Renewing Toronto’s Old-Stock Rental Towers

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On Christmas day 2020 the Toronto Star published an article describing the findings of a group of US real estate experts from the Urban Land Institute who examined some of Toronto’s old-stock rental towers. The newspaper article can be read via the link below (it’s behind a paywall).

The experts found that it is essential to keep Toronto’s rental towers economically viable since for many of the city’s residents they are the only available housing option. According to the article, the experts note that many of these towers will require “deep retrofits” to “electrical and heating systems, plumbing, windows, fire safety systems, and elevators”. Few landlords, of course, have done this.

The experts warn that the extremely low vacancy rate in Toronto indicates that not enough new rental stock has been built to keep up with demand, potentially harming the city’s economic prospects. They also point out that new condominiums are not an acceptable alternative or substitute for new purpose-built rentals, which is a point I’ve made before.