Toronto

Measures to make Toronto apartments safer accepted by city hall committee

A city hall committee voted Wednesday to accept recommendations on making homes safer for renters, after reviewing the city's response to an incident that left hundreds of tenants without power at a downtown highrise earlier this year.

Committee reviewed report on city's response to incident at 260 Wellesley that left tenants without power

Police officers and Toronto Fire were called to help when water and power were shut off at 260 Wellesley St. due to a burst pipe. Toronto Fire is putting forward recommendations to better protect tenants when emergencies occur. (John Sandeman/CBC)

A city hall committee voted Wednesday to accept recommendations on making homes safer for renters, after reviewing the city's response to an incident that left hundreds of tenants without power at a downtown high-rise last winter.

The recommendations to the Municipal Planning and Housing Committee come from Toronto Fire and the city's Municipal Licensing and Standards department.

They suggested new emergency management measures and that apartment buildings in the city have what they call a "vital service disruption response plan" that adheres to minimum requirements mandated by the city. 

Now that the committee has accepted the recommendations, it's up to council to amend the city's municipal code.

The committee made the move after reviewing a report on how the city responded when a pipe burst at 260 Wellesley Street E. earlier this year, flooding the building's electrical room. 

About 1,000 tenants were without electricity and water for more than three days last January.

The recommendations presented to the committee include amendments to Toronto's municipal code, including:

  • Requiring building owners and operators, under the RentSafe TO program, to develop and maintain a vital service disruption plan.

  • Authorizing the executive director of municipal licensing and standards to set standards and minimum requirements for the vital service disruption plans, in conjunction with the Office of Emergency Management.

  • Making it an offence if building owners or operators do not establish a vital service disruption plan when a vital service is disrupted for a prolonged period of time.

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