City Councillor’s Proposal To Legalize Rooming Houses Passes Despite Mayor’s Endorsement

In an unexpected loss, John Tory lost a vote at Toronto City Council on whether to legalize rooming houses — the legions of small properties that have long existed unregulated in Toronto.

Mr. Tory, the mayor, last year tabled an ordinance that would have opened a series of new neighbourhoods to the goal of house hunters seeking more affordable housing. Among his initial supporters was council member Marianne Wilkinson, an independent who often stands up for Mr. Tory’s agenda.

But, she argued, the ordinance would open the door to more chronic housing problems, including violent crimes in the proximity of many rental homes.

On Wednesday, Ms. Wilkinson instead supported a motion by a group of city councilors that would have opposed all attempts by the city government to regulate the rise of rooming houses.

The resolution unanimously received unanimous support from members of council’s finance committee.

Then on Thursday, it passed the full council by a vote of 37 to 30, with some opposition from the provincial Progressive Conservative government, with which Mr. Tory is at odds.

They argued that rooming houses had proliferated because of lax laws governing rental housing, and that there are already steps in place to confront the problem.

Leave a Comment