air conditioning toronto

Air conditioning units banned from Toronto apartment buildings after fatal accident

Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) has banned window air conditioners after a two-year-old girl was fatally struck by a falling machine last month, according to officials.

A phased approach of removing air conditioning units from windows began on November 28, according to statement released by TCHC yesterday.

TCHC says all air conditioning units on corporation owned buildings will be removed by December 25, and the removal of AC units will begin on townhomes shortly thereafter.

TCHC president and CEO, Kevin Marshman, says these measures are meant to protect tenants, staff, and visitors of TCHC buildings.

"Sadly, we have seen how the risk of a window air conditioner becoming dislodged can have tragic consequences. We are taking steps to protect the safety of tenants, staff and visitors to our buildings and are asking for the cooperation of tenants as we implement these measures," said Marchman in a statement.

The change comes after first responders were called to a TCHC apartment building on Lawrence Avenue East, east of Scarborough Golf Club Road, on November 11, to find a two-year-old girl had been struck from an air conditioning unit which had fallen from an eighth floor apartment.

The toddler was rushed to the Hospital for Sick Children where she later died, according to police.

According to a 2007 report called "Window Air Conditioner Replacement Program Study" on the TCHC website, AC units were discovered to be installed improperly on many TCHC dwellings.

"Many of the (AC) units do not have clean filters and many of the condenser are covered in dirt. The units were also not installed properly which both adds to the energy consumption, due to infiltration, and produces a potential safety risk," reads the report. 

Previously, TCHC staff were able to provide consent to tenants who requested permission to install a window air conditioner in their home. 

Moving forward, the TCHC's goal is to eventually replace all window air conditioners, including those over a balcony, with floor-model air conditioners.

According to the TCHC, floor models provide more cooling and are safer, quieter and more energy efficient.

Lead photo by

Lori Whelan


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