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February 22, 2002
Court decision confirms municipal authority to pass bylaws on rental housing
  
On February 20, 2002, the Ontario Divisional Court released a unanimous
decision that agreed with the Cities of Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa in their
appeal of the Ontario Municipal Board's order that Official Plan Amendment No.
2 (OPA2) is "illegal and invalid." This appeal was supported by the Association
of Municipalities of Ontario.

In 1999, Toronto City Council had adopted OPA2 to update and harmonize the
rental housing policies of the amalgamated City:
(i) to protect existing rental housing from condominium conversion; and
(ii) to address the replacement of rental housing units when considering
development proposals involving the demolition of existing rental housing.

"This decision by the Divisional Court acknowledges the right of cities across
Ontario to adopt policies that protect and encourage rental housing," said
Toronto Councillor Joe Mihevc. "Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton will now take
this issue back to the Ontario Municipal Board to protect rental units from
demolition and tenants from unwarranted eviction."

Many municipalities across Ontario currently have tight rental markets marked
by low vacancy rates, rising rents and little new rental supply. A diverse
housing market, including an adequate supply of rental housing, are critical to
attracting residents and businesses that are key to economic growth and
prosperity.

The decision of the Divisional Court is significant for municipalities
throughout the Province of Ontario as it confirms their authority to pass
bylaws that address the encouragement, preservation and replacement of rental
housing. The decision confirms the legality and validity of OPA2 and directs
that a differently constituted panel of the OMB assess OPA2 on its planning
merits.

For more information about the City's Official Plan, including the Rental
Housing Action Plan, visit the Web site at www.city.toronto.on.ca/toronto
plan
.


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