Rooming houses are 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.

The City of Toronto permits rooming houses in some parts of the city and licenses some rooming houses. The following buildings do not need to be licensed as rooming houses:

  • dwellings licensed and inspected by the provincial or federal government, such as group homes or retirement homes
  • cooperative student residences that have more than three bedrooms.

Due to a recent amendment to the rooming house by-law, fraternity and sorority houses may need to be licensed as rooming houses if they meet the definition of a rooming house.

Current Rules and Regulations

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

1. Former City of East York, North York, Scarborough: Rooming houses are not permitted.

2. Former City of York: Rooming houses are permitted and do not need to be licensed.

3. Former City of Etobicoke: Rooming houses are permitted and need to be licensed, as per the Lodging Houses By-law.

4. Former City of Toronto: Rooming houses are permitted and need to be licensed, as per the Rooming Houses By-law.

Rooming House Licence Requirements in the Former Cities of Toronto and Etobicoke

 

Former City of Toronto

Contact Toronto Building to confirm that the area is zoned for rooming houses.

Former City of Etobicoke

Contact the Etobicoke York Toronto Building office to confirm the area is zoned for rooming houses.

Former City of Toronto

Download the application.

Former City of Etobicoke

After confirmation that the area is zoned for rooming houses, you will be referred to Toronto Public Health to apply for a rooming house licence. Review Chapter 166, the Lodging Houses By-law, to determine whether you are applying for a Class A or Class B licence.

Former City of Toronto

  • The fee is $100 if one or more of these conditions apply:
    • the registered owner occupies living space of 30 square metres or less as their personal residence
    • the rooming house is operated by a non-profit corporation
    • the rooming house has up to three storeys (not including the basement) and contains up to 14 bedrooms, with fewer than four bedrooms on the third storey.

If none of the above conditions apply, then:

  • The fee is $200 if:
    • the rooming house has up to three storeys (not including the basement) and contains up to 14 bedrooms, with four or more bedrooms on the third storey
    • the rooming house has up to three storeys (not including the basement) and more than 14 bedrooms.
  • The fee is $300 if the rooming house has more than three storeys (not including the basement).

Former City of Etobicoke

  • Application fee: $518.53
  • Licence renewal: $296.68

After you apply for a licence, the City will conduct inspections and indicate that the rooming house complies with:

If requested by the City, the applicant must provide site or floor plans and certify that the rooming house premises match those plans.

Additional information for the former City of Toronto

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 on or in the rooming house.

The City will give notice to the Ward Councillor that an application for a rooming house licence has been submitted, and the Ward Councillor will also be advised if a licence is issued.