As we collectively navigate our health and safety during this unanticipated global disruption, the trade of Toronto real estate has been altered dramatically.
Although the Toronto real estate industry was deemed an essential service, the landscape by which business is being conducted has been at a much slower and more complicated pace. Operating within the limitations of social distancing measures, non-essential business closures and directions from every level of government pressing residents to self-isolate, how we buy and sell Toronto real estate requires patience and understanding.
Of particular note, a number of other professional businesses and services which support the Toronto real estate industry have been impacted with closures and/or working limitations.
Home inspection firms, for example, are included under essential services, but their own processes have been impacted. Accountants, lawyers, and lenders are each open for business, but many are working virtually, so completing their due diligence and sharing their findings is taking longer to complete.
The City of Toronto had shut down several of its offices, including the Planning and Building Departments, which would have been problematic for the real estate industry (particularly when it comes to inquiries, permits, zoning reviews, etc. that may be required in order to complete a real estate transaction). The City has adjusted this policy around some activities.
Building Department Services that are offered now include:
• 24/7 emergency building inspections services.
• Building permit inspection reports can now be conducted by a qualified professional in lieu of a City inspector.
• Issuing building permits that were ready to be issued prior to March 16.
Other Building Department Services are either suspended or under review.
Current Planning Department services include:
• Limited reviews of planning applications received on or before March 16, prioritizing:
-- The review of applications that have cleared any Council-related approval and are proceeding through final technical clearances (e.g., site plan approval).
-- Development projects close to occupancy (e.g., draft plans of condominium clearances and registrations).
• Working with applicants' solicitors to register agreements where the agreements can be finalized.
• Committee of Adjustment decision appeals will be accepted electronically. Note: the Province has suspended deadlines for submitting appeals, retroactive to March 16. Should you still wish to submit an appeal it can be done via email. Please send the appeal to both the general email address and the Manager & Deputy Secretary-Treasurer for your district as found on the Committee of Adjustment web page.
• Fee payments will be collected after regular service delivery resumes.
• Limited review of Heritage Planning applications received on or before March 16.
Other Planning Department services are either suspended or are under review. For a full, up-to-date list, click here.
The long and short of it is, even if the professional services or municipal offices that you are relying on are still open for business, you should be very flexible in your expectations around timelines.
I am a cautious optimist who exercises prudence and restraint. I do recommend you read my posts:
A lot of us who are self-isolating are realizing that our homes could use a little refresh to be more comfortable.
Here's my post on improving your home life during COVID-19:
May my team and I be your realtors of choice?
With decades of experience navigating the ever-changing Toronto real estate market, a commitment to promote the sale of properties like yours with interesting and relevant information, and the ability to guide Buyers with credible insights and well-informed guidance, we are here to help without pressure or hassle.
Thanks for reading!
-The Urbaneer Team
Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage - (416) 322-8000
- we're here to earn your trust, then your business -
*Did you know we were recently listed as one of The Top 25 Toronto Real Estate Agents To Follow On Twitter! - The Top 50 Blogs On Toronto - and The Top 100 Real Estate Blogs In Canada? Consider signing up in the box below to receive our FREE monthly e-newsletter on housing, culture and design including our love for unique urban homes and other Toronto real estate!
*Love Canadian Housing? Check out Steve's University Student Mentorship site called Houseporn.ca which focuses on architecture, landscape, design, products and real estate in Canada.