Feedback Sought On Toronto Rooming Houses

Input sought on rooming houses. Pic:City of Toronto’s City Planning Division

TORONTO: The City of Toronto is inviting members of the public to provide feedback on the proposed regulatory and compliance framework for multi-tenant houses, commonly known as rooming houses.

Multi-tenant houses are an important part of Toronto’s affordable rental housing stock, providing single-room accommodation to diverse communities including students, seniors, new immigrants and residents with low to moderate-income.

The existing zoning and licensing regulations for multi-tenant houses have not been updated since the amalgamation of the former municipalities in 1998 and as a result, are inconsistent.

Currently, multi-tenant houses are only permitted in the former city of Toronto and some parts of the former cities of York and Etobicoke. Licences are only required in the former cities of Toronto and Etobicoke.

The City is proposing the creation of a comprehensive city-wide zoning approach and enhancements to licensing and enforcement to enable regulatory oversight that will support safe, liveable, well-maintained and affordable multi-tenant houses across Toronto.

The proposed regulatory framework has four parts:
1.Enhanced operator licensing requirements to promote health and safety
2.An enforcement and compliance program
3.City-wide zoning standards that permit the use across the city, and
4.Initiatives to support tenants and maintain affordability of housing

The public can provide feedback on the proposed framework by attending a virtual meeting on May 4 or 11, or by answering a questionnaire online or by phone.

The City is also inviting community organizations to host their own virtual consultation to collect feedback. Eligible groups can submit a simple proposal to apply for a grant to help cover the costs of the consultation. The deadline to apply for a grant is April 30, and a Do- it-Yourself Meeting Toolkit will be available for download online in the coming week.

The City will be hosting workshops to get feedback from key stakeholder groups, such as tenants, owners and operators of multi-tenant houses, post-secondary schools and students, area residents groups and housing-related agencies and organizations.

For more details on how to get involved and the proposed regulatory and compliance framework, visit

Staff will be reporting back to the Planning and Housing Committee in mid-2021 with recommended zoning by-law amendments and a new regulatory by-law for multi-tenant houses.


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