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Real Estate


What the city is doing to prevent crappy condo balconies from shattering

(Image: Neil Ta from the Flickr group)

The city wants to be more proactive about all the glass-falling-from-the-sky mishaps like this, this and those eleven other incidents from the past year, but doing so is trickier than it sounds (actually, Toronto Life’s cover story this month looks into this very issue). Under Ontario’s building code, the city can’t force precautionary inspections of glass balconies—developers don’t have to agree to assessments until after the balconies have shattered. Still, the city is optimistically planning a database of all the condos with glass balconies built in the last five years, and will ask developers to make voluntary inspections. Ontario is also reviewing an unreleased city report that recommends stricter rules about the type of glass that can be used, though the problem with that is, even if those recommendations are adopted, the code doesn’t force developers to upgrade existing buildings to meet new regulations. Meaning the potential revamp could fix up the new towers of the future, but won’t apply to the buildings already up and shedding glass. [Toronto Star]

  • opl

    Those lawsuits will make the maintenance fees of those buildings in the long run that more expensive because it’s a no win situation for the owners. Either they get the developers to pay for it or they’ll pay for it. It’s unfortunate.

  • JoeTory

    Just what we need, more government regulation. Now there’s no incentive to improve buildings, if the inspectors will be doing all the work by spending Your Tax Dollars.

    In a free market, incompetent builders would go out of business because people simply wouldn’t buy a condominium that rained glass upon pedestrians. Unless it was quite cheap. Actually there might be a market for poorly constructed buildings with cheap units, but it will be the people’s fault, not the government, for letting it happen in a free market.

  • Nikki

    I agree with JoeTory. The new glass condos are popping up everywhere and I don’t want to die from falling glass off of condos or office buildings, or pieces of the Gardiner.

  • margarets

    Oh, that “free market” baloney. That only works when all parties have ALL the information, which is extremely difficult if not impossible in the case of housing. There is no 100% way to know in advance if the glass in your condo will fall out. The remedy – imperfect as it is – is government regulation to ensure that condos are built to meet safety standards.

  • PP

    JoeTory – really? More pesky government regulation? Maybe you’ll be the next civilian to get rained on by falling glass.

    I seriously hope you’re just trolling because that free market charlatanism makes me want to vomit.