Human rights complaint filed over 'single family' condo restrictions amid concerns of LGBTQ discrimination
More people are coming forward with concerns about Ontario condominium rules that require units be for “single families” — but appear to keep out LGBTQ couples, single parents, and a host of other family types.
The rules — one of which was quoted by a Toronto condo who asked a gay couple to provide a marriage certificate or leave — appear in many condo documents, according to a review of some published filings by CTV News Toronto.
Roncesvalles condominium owner Paula Boutis was surprised to find a rule restricting occupants of her condo to a “private single family” — and she says she was told she had to turn some rental applicants away.
“For me personally it’s very offensive,” Boutis said in an interview. “I raised with the condo my concerns that the rule is discriminatory. For example, what if two single moms came? The place is big enough, three bedrooms, they each have a kid. They can’t live there.”
She filed a human rights complaint over the rule last October, alleging that it was “morally offensive.”
That was the route recommended by the deputy minister of government and consumer services when one case was discussed during a hearing on Wednesday at Queen’s Park — but for Boutis it has been slow going.
She says it’s been a year since the complaint was filed and she doesn’t even know yet whether the tribunal will accept it.
“There’s a backlog, a significant backlog at the Human Rights Tribunal,” said her lawyer, Wade Poziomka, pointing to delays from COVID-19, as well as issues filling posts at the tribunal. “So what used to be a year, year and a half, is now two to three years.”
It appears the rules were designed to keep out potentially disruptive tenants and short-term rentals, observers said. But the rules exclude people based on their relationships.
A shorter route than a human rights tribunal might be empowering the Condo Appeals Tribunal to hear complaints about discrimination in condo rules, said NDP MPP Jessica Bell during Question Period Thursday.
“Can you commit to expanding the jurisdiction of the tribunal so condo residents have the rights and protections they deserve?” she asked.
PC MPP Bob Bailey, responding for the minister of government and consumer services, said the government is expanding the jurisdiction of the tribunal to include nuisance, but made no mention of discrimination.
“The Condominium Act is undergoing a great review right at this time,” he said.
Earlier in October, condo resident Michael Cowan says he was told if he wanted his boyfriend to move in with him, he would need to provide a marriage certificate. When he couldn’t do that, he says management deactivated his partner’s key fob.
In that case, the condo’s definition of “single family” was “a social unit consisting of parent(s) and their children, whether natural or adopted, and includes other relatives if living with the primary group.”
That exact language was common in some rules reviewed by CTV News Toronto, suggesting that it has been adopted en masse, even though it excludes single people and childless couples. Some condos did not have a specific definition, which Boutis said in her case led to excluding even people who might have fit the definition.
But among the condo rules reviewed by CTV News Toronto, there was a definition that appeared much more inclusive, listing the common language above but also including an adult person living alone, two or more siblings, a single father or mother with sons and/or daughters, two people living in a conjugal relationship, and two or more unrelated persons who are living together in order to pool their resources.
Boutis said she didn’t believe the rule should exist at all, saying if the true purpose is to reduce disruptions, then the condo rules should say that.
“We’re in a housing crisis in Toronto and we need to find ways to get people housed,” she said.
She said she wants the government of Ontario to set province-wide standards so no one is excluded from living in a condo because of who their family is.
When asked whether any legislation could be passed, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services referred to its statement Wednesday, which said there is no place for intolerance and discrimination in the province, and that Ontario’s Human Rights Code must be followed.
Toronto Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Wildfire battles continue under heat, air quality alerts over most of Canada
The battle against hundreds of wildfires continues, as almost every jurisdiction in Canada remains under either heat or air quality warnings from the federal government. The day after what was supposed to be national Clean Air Day, dozens of alerts remain in place for unseasonable heat or smoky air quality.
Can face masks help protect you from wildfire smoke? Health expert explains
An official recommendation to wear a mask to protect yourself from wildfire smoke is being echoed by health experts as plumes of smoke make their way across parts of Canada, causing poor air quality.
Supporters focus on freeing Canadian held in China amid geopolitical 'ups and downs'
A leader of the fight to secure freedom for a Canadian human-rights activist detained in China for 17 years is taking the latest diplomatic deep-freeze between Ottawa and Beijing in stride.
Documents reveal what happened inside the discord at Canada's drug-price regulator
Internal emails from the agency tasked with regulating the price of patented drugs in Canada shows discord and division was sparked by a letter from the health minister, culminating in an indefinite pause on major drug-price reforms and several resignations.
Experts worry about Canadian water bomber expertise with rising demand, aging fleets
Aviation experts say Canada is losing expertise in the manufacturing of water bombers -- just as demand for them is increasing. The Canadair CL-415, a purpose-built water bomber, was last produced in 2015.
Calgary mass killer Matthew de Grood seeks 'absolute discharge'
The man who was found not criminally responsible in the stabbing deaths of five people at a house party in Brentwood more than nine years ago is seeking more freedoms.
RBC Canadian Open teeing off amid controversy in golf world
Some of the world's top players are teeing off at the RBC Canadian Open today amid the hotly debated LIV Golf-PGA Tour controversy that shook the golf world this week.
5 things to know for Thursday, June 8, 2023
Heat or air quality warnings countrywide, new Nanos polling shows most Canadians support an inquiry into foreign interference, and the Bank of Canada hikes rates again.
UNICEF says 300 trapped children rescued from a Sudanese orphanage after 71 others died
About 300 infants, toddlers and older children have been rescued from an orphanage in Sudan's capital after being trapped there while fighting raged outside, aid officials said Thursday. The evacuation came after 71 children died from hunger and illness in the facility since mid-April.
Dr. Horacio Arruda returns as new assistant deputy health minister
The man in the spotlight during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec, Dr. Horacio Arruda, has been appointed assistant deputy minister at the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
Ontario man charged with first-degree murder in killing of Claudia Iacono outside Montreal salon
An Ontario man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Claudia Iacono, the daughter-in-law of Mafia associate Moreno Gallo, after she was gunned down at the wheel of her car in Montreal last month.
Hundreds of American firefighters arrive in Canada to help battle wildfires
Hundreds of American firefighters have recently arrived in Canada to help battle wildfires and more are on the way, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.
Air quality statement in effect, thunderstorms possible this afternoon
According to CTV News London’s Meteorologist Julie Atchison, a large area of low pressure over the Canadian Maritimes and a blocking ridge over central North America is allowing a steady flow of northerly air to usher in smoke from forest fires in Northern Ontario and Quebec.
VIDEO | 'Hate and discrimination have no place in any TVDSB schools': Investigation underway after pride flag torn down
Students at Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School in London, Ont. are being investigated after a video was posted online showing students tearing down a LGBTQ2S+ pride flag.
City pitches new parking garage and extended free parking to aid downtown London, Ont.’s recovery
Since early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Honk Mobile Parking App has offered two hours of free municipal parking in London’s core area business districts.
Poor air quality in Waterloo region and Guelph will continue into the weekend: Environment Canada
There's high levels of air pollution in Waterloo region and Wellington County as smoke plumes from wildfires burning in Quebec and northeastern Ontario continue to blow into the region, Environment Canada says.
Where to watch Kitchener's Jamal Murray play in NBA Finals
Kitchener is hosting a series of watch parties to cheer on basketball star Jamal Murray as his Denver Nuggets take on the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
Six Region of Waterloo councillors announce support for amalgamation
One unified city – that’s what six Region of Waterloo councillors say they want when it comes to the future of the region’s municipal governance.
Wildfire west of Sudbury prompts evacuation order, total active fires in northern Ont. grows to 54
A northern Ontario forest fire that started west of Sudbury on Sunday morning has grown to more than 1,000 hectares and has prompted officials to issue an evacuation order for the immediate area as the number of active fires in the region grows.
‘Incompetent’ northern Ont. doctor loses his license to practise medicine
A northern Ontario doctor has been stripped of his medical licence for conduct described as “disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.”
Toronto woman 'horrified' after losing $95,000 to romance scam
Romance scams have always been around, but they got worse during the pandemic, and fraudsters continue to use social media and dating sites to find victims.
Air quality in Ottawa improves briefly, haze expected to return Friday
The air quality in the capital has significantly improved, but the smoky, hazy conditions could return on Friday.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | Year-over-year home sales in Ottawa up 6 per cent in May
The Ottawa Real Estate Board says home sales were up six per cent in May 2023 compared to a year prior, marking the first year-over-year unit sales volume increase since early last year.
Special Air Quality Statement
Special Air Quality Statement | Wildfire smoke blankets Ottawa for a third day
Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for Ottawa, with the air quality at 10+ "very high risk" Wednesday morning. Conditions improved in the afternoon.
Hazy days continue in Windsor-Essex, air quality statement in effect
According to Environment Canada, smoke plumes from forest fires in Quebec and northeastern Ontario have resulted in deteriorated air quality and poor air quality will persist into the weekend.
VIDEO | Weapon and drug charges laid after Lakeshore ‘road rage’ incident
A “road rage” incident has led to multiple charges for two Windsor residents after allegedly wielding a replica firearm at another driver.
'I just feel so empty': Mother opens up after teenaged daughter’s body recovered by police
The body of a woman reported missing in January has been found by Windsor police and her mother is struggling with the confirmation that her daughter is gone.
Barrie councillors hear grim reality of housing affordability crisis
Barrie city councillors got a shocking but not surprising reality check into the affordability challenges facing many residents looking to put a roof over their heads.
Traffic stop in Cookstown leads to arrest of banned driver with hidden Alabama plates
A 57-year-old man faces charges after a traffic stop uncovered he was banned from driving and had multiple licence plates on the vehicle.
Multiple 1,000lb pieces of construction equipment stolen from Barrie site
Police in Barrie are investigating after construction equipment was allegedly stolen from an active site in the city's south end.
'This is not helping': Frustrated evacuees say official communication lacking in wildfire recovery
Frustration is building among some people from neighbourhoods hardest-hit by the fires near Halifax. CTV's Heidi Petracek reports.
Irving Oil weighing its options, including the possible sale of its assets
Irving Oil says it’s undertaking a “strategic review” with an eye to its future. In a release Wednesday, the company says it’s looking at a number of options, including the sale of its assets.
Halifax support workers strike impacting students and families
The father of disabled teen from Fall River, N.S. is calling on all sides to get back to the bargaining table and put an end to the Halifax area CUPE educational support worker strike.
Council reconsiders decision to reject recommendations on affordability crisis
Calgary city council has reconsidered its decision to vote against recommendations made by an expert panel to address the city’s housing affordability crisis.
Man on mobility scooter hit by truck in northeast Calgary intersection
Police say a man on a mobility scooter has life-altering injuries after he was struck by a vehicle in a northeast Calgary intersection on Wednesday evening.
Hot, dry weather comes with cautions and a few benefits
Calgary was under a heat warning Wednesday with forecast high of 29C.
Trustee suspended over posts targeting LGBTQ2S+ community, division says
A Manitoba school trustee has been suspended over social media posts the division says targeted the LGBTQ2S+ community.
Continued closure of Fort Gibraltar causing changes for soon to be married couples
The closure of Fort Gibraltar following the collapse of an elevated walkway that sent 16 students and one teacher to hospital has left some couples scrambling to find a place to get married.
Crash with stolen vehicle sends two Winnipeg officers to hospital
A section of Main Street is closed on Wednesday morning following a car crash in the area.
Out-of-control wildfire on Lower Mainland sees massive growth
A human-caused wildfire on the Lower Mainland has grown to an estimated 800 hectares and continues to burn out of control Wednesday, according to the BC Wildfire Service.
'You don't listen to renters': Vancouver Tenants Union disrupts housing announcement
Rental housing advocates interrupted an announcement by B.C.'s housing minister in Vancouver Wednesday morning to object to the provincial government's response to the affordability crisis.
Vancouver voice actors concerned about AI cloning voices without consent
Advances in artificial intelligence means software can generate accurate voice clones that sound just like the real thing, but that's putting some actors in a precarious position, including Vancouver's Bill Newton.
Albertans asked to conserve electricity Wednesday evening due to hot temperatures
Hot temperatures across Alberta prompted a grid alert Wednesday afternoon.
'A long time coming': Edmonton Catholics commit $3.2M to Indigenous reconciliation fund
The Archdiocese of Edmonton will spend $3.2 million on reconciliation initiatives with First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in the Alberta capital region.
'Major travel delays': Anthony Henday Drive bridge will be closed this weekend
Drivers are being asked to find another way or prepare for delays on the Henday this weekend, because crews need to close a bridge over the North Saskatchewan River.