Masks or face coverings are now a must-do in all indoor public spaces in Toronto as of today. The city voted in favour of the temporary bylaw to help stop the spread of COVID-19 since the province is now in stage two of reopening.
While the new bylaw applies to everything from real estate presentation centres to hotel lobbies, it does not apply to condominiums or apartments, which means corporations need not mandate mask-wearing on common elements.
However, the new bylaw is prompting legal minds in Toronto to point out the health and safety risks associated with public spaces in the bylaw mirror risks in a condo’s common elements.
According to Josh Milgrom, an associate at Lash Condo Law, condo corporations should think about implementing a requirement to wear masks in the interior common elements.
“Condo corporations are responsible to manage the common elements and to ensure that the property is reasonably safe,” he wrote last week. “Condos also have obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to employees and other workers to maintain a safe and healthy workplace and take all necessary precautions for the protection of the workers. In accordance with their authority and obligations under the Condominium Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act, in our view, condo corporations have the power to mandate mask-wearing on the interior common elements.”
He advises that condo corporations can pass a COVID-19 Temporary Mask Policy, passed by way of a board resolution.
“The policy would outline its rationale (similar to that of the city bylaw), as well as other specific references pertaining to condo corporations (i.e. enforcement and section 117 of the Condominium Act),” he writes. “The policy would be in place until further notice, utilizing guidance from the public health authorities and the city, consistent with the city mask bylaw. The exceptions for those not required to wear masks listed in the city mask bylaw would also be incorporated into the policy.”