Rooming houses can include a house, apartment or building where you rent a room and share a kitchen and/or washroom with four or more people (not related to you) that pay individual rent. Rooming houses can also include some self-contained units/bachelor apartments.

Current rules and regulations

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.
  • A cooperative student residence, a student fraternity or sorority house that has more than three bedrooms.

Rooming houses are only permitted in the former cities of York, Toronto and Etobicoke. Rooming houses that operate in Toronto and Etobicoke must be licensed.

In Etobicoke, rooming house licences are issued by Toronto Public Health. Requirements for rooming houses licences in the former city of Toronto are below.

Apply online

Contact Toronto Building to confirm that the area is zoned for multi-tenant homes.

  • 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 his or her personal residence.
    • the house is less than three stories with a basement and contains less than 14 bedrooms, with less than four bedrooms on the third storey
    • the house is operated by a non-profit corporation.
  • The fee is $200 if the rooming house has three stories with a basement and more than 14 bedrooms.
  • The fee is $300 if the rooming house has more than three stories with a basement.

The City will conduct inspections and indicate that the rooming house complies with:

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

Before a licence is issued, the premises must be inspected and found to comply with all relevant bylaws and legislation administered by the City of Toronto.

Staff from Toronto Fire Services must be contacted for inspection:

West Command Office
Wards 11, 13, 14, 17
416-338-9450

East Command Office
Wards 30, 31, 32
416-338-9250

South Command Office
Wards 19, 20, 27, 28
416-338-9350

South Central Command
Wards 18, 21, 22, 29
416-338-9150

After you apply, you must give notice of this 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, who will also be advised if a licence is issued.

Before a licence is issued, the City will confirm that there are no outstanding complaints about the rooming house or objections to the application.