condominium buildings are much more stringent than the laws governing safety in apartment buildings.

How are these laws different? Our condo board members must take courses as required by the Condominium Act. On the other hand, landlords are not required to take any training in Toronto. Our condo property manager must be licensed also a requirement under the Condo Act. On the other hand, apartment property managers do not need to be licensed in Toronto. Our condo must undergo a Reserve Fund study every three years, which must be completed by qualified professionals as per the Condo Act. Similarly, apartment buildings must have a capital plan under the new Rent Safe program in Toronto. However, there is no explicit requirement the capital plan be completed by qualified professionals.

There is a two-tier system for safety in residential buildings, one for condos which have stringent safety standards requiring training, licensing and professional advice; and another one for apartment buildings with no training and licensing requirements and no qualified professional offering advice. Apartments and condos are our homes. Wherever we live Torontonians have the same right to safe and healthy homes. Consequently, we started the following petition Raise Apartment Building Standards in Toronto, which we hope you will support today.

https://www.change.org/p/john-tory-raise-apartment-building-standards-in-toronto

Apartments

Healthy Homes, Safe Buildings, Toronto

Raise Apartment Building Standards in Toronto

Dear Mayor Tory,

Two years ago, Toronto Council passed a well-intentioned bylaw to protect tenants. While the bylaw was a positive improvement in the legislative framework, the recent fire, flooding and lack of hot water in apartments on Parliament, Pell and Wellesley call into question the efficacy of this bylaw.

This petition calls for improved enforcement of Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings of the Toronto Municipal Code by mandating qualified professional audits and reports which will help make apartment buildings safer for Toronto’s tenants. The purpose of the professional audits and reports is to prevent risks to the public such as fires, flooding, resulting in power outages, and buildings with no hot water or heating, which have left tenants without a home.

The petition also seeks to raise the oversight in apartment buildings by requiring property managers to be licenced similarly to provisions under the Condominium Act.

Yours truly,

José Vera, P. Eng.

Toronto, ON

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Picture by SimonP

Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en