Rooming houses can include a house, apartment or building where you rent a room and share a kitchen and/or washroom with four or more unrelated people who pay rent. Rooming houses can also include some self-contained units/bachelor apartments.

Rooming houses are only permitted in certain parts of the City.

Former Toronto
Visit your nearest Toronto Building Customer service counter to confirm that the area is zoned for rooming houses.

Additional details on rooming houses, including current rules and regulations, applications and fees can be viewed on the City of Toronto website.

An application together with a variable fee based on the class of Rooming House will need to be submitted to Municipal Licensing & Standards Investigation office  by calling the Rooming House licensing coordinator. Applications are done by appointment only

New applications for Rooming  House Licenses are circulated to the respective Ward Councillor and must comply with all applicable law including annual inspections which are conducted by ML&S and Toronto Fire Services and in some cases Toronto Public Health. The Ward Councillor will also be advised if a licence is issued.

After you apply for a rooming house licence, you must give notice of your application to the tenants of the rooming house by posting the notice in a conspicuous place or in the rooming house.

Rooming House licenses are not transferable. The licence is only valid to the party to which it is issued. A new rooming house licence application will need to be submitted prior to closing of the real estate transaction.

To change information on a Rooming House licence, you can go in person to apply with the Rooming House licensing clerk or write to Municipal Licensing & Standards office.

The yearly Rooming House licensing fees vary. Depending on the circumstances, fees will range from $100.00-$300.00

Former York, East York, North York & Scarborough
Rooming Houses are not permitted by the Zoning Bylaw in the former cities of  East York, North York, or Scarborough.

Former York
Rooming houses are permitted in the former city of York and do not need to be licensed

Former Etobicoke
If you want to operate a rooming house in the former Etobicoke, you must first consult with the Etobicoke York Toronto Building office. If and when zoning has been checked and cleared they will refer you to Toronto Public Health to apply for a Rooming House Licence.

Application can be picked up at the Toronto Public Health, Healthy Environments regional office located on the 4th Floor, North Building, 399 The West Mall (Etobicoke Civic Centre).

A renewal notice is sent out to the applicant about 3 months in advance of the renewal date.

Changes to a rooming house building or property
If you wish to change the necessary legal information on the rooming house licence, the client should contact ML&S Investigations, Rooming House licensing coordinator.

If you wish to make physical changes to the layout or use of the rooming house, a building permit together with a Toronto Fire Code clearance will need to be applied for.

More information can be found on the City of Toronto website.

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