Real Estate

The history, implications of condo reform in Ontario

By Mia Clarke, AdvocateDaily.com Associate Editor

In many ways, the condominium industry was a victim of its own success, Toronto condominium lawyer Armand Conant tells #WeSpeakCondo.

As the number of units in Ontario exploded over the last 15 years, the Condominium Act, 1998, which governs condominiums in the province, simply couldn’t keep up, he tells the condo-centric podcast.

“Over the years, people were starting to go to the government … saying ‘We have problems,’” says Conant, senior partner in the condominium law group with Shibley Righton LLP.

“Because the condo industry grew ... so exponentially, by 2012, we had so many new condo units. By then, we were probably 600,000 to 700,000 residential units in Ontario. We now have over 800,000.”

Conant tells the podcast interviewer that he has been involved in the reform process since 2002.

“It took us more than eight years of constantly going to the government,” he tells AdvocateDaily.com. “The legislative committee of the Canadian Condominium Institute and the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario put together a 120-page brief on suggested improvements to the Act, and then finally in 2012, the government announced a formal process of reforming the Condo Act.”

He says there are "extensive reforms in the legislation that received Royal Assent in December of 2015. Not all of the reforms have been proclaimed, but of those that have, some of the key changes include significant reform to the governance of condo corporations, the licensing of condominium managers, the creation of two administrative authorities — the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO), which includes the Condominium Authority Tribunal, and the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) — to deal with licensing and regulation of condominium property managers."

During the 83-minute podcast, Conant, one of 11 people appointed to the government panel that did the final analysis of — and recommendations for — reforms to the Act, leads listeners through the history of the reforms and the details of the changes. He also discusses the CAO, the CMRAO and how the changes impact condominium owners, managers and boards of directors.

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