Arizona recorded more coronavirus deaths, infections, hospitalizations and emergency-room visits in a single day than ever before in a crisis, in a day across the Sunbelt that sent a shudder through other parts of the country and led distant states to put their own reopening plans on hold.
In Florida, hospitals braced for an influx of patients, with the biggest medical center in Florida’s hardest-hit county, Miami’s Jackson Health System, scaling back elective surgeries and other procedures to make room for victims of the resurgence underway across the South and West, The Associated Press reports.
Vice President Mike Pence, head of the White House coronavirus task force, planned to visit Arizona today, where cases have spiked since stay-at-home orders expired in mid-May.
Arizona reported record single-day highs of almost 4,900 new Covid-19 cases, 88 new deaths, close to 1,300 ER visits and a running total of nearly 2,900 people in the hospital.
Florida recorded more than 6,500 new cases down from around 9,000 on some days last week, but still alarming and a running total of over 3,500 deaths.
Ahead of the Fourth of July, counties in South Florida are closing beaches to fend off large crowds that could spread the virus.
The run-up in cases has been blamed in part on what New Jersey’s governor called “knucklehead behavior” by Americans not wearing masks or obeying other social-distancing rules.
“Too many people were crowding into restaurants late at night, turning these establishments into breeding grounds for this deadly virus,” Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in forbidding restaurants with seating for more than eight people from serving customers inside from midnight to 6am.
Health experts say the virus in Florida and other Southern states risks becoming uncontrollable, with case numbers too large to trace.
Marilyn Rauth, a senior citizen in Punta Gorda, said Florida’s reopening was “too much too soon.” “The sad thing is the Covid-19 spread will probably go on for some time though we could have flattened the curve with responsible leadership,” she said.
“Experience now has shown most people won’t social distance at beaches, bars, etc. The governor evidently has no concern for the health of the state’s citizens.”
Some distant states and cities that seemed to have tamed their outbreaks, including Colorado, Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey, hit pause or backtracked on some of their reopening plans for bars and restaurants.
And New York and New Jersey are asking visitors from 16 states from the Carolinas to California to quarantine themselves for two weeks.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is delaying its resumption of indoor dining at restaurants, and not because of any rise in cases there.
The number of confirmed cases in the US per day has roughly doubled over the past month, hitting 44,800 on Tuesday, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
That is higher even than what the nation witnessed during the deadliest stretch of the crisis in mid-April through early May.
There has been more than one million cases of Covid-19 in the 22 countries of the World Health Organization’s Eastern Mediterranean region, the WHO confirmed on Sunday.
As of 11:00 on Sunday, 1,025,478 cases and 23,461 deaths have been recorded from the region, which spans from Morocco to Pakistan.
While cases in Europe have been largely declining, several countries in the region have been seeing increases in the number of cases and deaths. Countries recently reporting increases in cases include Iran, Iraq, Libya, Morocco, occupied Palestinian territory and Oman.
The WHO said it is especially concerned about the spread of the virus in war-torn countries such as Syria, Yemen and Libya due to poor infrastructure and fragile health systems vastly weakened by conflict. In all countries, it said, there is still a clear need for expansion of testing and more accurate reporting of cases and deaths to inform targeted responses.
Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, the WHO’s regional director for the region, said: “This is a very concerning milestone. As shops, restaurants, mosques, businesses, airports and other public places begin to open up, we need to be more vigilant and cautious than ever before. One million people have been infected, tens of thousands have died, and many more are still at risk in our region.
“We cannot relax our efforts. In fact, many countries lifting restrictions are seeing marked increases in cases, which signifies the need to accelerate public health response measures. Communities must remain vigilant and play a key role in keeping themselves and their countries safe.”
The washrooms will be open from about 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Exact opening and closing times may vary depending on the availability of staff, the city stated.
[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]
The washrooms will be cleaned twice daily with attention to commonly touched surfaces, including doorknobs, handles, faucets and light switches.
Public washrooms that are opened seasonally in City parks, such as Beavermead Park and Millennium Park, will open on Monday, June 1 with enhanced cleaning procedures during #COVID-19. Wash your hands before & after use and be aware of high-touch surfaces. https://t.co/Use77jBaRY pic.twitter.com/0tjTKdIZGa
People are reminded to wash their hands before and after use and to be aware of high-touch surfaces. They should practise physical distancing of at least two metres apart from others when they go out and stay home if they’re sick.
Lack of public washrooms in Peterborough are hampering efforts to flatten the curve
Lack of public washrooms in Peterborough are hampering efforts to flatten the curve
Travis Miller, a delivery driver in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, says a neighborhood’s homeowners’ association president blocked him into a gated community and demanded to know why he was there.
Miller captured the ordeal on Facebook Live, in a video that lasts for 37 minutes that has been watched more than 170,000 times.
The HOA official, who said his name was David Stewart, told Miller that he had called police on him after Miller refused to disclose customer information.
After the HOA official left, Miller said he was afraid to leave the gated community, telling police: “I didn’t want to leave and have it seem like I was fleeing the scene or anything like that.”
Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A black delivery driver in Oklahoma City says a neighborhood’s homeowners’ association (HOA) president blocked him into the gated community and demanded to know why he was there and how he got in.
Travis Miller, a home appliance and furniture delivery driver, captured the ordeal on Facebook Live, in a video that’s now been watched more than 170,000 times.
Related Video: How to Stay Safe at Work During COVID-19
He told KFOR that he was making a delivery in the Ashford Hills neighborhood of Oklahoma City on Monday when a man claiming to be the president of homeowners’ association blocked him from exiting the gated community with his car.
Video of the incident shows the man, self-identified as David Stewart, repeatedly asking Miller why he was in the gated community. The video shows that a white car had been parked in front of Miller’s truck, so he couldn’t drive forward.
Miller refused to tell Stewart who he dropped packages off to in the neighborhood, citing customer privacy.
About 30 minutes into the Facebook video, another man joined Stewart, and asked Miller: “All we want to know is why you’re in here and who gave you the gate code. That’s all we need to know.”
Miller again told the men that he didn’t want to share personal information of customers, and told Facebook viewers that the men had called the police. The police don’t arrive during the video, but the Stewart eventually moved his vehicle out of Miller’s way.
“I guess they must have contacted the customer and the customer came around and they spoke for a minute and he moved out the way,” Miller can be heard saying in the video.
Miller then called police himself, telling dispatch what happened to him and making sure it was safe for him to leave the area.
“He said that he called the cops back and let them know that everything was clear but I didn’t want to leave and have it seem like I was fleeing the scene or anything like that,” Miller said.
‘I knew if I get out this truck, no matter what happened, I would have been in the wrong’
Miller told KOCO that the person he delivered items to had given him the key code for the gated community, and that when Stewart approached him, he kept his seatbelt on the entire time, locked his doors, and tried keeping his window up.
“I knew if I get out this truck, no matter what happened, I would have been in the wrong,” Miller told KOCO. “I always say to myself, ‘I’m going to go home to my wife and my kids.'”
The incident happened in the wake outrage over the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was gunned down while jogging in Georgia in February, and the death of Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was killed in a police shooting Kentucky in March.
Miller has received an outpouring of support online since his video went live. He told KOFR that he didn’t know why Stewart responded in the way that he did.
“I just know that emotionally, it was hard to maintain restraint, especially when I’m dealing with death in the family, two family members within two days of each other,” Miller said. “I just did the best I could to not make a bad situation worse.”
New York City will close all of its bars and restaurants on Tuesday, with service limited to delivery and take out because of the rapidly spreading coronavirus, according to a statement by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday.
The executive order will be signed tomorrow and will go into effect on Tuesday at 9 a.m. Nightclubs, movie theatres, small theater houses, and concert venues must also close.
“Our lives are all changing in ways that were unimaginable just a week ago. We are taking a series of actions that we never would have taken otherwise in an effort to save the lives of loved ones and our neighbors,” the mayor announced.
STARBUCKS, CITING CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK, OPTS FOR ‘TO GO’ MODEL, CLOSES SOME CAFES
Japanese tourists wear face masks as they sit and chat in Times Square in New York, on Sunday, March 15, 2020. President Donald Trump on Sunday called on Americans to cease hoarding groceries and other supplies, while one of the nation’s most senior public health officials called on the nation to act with more urgency to safeguard their health as the coronavirus outbreak continued to spread across the United States. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
De Blasio said “now is the time” to take this drastic step because of how quickly the virus can be spread through close interactions in those types of limited spaces. It’s unclear how long this new measure will stay in effect.
“This is not a decision I make lightly,” he added. “These places are part of the heart and soul of our city. They are part of what it means to be a New Yorker. But our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality.”
A food truck vendor pushes his cart down an empty street near Times Square in New York, on Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
There were more than 329 confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York City as of Sunday night, while five people have died from the virus.
Only 25 cases were confirmed in the city a week ago. Due to a lack of testing, the infected numbers are likely to be much higher.
LAPD SUPERVISOR, LAX POLICE OFFICER TEST POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS
“We will come through this, but until we do, we must make whatever sacrifices necessary to help our fellow New Yorkers.”
De Blasio announced earlier in the day that all schools in the city would close from Monday until late-April, while adding there was a possibility “we may not have the opportunity to re-open them.” That decision came in response to pressure from parents and teachers in the city.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE
“It is quite clear that this crisis is growing intensely,” the mayor said earlier on Sunday. “We’ve never been through anything like this.”
New provincial rules for what cities can charge developers that kick in Jan. 1 contain legal loopholes that could cost the city millions of dollars, Toronto officials say.
To try to prevent some of the potential problems introduced with the province’s sweeping Bill 108 legislation, Toronto’s city council on Wednesday approved measures the city’s chief planner Gregg Lintern described as a financial “bridge.”
A motion moved at council Wednesday by Mayor John Tory’s affordable housing advocate Coun. Ana Bailao (Ward 9 Davenport) asks the province to delay proclamation of changes to the development charges rules until January 2021 to give the city and province more time to work out any issues.
“Development charges ensure that needed infrastructure to support new developments are costs assumed by developers,” Bailao said in a statement. “Development must pay for development. On January 1st, 2020 the province will bring into force further provisions of Bill 108 dealing with development charges that could potentially create loopholes costing city taxpayers millions of dollars. We need to ensure that before any legislation comes into effect, we close any of these loopholes and protect the City and its taxpayers from having to bear these costs.”
On Thursday, in a letter to heads of council obtained by the Star, Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark said they would be going ahead with the changes to development charges as planned on Jan. 1 and reiterated that Bill 108 is meant to help speed up the creation of new housing amid a continuing crisis.
The bill, introduced earlier this year, is called the More Homes, More Choice Act. It amends 13 separate pieces of existing legislation, including the Planning Act and the Development Charges Act.
Municipal critics have said the need to build more housing shouldn’t and doesn’t need to come at the expense of building livable neighbourhoods.
Development charges are one of several tools cities have to ensure the principle is met that “growth pays for growth.” They are fees charged to developers to help pay the capital costs of roads, sewers, libraries and other infrastructure.
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN…
Bill 108 changed the timing of when development charges are due, from when building permits are issued to when the developer first makes a development application, which is much earlier in the process. The rate will also be frozen for two years after planning approvals are received.The rate will also be frozen for two years after planning approvals are received.
That, city staff said in a May report to council, could have “significant financial implications” for the city with developers avoiding rate increases by locking-in a rate earlier.
The new legislation also allows developers to defer full payment for several years on certain types of applications, such as for rental housing.
Deferred payment, the city staff report said, is “effectively an unsecured loan from municipalities to developers with potential municipal exposure to collection administration and risk.”
In his letter, the minister said the government has been consulting with municipalities and values their input.
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN…
“We recognize that municipalities may incur some additional costs as a result of these requirements, and, for that reason, the legislation provides authority for municipalities to charge interest to cover costs associated with the deferral and the freeze. In addition, a maximum interest rate will not be prescribed,” the letter says.
The motion approved by council Wednesday gave staff the authority, if the date of the new rules coming into force was not moved, to charge interest of 1.5 per cent per month for applications received on or after Jan. 1 with a goal of breaking even when compared to the old system.
It also asks staff to charge additional interest on applications where payment is deferred if the applicant doesn’t provide “satisfactory” financial security, such as a letter of credit.
“We understand where the province wants to get,” Bailao said. “We just need to make sure we work together on a process that gets us those results and avoids any unintended consequences. We will continue to work with the province on all aspects of this legislation to ensure growth is paying for growth and we are building great communities.”
Get more of today’s top stories in your inbox
Sign up for the Star’s Morning Headlines email newsletter for a briefing of the day’s big news.
Sign Up Now
Dave Wilkes, president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association, representing more than 1,500 industry members in the GTA, said they are aware of the motion and “consulting with legal council to determine its validity.”
“BILD and its membership are supportive of the spirit and intent of Bill 108. Freezing development charges at the time of the planning application allows for cost certainty and predictability for the end consumer when purchasing a new home or condo. This is entirely positive.”
With files from Robert Benzie
Jennifer Pagliaro is a Toronto-based reporter covering city hall and municipal politics. Follow her on Twitter: @jpags
Harry Maguire has the top four in his sights after Manchester United’s thrilling derby triumph at Manchester City .
A week that started with scrutiny and mounting pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the wake of an alarming home draw with promoted Aston Villa ended with a second memorable victory in a matter of days.
Fresh from deservedly seeing off Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham 2-1 on Wednesday evening, Man Utd won by the same scoreline across town at the Etihad Stadium thanks to a roaring start and impressive game plan.
Few connected to City could have complained had Solskjaer’s side added to goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in a fine first half that laid the foundation for a victory that secured more than just bragging rights.
The 2-1 win in the 179th Manchester derby moved United up to fifth and within five points of the Champions League spots after fourth-placed Chelsea fell to a surprise loss at embattled Everton.
“I think you need to look after your own results, don’t look elsewhere, keep winning games,” Maguire, the world’s most expensive defender, said.
“We’ve won back-to-back games against Spurs and City. We’ve got another big game next week now.
“The top four is in sight but we just keep looking after our own results, keep trying to get the three points and keep improving.”
United return to action on Thursday as they close their Europa League group campaign at home to AZ Alkmaar, when Solskjaer will want to keep his in-form attackers fresh ahead of next weekend’s league clash with Everton.
The Reds had been hampered by their lack of cutting edge during the early months of the season, but the front three of Rashford, Martial and fleet-footed Daniel James showed they can scare any side on Saturday.
“Over the last month or so, I feel like as a defender I look at the forwards and think they’re going to score goals,” Maguire told MUTV.
“At the start of the season we didn’t really score more than one goal in a game but now I think it’s a few games on the spin where we’re back to scoring goals.
“They’re a big threat, they’re top players, great talent and I think it’s all coming together now.
“But, no, we’re not getting carried away.
“It’s a big three points, it’s a special win, one for the fans, I’m really happy for them.
“We just keep moving up that table and keep chipping away.”
United are unbeaten in five Premier League matches and secured their first back-to-back league wins since things spectacularly unravelled in March.
There is a growing confidence within Solskjaer’s squad and Maguire is targeting more improvements after captaining the side to victory in the blue half of Manchester.
“Proud,” the England international said. “Really proud to the lead the boys out at the Etihad and to get the three points. It was an important game for us.
“We feel like this year we haven’t got results in some games where we feel we deserved the three points.
“I think the last two games, I don’t think no-one can question that we’ve deserved both victories.
“Great start from the lads. The front four in the first half was frightening and when they’re on their game like that, they can cause any defence problems.
“The disappointing thing probably at half-time was that it was only 2-0!
“We knew they were going to come strong, they were going to throw everything at us.
“I think we held out really well. I don’t think they created too much in the second half.
“We knew we were going to have a lot of bouncing passes and David made a good a save late on and to concede from a set play is really disappointing. Something that we’ve got to tighten up on.
“Like I said, to come to the Etihad and them not to score from open play but to concede from a set play as a defender, and I am sure for David as well, it’s disappointing.
“The victory is for the fans. They deserve it this season.”
Solskjaer was proud of United’s performance at the Etihad Stadium, where they displayed the “quick, attacking football” he always knew his side were capable of in the right shape.
The Norwegian also praised their “great character and attitude” on an afternoon when missiles were aimed at Fred, who produced his best performance in a red shirt.
The Brazil midfielder was also subjected to alleged racist abuse along with Jesse Lingard, who again showed he is getting back to his best at the end of a tough year.”
He’s Man United through and through,” Solskjaer said of Lingard. “He’s a red, he’s got a great attitude and a great workrate.
“Every one of us have things to deal with on and off the pitch and what he has had to deal with, that will be between us. It’s great to see him back.”
Put to Solskjaer that fans do not see off-field issues, he said: “Exactly. That’s the privilege some people think they have.
“You can criticise anyone about anything but, for me as a manager, I have to look after these boys in the good and the bad times.
“It’s great to work with him. I had him in the reserves, I gave him his debut in the reserves against Burnley. It’s good to see him back to his old self.”
“I don’t believe it, but it is not about whether I believe it or I don’t believe it. It is about the next game.
“Our team is stable and that’s what we want. For the distance we have against Liverpool it would be crazy to think about the title, honestly.
“We have to think about the (Manchester) derby (on Saturday), game by game. There are other competitions – the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Champions League. It is important to take this rhythm for the next games.”
Gabriel Jesus, starting in the absence of the injured Sergio Aguero, ended a run of eight games without scoring by netting City’s first two goals in impressive fashion.
Rodri, producing his best performance for City, struck a thunderous third and Riyad Mahrez also scored before Robbie Brady grabbed a consolation.
Guardiola said: “It was a good result, thanks to our performance. We played really well. We are so satisfied with the way we played and the way we’ve played the last games.”
Asked about Jesus’ performance, Guardiola said: “We’ve lost an incredible striker in Sergio so we need him, he needed to score these two goals. These goals will help him and the team. He scored two incredible goals.”
Two years after city council approved restrictions for Airbnb-style rentals, a provincial tribunal has finally cleared the way for Toronto to enforce limits on landlords using their houses and apartments to accommodate tourists rather than residents.
But until the 30-day appeal period for Monday’s decision ends, it’s not certain that the new rules will necessarily go ahead, said Thorben Wieditz, of Fairbnb, a pro-regulation coalition that had standing at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) that heard landlords’ arguments against the city’s short-term rental bylaw.
Landlords, who have invested heavily in profiting by renting out their properties on the short-term market, were carefully considering their options in the wake of this past Monday’s tribunal decision.
Jason Cherniak, a lawyer who represented seven multi-unit landlords at the LPAT, said his clients are disappointed the tribunal upheld the city’s plan to prohibit short-term rentals in units that are not the landlords’ principal residence. Their appeal will be based on legal errors in the decision, said Cherniak on Twitter.
Alexis Leino, the East York landlord whose legal fees were covered by Airbnb, says the decision to disallow short-term rentals in basement suites is “unfair.” He wants to use his apartment for rentals sometimes but also maintain the flexibility to host friends and family there too. He and other landlords told the tribunal that, because they live on-site, they are available to closely supervise their guests and ensure that parking, noise and garbage aren’t a problem for the neighbours.
The tribunal heard the suggestion from landlords that the inclusion of secondary suites in the city bylaw was politically motivated because that restriction wasn’t among city staff’s initially recommended policy but added following a discussion at council.
But senior city planner Caroline Samuel testified — and LPAT chair Scott Tousaw agreed — that it was the right decision to include secondary suites because provincial policy encourages them to increase the supply of available rentals in an environment where the vacancy rate hovers around 1 per cent.
How the decision plays out remains unclear in many respects. What we do know is companies are already bidding to aid enforcement of Toronto’s new rules; how other cities have used software-based monitoring and tip lines to roll out regulations; the avenues and likely arguments for landlords to appeal; and the expected impact on the condo market.
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN…
Here’s a breakdown of what we do and don’t know about how Toronto’s short-term rental rules will move ahead:
When will the regulations take effect?
The city says it will know more in December about when it will be ready to start licensing short-term rental operators and then monitoring their compliance. Council approved the zoning bylaw in December 2017. At the time the rules were supposed to take effect six months later, in June 2018.
But it is already evaluating two requests for proposals from suppliers: one to audit compliance to its short-term rental and ride-hailing rules; one to perform “data discovery services.”
The latter service, which involves monitoring every short-term rental in the city on an ongoing basis and setting up a complaints response system, could be up and running in as little as a month, said Ulrik Binzer, the founder and CEO of Host Compliance in Seattle.
His company provides the service to about 300 North American cities including Vancouver and Victoria, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle and Minneapolis.
It uses a combination of artificial intelligence and a staff of about 250 analysts to monitor and enforce short-term rental rules. (Its bid on the Toronto contract involves a partnership with another company that would monitor compliance of Uber and Lyft.)
The cost of the software-based monitoring is about $500,000 but Binzer did not say what Host Compliance bid on the Toronto contract.
How does a city make sure landlords follow the rules?
Binzer says his company takes a screen shot of every single short-term rental in the city and time stamps it so the city has evidence of who is advertising. That is the foundation for a giant database. Short-term rental sites such as Airbnb and Expedia are scanned on an ongoing basis to add new rentals to the database. It then determines the addresses of each online ad to make sure they are in compliance with the bylaw.
The addresses are cross-referenced with permit holders. The landlord of a listing that doesn’t have a permit gets a letter on city letterhead ordering them to comply with the bylaw. It includes a screenshot of their online posting so they can’t deny they’re running a rental.
“If someone got a letter and the call to action was to get a permit or stop advertising, we’ll check to see if they did one of those things. We can even issue an administrative citation,” said Binzer.
In Los Angeles, they issue a fine.
Host Compliance also runs 24-7 call centres in 100 cities. It’s a local number residents can use to complain of rule-breaking landlords. The hotline can look up the landlord about the concern.
Complainants are asked to provide photos, videos and audio recordings to share with the city to substantiate their allegations.
“In real time, the hotline can look up the party so they can call the person,” he said.
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN…
The city’s search for a data company is encouraging, Wieditz said.
“If the city has tools in place people will come forward to make sure these places get shut down in these condo buildings and residential neighbourhoods,” he said.
What are the landlords’ avenues of appeal?
The landlords, who went to the tribunal to appeal the city’s bylaw, can ask it to review the decision or they can ask a Divisional Court to give it leave to appeal. Cherniak expects his clients — seven commercial short-term rental operators — will go to court.
Get more of today’s top stories in your inbox
Sign up for the Star’s Morning Headlines email newsletter for a briefing of the day’s big news.
Sign Up Now
He said there is room to appeal for the grandparenting of landlords who have been running their rentals in the absence of the bylaw. Whether short-term rentals, a term that will be limited to 27 nights under the new bylaw, were permitted previously in Toronto, has been something of a grey area. The city argued they weren’t a permitted use but, in the absence of a bylaw, it also didn’t actively prohibit their operation.
Appeals are likely to be based on the idea that some short-term rental operators, currently renting properties that aren’t their principal residence — something that isn’t allowed under the new bylaw — were actually operating within the law prior to the new bylaw.
Those landlords could have a case for a legal nonconforming use, say lawyers, at the tribunal.
Cherniak said the idea needs to be tested in court. Once a landlord is charged with violating the bylaw, they could use it as a defence.
But then there’s the problem, he said, that “the city’s licensing rules do not allow you to register for a licence unless it’s your principal residence.
“That means even people who are grandparented wouldn’t be able to get a licence and operate legally. If I have a legal nonconforming use and the city doesn’t allow me to be licensed, can the city then charge me with not having a licence or am I allowed to continue operating without a licence?”
Cherniak said the city should allow for legal nonconforming short-term rentals to be registered so that those landlords can be licensed.
Lawyer Eric Gillespie, who represented Fairbnb at the tribunal, said that might be a viable argument even though the city argues that short-term rentals were never legal.
“In our legal system if the law changes for the land use but the person is already doing it, it seems rather unfair to leave the person with no ability to continue,” he said.
Applications for legal nonconforming use are generally made to the city’s committee of adjustment on an individual basis. It takes some time and money to do it and not all applications succeed, Gillespie said.
“The evidence of the city at the hearing was that a number of these properties do not appear to be legally operating. They would not be able to apply for legal nonconforming status,” he said.
Of an estimated 70,000 to 100,000 secondary suites in Toronto — most of them basement apartments — the city only has records of 2,138 that are considered legal — that is they comply with building and fire codes.
Will restrictions on short-term rentals discourage investors from buying condos as rentals?
It’s not clear how many investors buy condos to rent them on short-term platforms such as Airbnb. But Urbanation will be closely monitoring presale activity in the coming quarter to see if there is a change in investor sentiment, said Shaun Hildebrand, president of the market research firm.
Condos that are reaching completion now are making money on the long-term rental market but those units were pre-sold at much lower prices. Substantial rent increases in recent years have helped those condos to have a positive cash flow for landlords, he said.
But investors in projects slated for completion around 2023 will need to see long-term rents rise by about 60 per cent to about $4,000 a month to cover the owners’ carrying costs.
That’s not likely to happen even though the strongest growth in the rental market is in tenants with incomes of more than $100,000 a year, Hildebrand said.
“So, investors are either overly optimistic on rents, not too concerned with positive cash flow as long as the unit continues to appreciate, willing to put down a larger down payment to make the unit cash flow, or are intending to flip the unit or rent it out in the short-term market,” he said.
But despite not being able to rent on short-term platforms such as Airbnb,the recent elimination of rent controls on new units will encourage investors to keep them on the long-term market because they can make up any initial losses in time.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
We have suspended your account in accordance with our Code of Conduct. For more information please visit Code of Conduct
What do you think the future holds for Airbnb? Share your thoughts
Conversations are opinions of our readers and are subject to the Code of Conduct. The Star does not endorse these opinions.