building masking issues

Toronto staff to crack down on residential buildings with masking issues

The city is cracking down on 12 residential buildings where there have been numerous complaints made about mask usage in common areas, according to Mayor John Tory. 

The mayor spoke about the issue during a CP24 segment Tuesday night and explained that, after analyzing roughly 2,000 complaints made to the city about mask usage in residential buildings, 12 locations were found to have had more than 10 complaints each.

"We're going to be having people out there, like, tomorrow," Tory told CP24, adding that approximately 75 per cent of the complaints were about apartments while 25 per cent were about condos.  

"And you know who you are out there. But there are going to be people out from the city. They're going to be talking to the owners, they're going to be putting signs up or making sure they're put up in those buildings to get people wearing a mask."

Back in August, the city introduced a new bylaw requiring that masks be worn in the common areas of all residential buildings, including lobbies, laundry rooms, elevators and more. 

And last week, the city said residents had made 1,950 complaints to 311 related to the rule since it was first introduced.

As a result, Tory requested an analysis of the complaints in an attempt to identify buildings with the worst masking issues since, as he explained, it's simply impossible to have enforcement officers checking up on every building in the city. 

"It is obviously a difficult enforcement task. There are 3,500 rental buildings alone in the city and leave alone the condos," Tory said. 

"And so you can imagine we just don't have enough people to be in every lobby watching every minute. The people that are supposed to be helping us with this are the owners. They're required to put up signage and so on, which we've supplied for free."

While city staff are expected to check up on those locations today, they do not actually have the power to fine or charge individuals for not wearing a mask.

Instead, staff can charge building owners who haven't been following the rules around proper mask signage and education. 

Fortunately, overall, Tory said compliance with the residential building mask bylaw has been very good. 

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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