Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

The lobby group that led the charge against Airbnb in Toronto says the short-term rental website should agree to voluntarily implement the city’s proposed new rules, even while they are hung up in legal challenges.

The new regulations, approved by Toronto City Council last December, were supposed to come into effect June 1 and would ban anyone from renting out a home, or part of a home, that was not their principal residence for less than 28 days. Platforms such as Airbnb and the hosts who use them would have to be licensed and pay fees.

However, the rules could be put on hold for months. Four people who rent multiple properties out via Airbnb-type websites have challenged the bylaw before the province’s Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (formerly known as the Ontario Municipal Board) and a hearing is not scheduled until the last week of August. A decision could come weeks or months after that.

Story continues below advertisement

On Monday, Fairbnb, a coalition supported by the hotel industry’s main union, said Airbnb should agree to purge its Toronto listings of any “commercial operators” with multiple listings, even before the legal challenge is heard and the bylaw is implemented. They point to Vancouver, where the company recently voluntarily agreed to toss hosts that have not registered under that city’s new rules.

Thorben Wieditz, a spokesman for the Fairbnb, said some downtown condo residents are already dreading another summer “hotelling season” without restrictions on Airbnb-type listings: “People are not really looking forward to Blue Jay games and all kinds of other activities and festivities in the city where they know their buildings will be overrun with people that come to party.”

Airbnb spokespeople declined to speak to The Globe and Mail on Monday, saying they were travelling. In an e-mail, the company’s Lindsey Sculley said the city has not warned it of any delay and that Airbnb was still working toward a June 1 launch date.

“We’re aware of the challenges, but we’re not going to speculate on a delay, when the city has told us they are continuing to work towards that June 1 date. Our host community is eager to comply with the city’s rules – not the wishes of a well-funded hotel industry front group,” Ms. Sculley said in an e-mail.

City officials say they, too, are still working toward a June 1 date, in case the legal cases can be settled. But Carleton Grant, a senior official in the city’s licensing department, said the city may have to decide that things are officially on hold as early as next month if those challenges are not resolved.

The idea behind the new rules was to curb the growth of so-called “ghost hotels,” or the increasing number of units in downtown condos or entire homes in certain neighbourhoods that have been turned into permanent Airbnb-style rental accommodation. The city’s rules followed charges from critics that the lure of quick Airbnb cash sucks units out of the city’s notoriously tight conventional rental market, something Airbnb disputes.

Downtown city councillor Joe Cressy, a frequent critic of Airbnb, said Airbnb and other similar services should implement the new regulations, even if they remain stalled at the tribunal.

Story continues below advertisement

“They know they are coming anyway. And if they are committed to working with the city and supporting housing affordability in this city, then they should do the right thing and implement them right away,” Mr. Cressy said. “There’s nothing stopping them.”

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies