Toronto sends staff to 12 residential buildings where masking has been a problem
A discarded face mask is shown on the floor of a foodcourt in a shopping mall in Montreal, Saturday, July 18, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (Photo: The Canadian Press/Graham Hughes)
TORONTO -- The city will be dispatching staff Wednesday to 12 residential buildings around Toronto where there have been a high number of complaints about lack of mask usage.
“We're going to be having people out there, like tomorrow,” Tory told CP24 during an episode of The Mayor on Tuesday night. “And you know who you are out there. But there are going to be people out from the city. They're going to be talking to the owners, they're going to be putting signs up or making sure they're put up in those buildings to get people wearing a mask.”
Tory said an analysis of some 2,000 complaints received by the city over mask usage shows there are 12 locations that have been the subject of more than 10 complaints.
He said 75 per cent of the complaints targeted rental buildings, while 25 per cent were aimed at condo buildings.
A bylaw implemented by the city in August makes it mandatory to wear a mask while inside lobbies, elevators, laundry rooms and other shared spaces in condo and apartment buildings.
Last week the city said it had received 1,950 complaints to 311 about violations of the rule since it came into effect in August.
Tory said that while it is impossible to dispatch enforcement officers to every lobby in the city to make sure people are following the rules, he had requested an analysis of the complaints to see if the city could identify buildings where masking rules are flouted the most.
While provincial laws do not allow the city to charge individuals for not wearing a mask, the city can charge residential building owners who don’t follow guidelines around proper signage and education about mask usage in buildings.
“It is obviously a difficult enforcement task,” Tory said. “There are 3,500 rental buildings alone in the city and leave alone the condos. And so you can imagine we just don't have enough people to be in every lobby watching every minute. The people that are supposed to be helping us with this are the owners. They're required to put up signage and so on, which we’ve supplied for free.”
He said in general, compliance with masking rules across the city has been quite good.
He encouraged anyone with concerns about a lack of proper masking in a residential building to reach out to 311.