Individuals who live in rooming houses are often vulnerable and may include households with low incomes, seniors on fixed incomes, newcomers to the city and students. As the city grows, development is placing pressure on the stock of existing dwelling rooms.

The City of Toronto’s Official Plan rental replacement policies and Municipal Code By-law for Rental Demolition and Conversion do not provide the ability to address the loss of rental housing that is in the form of dwelling rooms. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of dwelling rooms that have been lost due to redevelopment.

At its meeting of June 18, 2019, City Council approved Official Plan Amendment 453 which contains new policies to:

  • Address the loss of dwelling rooms due to redevelopment
  • Address the displacement of tenants who rent those dwelling rooms

The in effect policies require the same amount of dwelling room gross floor area to be replaced in the new development as secured rental housing and assistance provided to displaced tenants.

Dwelling Room means a room used as living accommodation that is available for rent and that is not self-contained. A dwelling room may contain private sanitary facilities or cooking facilities, but not both. A dwelling room, for the purposes of this policy, excludes living accommodation exempted from the application of the Residential Tenancies Act, or successor legislation.

In consideration of the need for the policy to better reflect the range of rents associated with dwelling rooms, 4 dwelling room rent threshold tiers apply to the policy, including 2 affordable rent tiers and 2 mid- range rent tiers.

The thresholds and the associated 2022 rent levels are detailed in the table below.

Dwelling room rent tier Rent range as a % of the CMHC AMR for studio unit 2023 rent for top-end of range
Affordable Tier 1 60% or lower $790
Affordable Tier 2 61 to 80% $1,054
Mid-Range Tier 1 81% to 100% $1,317
Mid-Range Tier 2 101% to 120% $1,580