Toronto has entered Step One of the Province’s Roadmap to Reopen. Short-term rentals are permitted to open but indoor pools, communal steam rooms, saunas or indoor whirlpools, indoor fitness centres, or other indoor recreational facilities must remain closed. In Toronto, all short-term rentals must comply with the Licensing and Registration Of Short-Term Rentals Bylaw.

A short-term rental company is any company facilitating or brokering short-term rental reservations online and receiving payment for this service (such as Airbnb and Booking.com). All short-term rental companies are required to obtain a licence before they can operate in Toronto.

Companies facilitating or brokering short-term rental reservations online and receiving payment for this service need licences to operate in Toronto.

Sole-proprietors, partnerships, or corporations can apply for a short-term rental business licence. Regardless of size, all companies must be licensed and comply with the fees and data-gathering requirements set out in the bylaw.

A licence is not required if the company does not facilitate the reservations of short-term rentals. For example, if a small property management company is collecting fees on behalf of short-term rental operators but not facilitating reservations, the company does not require a licence.

Download the application for short-term rental business licence to view the application submission checklist and list of required documents.

All applicants

All applicants must provide the following documents and completed forms:

  • Short-Term Rental Business Licence Application Form 1
  • A signed Data Sharing Agreement , which provides data sharing instructions and clarifies the role of the company and the City in collecting, maintaining and sharing data as required.
  • Original Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check issued by a Canadian Police Service within 280 days prior to the application.
  • Two pieces of government issued identification (ID) for all officers, directors and partners of the applicant partnership or company. One of these IDs must be a valid photo ID. Acceptable IDs include:
    • Birth Certificate
    • Passport or Citizenship Card
    • Permanent Resident Card
    • Work Permit
    • Driver’s Licence
    • Photo Identification Card

Note: First and last names must match on all identification provided to the City. The City does not accept Health Cards as a form of identification.

Additional information required for all applications

In addition to the documents and forms needed from all applicants, short-term rental companies must provide the following information:

  • business address or address for service in Ontario*
  • name, phone number and email address of person responsible for responding to all City communications
  • details of how the company will remove advertisements for a short-term rental if its operator has not registered with the City
  • details of the company’s procedure for dealing with problem operators and responding to complaints. Staff will review submitted processes and assess against the City’s criteria for removing listings and addressing problem operators.

*Note: Companies based in another country still need to provide an Ontario address as part of the licensing process. This is because the City needs to ensure that there is an address of record in case any legal documents or letters need to be served.

Sole-proprietor and partnership

In addition to the documents and forms needed from all applicants, sole-proprietor and partnerships need to submit the following:

  • Short-Term Rental Business Licence Application Form 2 listing the first two officers and a description of the legal relationship between multiple partners or companies if they act together to operate as a short-term rental company.
  • Ontario business location or address of a representative who can legally accept communications.

For partnerships only:

  • A copy of the Partnership Agreement

Corporations

In addition to the documents and forms needed from all applicants, corporations need to submit the following:

  • Short-Term Rental Business Licence Application Form 2 listing the first two officers and a description of the legal relationship between multiple partners or companies if they act together to operate as a short-term rental company.
  • A copy of Articles of Incorporation and, if there has been a change to the list of officers and directors, a current Corporate Profile Report.
  • Ontario business location or address of a representative who can legally accept communications.

If the president, director or officer of the corporation is not able to apply, a designate may apply on their behalf. In addition to the items identified above, the delegate must also provide:

  • A letter advising of their signing authority on the corporation letterhead
  • Two pieces of their own government issued ID
  • Criminal Record & Judicial Matters Check for each officer and director of the corporation.

Copies of government issued ID for each person listed on Form 2 do not need to be notarized.

Applicants are required to pay a one-time licence application fee of $5,000 and an ongoing fee of $1.00 for every short-term rental night booked through the company. The application fee is subject to an annual increase and is non-refundable.

In order to be licensed, a short-term rental company must:

  • ensure that all listings have valid registration numbers, in the format: STR-0000-XXXXXX
    • the City has published all valid registration numbers on its Open Data portal, which is accessible to the public and to short-term rental companies
  • provide a process for removal of listings that do not have valid registration numbers, and a procedure for dealing with problematic operators and responding to complaints
  • keep the following records and provide to the City using a secure format:
    • name, address and registration number of the operator/host
    • number of nights rented as a short-term rental
    • nightly and total price charged for the short-term rental
    • rental type (entire home rental or just room rentals)
  • maintain records of the number of short-term rental listings or advertisements it removes from its platform
  • execute an agreement with the City governing the collection, use, retention and transmission of operator information
  • communicate about the City’s bylaw to all operators listing or advertising their short-term rental with the company, as requested by the City

Applicants can download the application for short-term rental business licence and email mlsbusinesslicence@toronto.ca to receive instructions on how to submit via secure file transfer.

Once a complete application is received, staff will review the forms and documents and send an invoice number for the application fee. Additional information about the Data Sharing Agreement  will also be shared.

The Data Sharing Agreement describes the types of data and personal information that may be exchanged between a short-term rental company and the City under the bylaws. The agreement also sets out the requirements regarding the transfer, storage, and protection of that data.

Before approving a short-term rental business licence application, the company will be required to complete a security questionnaire. Once the company completes the required security questionnaire, it is submitted to the City’s information and security office for review and follow-up. Once all information has been gathered, the review should be finalized within two to three weeks. The City will also work with the company to complete data exchange testing and ensure processes conform with the Data Sharing Agreement.

Currently data is transferred to the City using Comma-Separated Values (CSV) files and uploaded to a City server. In the future, this will move to an Application Programming Interface (API). Data is uploaded on a monthly basis and the City will review the data and invoice the company on a quarterly basis.

Residents can contact 311 to submit a complaint about a short-term rental operator. If there is a complaint or information about a possible violation, Bylaw Enforcement Officers investigate, educate and/or take enforcement actions.

The goal is to resolve issues and ensure that short-term rental operators are following the bylaw. Each issue is addressed on case-by-case basis to make sure reasonable, fair and appropriate actions are taken. For example, in some cases the issue may be resolved through education. In other cases, further enforcement action is required.

If a short-term rental operator does not comply with the bylaw, they are guilty of an offence. If they are issued a ticket and convicted, they may have to pay a fine for the offence set out in the table below.

If they are issued a summons to court and convicted, they may have to pay a fine up to $100,000 or a daily fine of up to $10,000 for each day the violation continues. In addition they may have to pay a special fine for economic gains from the bylaw violation. If it is a corporation, every director or officer may have to pay a fine of no more than $100,000.

Offence Fine ($)
Failing to licence a short-term rental company 1000
Advertising, facilitating or brokering an unregistered short-term rental 1000
Failing to remove a listing for an unregistered short-term rental 1000
Failing to keep complete transaction record for 3 years 1000
Failing to keep record of removed short-term rental listing 1000
Discriminating based on enumerated ground 500
Refusing to serve a person accompanied by a service animal 500
Failing to notify the City of a change in licensing information 400
Failing to report non-compliance with screening criteria 300
Making a threat or reprisal for participation in a public process 300
Making a threat or reprisal against unlicensed business 300

Registered short-term rental operators are required to start collecting the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) starting January 1, 2021. The payment is due on a quarterly basis.

Airbnb will collect and pay the MAT on behalf of the operators. Operators using Airbnb for their short-term rental will still need to file MAT report online.

Operators using other companies for their short-term rental will need to file their MAT report online and collect and pay the MAT themselves.

Learn more about how operators need to collect, file and pay the MAT themselves or via Airbnb.

Short-term rental company licences must be renewed annually.

A renewal notice, identifying any documents required to renew the licence, will be mailed to the address on file.

If a short-term rental company fails to renew its licence according to the bylaw, the licence will be cancelled, and the company will have to reapply.