Update: Ottawa has now voted to make masks mandatory in interior common elements
As Ontario reopens, an increasing number of municipalities are adopting bylaws making it mandatory to wear masks while in condo’s interior common areas. On August 26, Ottawa has voted to expand its temporary mask bylaw to all interior common elements.
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Ottawa voted to extend its bylaw to condos
On August 26, Ottawa’s municipal council voted on a recommendation by the Emergency and Protective Services General Manager to amend the existing Mask Bylaw to apply to all interior common areas and to multi-unit residential buildings. The bylaw requirement to wear mask applies in areas such as, but not limited to, entrances, lobbies, laundry rooms, elevators, gyms, etc.
This amended bylaw now requires Ottawa condo corporations to:
- Provide a verbal reminder to those without a mask
- Post a bilingual sign at every entrance of the premises used by the public (see here a template)
- Ensure the availability of alcohol-based hand rub at all public entrances and exits of the premise
The amended version of the bylaw can be reviewed here.
The following cities have made maks mandatory while in condos’ interior common elements :
- Toronto, on August 5, 2020
- Mississauga, on August 5, 2020
- Brampton, on August 5, 2020
- York, on August 7, 2020
- Burlington, on August 20, 2020
- Ottawa, on August 26, 2020
I may have missed some. Shoot me an email if your municipality has adopted such a bylaw. We’ll update this post.
Past steps taken by Ottawa
- On July 6, Public Health issued a letter instructing Operators of every Enclosed Public Space to adopt a mask policy;
- On July 15, the City pass a temporary by-law making mask mandatory in interior public places;
- On August 6, Public Health strongly recommended that condos adopt a policy requiring that all entering or remaining on common elements or in shared amenities wear a mask.
- On August 26, Ottawa extended its bylaw to condo’s interior common elements (and other multi-residential dwellings).
Enforcement at the municipal level
The media reports that, over the last month, the city received some 473 service requests related to the temporary mandatory mask by-law. These resulted in Bylaw officers issuing 167 verbal warning and one charge.
Regardless of what your city does, it appears to increasingly make sense for condo corporations to adopt a policy on masks while in interior common areas. As stated before, as the province reopens, there will be increasing contacts between individuals in public spaces, which will increase transmission risks. Imposing masks while on interior common elements (such as is required in most public spaces) makes a lot of sense while imposing little to no inconvenience to owners.
The best policy for you will depend on your corporation. Indeed, each condo is distinct and has its own personality. The scope of the policy will vary from condo to condo, depending on its size, layout, geographical location, density and demographics.
We have developed policies and rules which range from recommending masks to imposing masks or partially imposing them (in the elevator, main lobbies or when interacting with staff or management). We’re happy to discuss what policy makes more sense to your community.
Stay ahead of the curve!
Updated August 26.