Toronto

Fire inspection results for Toronto highrises now online, Toronto Fire Services announces

Toronto Fire Services has launched an online portal where tenants can check the fire inspection results of highrise buildings — but a tenant advocate is questioning if it will really help people find out if their building is a "fire trap."

Portal lists buildings where violations of Ontario Fire Code have been found, addressed

Tenant advocates had been ringing alarms about the challenges tenants face when it comes to finding out about fire violations and inspections in their own buildings. (Paul Borkwood/CBC News)

Toronto Fire Services has launched an online portal where tenants can check the fire inspection results of highrise buildings — but one tenant advocate is questioning if it will really help people find out if their building is a "fire trap."

As CBC Toronto previously reported, tenant advocates questioned why apartment dwellers couldn't easily access information about fire safety issues in their own homes while other property-related investigation details about issues like noise or graffiti were readily available on the city's website.

Announced on Tuesday afternoon, the city's new online fire inspection portal includes properties inspected as of January 1, 2017.

The "availability of the highrise inspection results provides residents with additional information and data related to the fire safety of their residences," said Fire Chief Matthew Pegg in a statement.

"Providing the public with information about the fire safety of their highrise residential buildings just makes sense," echoed a city statement from Mayor John Tory.

The portal lists buildings where violations of the Ontario Fire Code have been found and addressed, as well as buildings where inspectors didn't spot any violations.

Geordie Dent, executive director of the Federation of Metro Tenants' Associations, praised Toronto Fire Services for launching the new tool.

"I can't believe it's taken this long, but it's really important that people don't live in death traps and not even know about it," he said.

But Dent also questioned if the portal will actually help people determine the safety of their building, since the only two data options are inspections with no violations and ones where violations have been fixed, not buildings with violations that have yet to be remedied.

"It's important to know if your building is safe, but also if your building is unsafe," he said. 

Jim Jessop, Toronto Fire Services's deputy chief, said Wednesday the new portal provides highrise tenants immediate access to the fire safety of their building while protecting building managers' privacy. 

"We've made sure the information that is being provided is relevant, it's accessible and at the same time, it protects both the interests of other individuals within the multi-unit buildings and also protects our rights under the Fire Prevention Act in dealing with any matters before the courts," he said.  

About the Author

Lauren Pelley

City Hall reporter

Lauren Pelley is a CBC reporter in Toronto covering city hall and municipal affairs. Contact her at: lauren.pelley@cbc.ca