A multi-tenant house is a building with four or more rooms that may have shared common washroom and kitchen. These rooms may also have private washroom or kitchen, but not both.
On December 14, 2022, Toronto City Council adopted a new regulatory framework for multi-tenant houses. The Zoning Bylaw was amended to permit multi-tenant houses across all of Toronto and a new Multi-Tenant Houses Licensing Bylaw was also adopted. This new bylaw will introduce consistent standards, regulatory oversight and effective enforcement to protect the safety of tenants and respond to neighbourhood concerns.
Currently multi-tenant houses are not permitted in some areas of the city. The new regulatory framework will help ensure multi-tenant houses in Toronto are safer and permit affordable housing options across the city. It will also help support complete communities with a range of housing opportunities for different incomes and needs.
The new framework will:
The new framework will allow multi-tenant houses in all zones that permit residential uses. Multi-tenant houses can be built specifically for this use, or they can be converted from an existing residential house, as long as they comply with the standards for each zone and the specific use regulations.
In the former cities of Etobicoke, North York, and Scarborough, the maximum number of rooms permitted in a multi-tenant house is six.
In the former cities of Toronto, East York and York, the maximum number of rooms in a multi-tenant house depends on where the building is located:
The following map shows the maximum number of rooms that will be permitted in multi-tenant houses in Toronto, effective March 31, 2024.
The minimum room size is regulated by the Ontario Building Code.
The parking requirements under the new zoning bylaw for multi-tenant houses are based on transit access.
These are minimum requirements and more parking spaces could be provided if desired by the operator.
The framework will be implemented over a three-year period to gradually expand licensing and ensure supports are in place for operators and tenants. Preserving tenancies and preventing evictions will be central to the City’s approach to implementation. The City has made progress preparing for the implementation of the new framework.
An online licence application system for operators of multi-tenant houses will be launched when the new bylaw comes into effect.
A comprehensive engagement plan has been developed for operators that includes hosting information sessions and providing guidelines, which will include multi-lingual resources. More details on the information sessions, application guidelines and a Good Operator Guide will be provided in early 2024.
To protect tenants and preserve affordable housing, the City will work collaboratively with operators to bring them into the new licensing regulatory framework. Staff will educate operators and provide sufficient for them to come into compliance with the new framework; the City will not close multi-tenant houses unless an immediate health and safety risk is identified.
For questions about operator licensing, contact the Multi-Tenant House Team at MultiTenantHousing@toronto.ca.
As directed by City Council, the City is currently developing a multi-tenant house retrofit and repair program. The goal of the program is to preserve affordable multi-tenant houses. The program will provide funding and financial support to selected operators to offset some costs of compliance with the new licensing framework. More information on the program will be provided to operators directly when the program launches in spring 2024.
The City will also ensure supports are in place for tenants should they face evictions from a multi-tenant house or require emergency relocation.
There are existing programs and initiatives that will continue to support tenants at risk of eviction or facing displacement, including: Eviction Prevention in the Community (EPIC), Toronto Rent Bank, Toronto Tenant Support Program, Housing Help Centres, as well as emergency relocation support protocols established and managed by the City. The City also funds a hotline facilitated by The Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations (FMTA), which gives tenants access to support as it relates to their rights and responsibilities.
A new Multi-Tenant House Licensing Tribunal with city-wide jurisdiction will replace the current Rooming House Commissioner in former Toronto. The new Tribunal will be an independent quasi-judicial body with the authority to hear appeals of licensing decisions and referrals from City staff. The Tribunal will have the authority to:
The City presented a proposed relationship framework to the Executive Committee on October 31, 2023. The relationship framework will promote an effective and collaborative relationship between City staff and the Tribunal and provide clarity about the Tribunal’s mandate and the role of the City.
The City is planning to launch a campaign to educate tenants, multi-tenant house operators and owners and the general public about the new regulations.
The City will inform tenants about their rights, tenant safety and the resources and programs available to support tenants who may face evictions. Operators will be provided details on how to achieve compliance and the supports that will be in place to help them continue to operate multi-tenant houses.
The communications goals also include creating awareness among Toronto residents on how the new regulations will help expand affordable housing options in the city and create safer multi-tenant houses, with enhanced maintenance requirements that help protect the safety of tenants and respond to neighbourhood concerns.
Subscribe to stay informed on the new framework for multi-tenant houses. Please type (do not copy and paste) your email address:
Click to: Unsubscribe
The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the City of Toronto Act, 2006. The information is used to allow the City to send you an email to confirm your wish to subscribe to a City of Toronto e-notice. Questions about this collection may be directed to the ListServ Administrator, Strategic Communications Division, City of Toronto, Toronto City Hall, 7th floor, West Tower, Toronto M5H 2N2. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. By subscribing to one of the City of Toronto’s e-updates you are providing express consent, as defined by the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), to receive email updates from the City of Toronto.