Updated: 2021-06-11

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

The ultimate guide to condominium culture in Ontario. Without knowing what is happening in your community, how is it working out for you?

“Not only do I not know what’s going on, I wouldn’t know what to do about it if I did.” – George Carlin (1937 – 2008), Comedian

How to Use the Ontario Condominium Culture Site

Welcome to my condo home library, the Condorary.
All posts documenting Ontario condominium culture are placed in one of four clickable categories. An * in front of the category name indicates the latest weekly change.

Ontario Condominium Governance

Ontario Condominium Real Estate Governance – where questions about provincial government accommodation oversight … who, how, what and when are looked at. The why and outcome is what you may easily answer for yourself. Updated: 2021-05-21

“Government has no other end but the preservation of property.” – John Locke (1632 – 1704), Philosopher

* Ontario Condominium Law Practices

Ontario Condominium Real Estate Law Practices – a roundtable buffet of information from real estate lawyers’ experience with current issues various high-rise / low-rise apartment or townhouse communities are facing as they perceive it generally or in their areas of the province. Updated: 2021-06-11

“In the old days, you would have one lawyer to handle everything: speeding tickets, buying a house, contracts, litigation, real estate, copyrights, leasing, entertainment, intellectual property, forensic accounting, criminal offenses … the list goes on. Now you have to have a separate lawyer for each one of those categories.” – James Belushi ( 1954 – Present), Actor

* Ontario Condominium Life

Ontario Condominium Real Estate Life – focusing on the art and science of property management and additional owner or tenant information for those who seek to understand the housing culture they are living in. Updated: 2021-06-09

“Do not do unto others as you expect they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.” – George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950), Playwright

Ontario Condominium Data

Ontario Condominium Real Estate Data – the science of statistics and analysis of your property’s possible financial health. Maybe a decent forecast too. Essential consideration if you want to list your condo for sale (when you know it’s time to go) or for rent. Updated: 2021-05-27

“The Government are very keen on amassing statistics. They collect them, add them, raise them to the nth power, take the cube root and prepare wonderful diagrams.” – Josiah Stamp (1880 – 1941), Businessman

What is Ontario Condominium Culture about?

In the beginning was The Condominium Act, 1998. An arrangement between politicians, real estate developers and the general public to let people buy into multi-unit housing with amenities and carefree living rather than rent. Why live like a hermit or in a freehold house surrounded by 8 neighbours when you may rub elbows with hundreds of neighbouring units and $hare in everyone’s daily habits and problems ? Just like family.

But wait a minute. What:

about the Declaration

First came The Declaration made by the developer describing usage of the building and land. Over time, may need to be changed by forward thinking owners. For example: societal movement towards electric vehicle charging stations.

about the Bylaws, Rules, Directors

Then came The Bylaws and The Rules made up with the skill of a lawyer and the first volunteer owners labelled Directors telling owners how they are to act in, on and around the building(s) and land. A task mightier than building championship teams of MLB Toronto Blue Jays, NHL Toronto Maple Leafs and NBA Toronto Raptors all in one year.

Are their initial thoughts set in stone? Probably not after a generation or two of change in government legislation, directors, owner economics, ethnic majority or religious belief in the community. Maybe the neighbourhood goes into general decline. Add modern societal change such as virtual dialogue and processes when the elder person next door doesn’t have a computer but their hearing aids work fine … sometimes.

“If you want make enemies, try changing something.” -Woodrow Wilson (1856 – 1924), American President

Another level of governance linked into the chain of Federal, Provincial and Municipal command now unconditionally paid for by a privileged few to protect themselves from real estate developers, lawyers, property managers and other owners’ diverse human nature.

Volunteers require direction? By whom?

Just a thought, what happens when no one wants to be a Director?

about Owners

Next came The Owners who may or may not have, on their own recognizance or on the advice of their real estate agent and/or lawyer, read over the documentation of the Declaration, the Bylaws, the owner agreed yesteryear Rules and the corporation Status Certificate before buying a property which may not be suited to their expected lifestyle or rental investment goals and forgot it all in 48 hours or less. Who has time to read all this stuff … just buy the unit first to live in or rent and cope with the rest later (no problem, eh?).

“I believe in rules. Sure I do. If there weren’t any rules, how could you break them?” – Leo Durocher (1905-1991), Baseball Athlete

A few are pointedly shocked or outraged just a few days prior to closing a deal that they cannot do or have what they want. Bad news for sellers and real estate agents with outdated or inaccurate listings.

Can you imagine the differing attitudes and behaviour of owners because they are the boss, right? “I own this place!”. “Possession is 9 tenths of the law!”. “I have my rights!”. Seems the emotion of buying and owning a piece of residential hi-rise / low-rise apartment housing or a townhouse complex is like the excitement of winning the multi-million dollar Lotto Max lottery grand prize. Until the reality of their actions and situation comes for a visit, an owner may casually think about becoming a volunteer Director on the corporation Board but usually not.

When it comes to attending or voting by proxy at their Annual General Meeting – AGM, how many can be bothered to act to make quorum so that elections and corporation business may be carried on? Guess; it’s not everyone but you.

True Story: An owner finds smoke detector not working in the unit. Calls Fire Department by pulling alarm to come over. Chief explains why they do not do detectors or batteries and sends the corporation a bill. Owner had to pay the standard $1,500 visit fee because it is not a common element expense.

“You can’t fix stupid.” – Ron White (1956 – Present), Comedian

Both owners and buyers of old and new projects require advice? By whom?

about Property Management

Finally comes The Property Management Company to look after the workings of the physical building, land and legislated paperwork; enforce all the federal, provincial and municipal laws, condominium regulations and owner made rules with both owners and tenants. The condo cop?
Picture yourself as a property manager with 50 or more owner bosses telling you enthusiastically; with certainty, how to run the corporation better to suit themselves and others yet can’t agree civilly with their next door neighbour on whether or not to wear a mask in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Of course, they all adamantly have their rights even when they are confused about what their human rights vs legal rights really are. No matter, there is a feeling that something is not right or good.

How about the absentee owner landlord who neglects to mention or enforce the corporation regulations and rules to follow with the renter whom he/she is responsible for financially at a minimum. Then complains about increased maintenance fees or liens against the property caused by tenant negligence.

What about dealing with seat warming, jaw jaw, deadbeat board members who have opinions about anything and everything (don’t we all?) yet do not do lift a finger to solve a problem or improve the quality of life in the community.

You know, leave it to the next guy types. Especially those money focused landlords living outside the immediate community. In fairy tale fashion, these members may be elected or appointed forever and ever by indifferent owners. To the benefit of whom?

With your response ability what would you do? Laugh, cry or — ?
Some residents try to understand and respect what their unique condominium culture is while others do not or will not. Lest we forget, some can not because of mental disease or drug abuse.

“Hell is other people.” – Jean-Paul Sartre (1905 – 1980), Philosopher

Property managers require guidance? By whom?

By the way, what happens when no one wants to manage a problem property? Goodbye owner equity or ?

is that all ?

What kind of social contract or compact is this? Is the legal profession a good career choice? If the ancient Gods are not laughing yet, they have no sense of humour. People whose spiritual virtues are elevated into everyday personal consciousness do not require the commentary of legislation.

We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.” – Talmud

Over thousands of years of civilization it is self-evident that all human experience takes place inside the body not outside the body of a person. Brought to you by the 6 physical senses of your body plus the pineal gland (considered the seat of consciousness or the 3rd eye).

People only act for self-serving reasons, no matter what they say or you think. Honestly, don’t you?

“Their are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” – Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), Philosopher

Is this another endless soap opera created by come and go politicians and the few citizens whose profit emotions overruled their intellect and reason for owners to pay for forever? We are the actors on the provincial stage, after all.

While appearing to be an ostrich with it’s head buried in the sand in 2015, have our owner pants been pulled down for deeper penetration later? Heads up!

Auditor General of Ontario
2020-12-07 – Value-for-Money Audit – Condominium Oversight in Ontario
Value for money? Ontario Auditor General slides down the rabbit hole into Condoland. Read this excellent industry report about how government agencies are or may not be fulfilling their legislated mandate for protecting condominium owners. Besides, has the board of directors you elected to protect your best interests read it? How do you know?

Take a pleasurable awareness journey through the wealth of thought which creates emotion attempting to blatantly fashion the groupthink development of peoples’ intelligence and perception as the condominium game plays on. Be as serious as you like or maybe become a grouch. Perhaps have a smile or a chuckle or a laugh if it suits you. Maybe even an “a ha!” moment.

No matter where we are in the world and whatever happens around us, we live with what we make ourself to be. Does that make sense to you?

Life is beautiful, isn’t it?

Meanwhile …

Relax and sing along with the lyrics. What’s in the news are problems other people have decided you should know about. What’s in the news is not an accurate depiction of life and need not be part of your reality.