On December 14, 2022, Toronto City Council adopted a new regulatory framework for multi-tenant (rooming) houses resulting in an amendment to the City’s Zoning Bylaw to permit multi-tenant houses across Toronto. A new Multi-Tenant Houses Licensing Bylaw will introduce consistent standards, regulatory oversight, and enforcement to help protect the safety of tenants and respond to neighbourhood concerns.
Multi-tenant houses are an important part of Toronto’s rental housing stock. They come in a wide range of forms and are home to a diverse array of residents, including newcomers, students, seniors and those with low-and-moderate incomes.
Multi-tenant houses are not permitted in some areas of the city due to fragmented zoning bylaws that have not been updated since amalgamation in 1998. Currently, multi-tenant houses are only permitted in the former city of Toronto and some parts of the former cities of York and Etobicoke.
Unlicensed multi-tenant houses continue to operate to meet demand, which can result in inadequate and unsafe living conditions for tenants. Multi-tenant houses in the former cities of Toronto and Etobicoke require a licence, whereas a licence is not required in the former city of York.
The pathway to achieving safe, liveable and affordable multi-tenant houses starts with changing the City’s zoning and licensing bylaws, which then enables regulatory oversight and effective enforcement.
Learn more about multi-tenant (rooming) houses and how they are regulated in Toronto.
The new regulatory framework will help create safe, adequate multi-tenant houses, expanding affordable housing options in Toronto. It will also help support more complete and equitable communities with a range of housing opportunities for a range of incomes and needs.
Key points of the new framework include:
The framework will be implemented over a three-year period, beginning in January 2023 and continuing to March 2026, to gradually expand zoning and licensing and introduce incentive programs for operators:
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