Jessica Bell MPP, University–Rosedale

Government of Ontario

Toronto could get a new renovictions law

Published on June 14, 2024

The City of Toronto could soon have a strong renovictions law

Toronto City Council will vote on developing a new renovictions bylaw on June 26.  If passed, city staff will be tasked with developing a proposed bylaw to curb the sharp rise in illegal renoviction activity and keep our residents housed. 

A renoviction is an illegal eviction that occurs when a landlord tells a tenant to move out because they need to complete substantial renovations, however, once the tenant moves out, the landlord completes cosmetic renovations or no renovations at all.  Instead, the landlord moves a higher paying tenant into the home.  

Long-term renters living in rent controlled homes are most at risk of being evicted.   

This week, Toronto’s Planning and Housing Committee voted for the development of a renovictions bylaw that is modelled after Hamilton’s renovictions bylaw, which was the first of its kind in Ontario. 

Once in effect, Hamilton will require any landlord issuing an N13 eviction notice to obtain a licence from the city. In order to get that licence, they will need to first obtain a building permit and provide proof from a qualified expert, such as an engineer, that vacant possession is required in order to carry out the renovation work. 

In other words, evicting tenants for basic repairs, or to perform a few cosmetic upgrades will no longer be permitted.

The Hamilton bylaw also clearly stipulates that landlords either provide alternative accommodation in another unit, or financial compensation to the tenant for the duration of the renovation. This compensation is a top up between what the tenant was paying in rent and the average market rent of a similar unit.

Let's be clear.  Corporate landlords do not want this renoviction law, and will be working hard to stop its progress and water it down.  That is why it’s essential that we stand up and make our voices heard.  This bylaw is about making our city affordable and standing up for renters.  

You can send a message to your local councillor using ACORN’s website.