A Balcony is not a Yard

February 2017

Condo corporations decide if pets are allowed in suites. Perhaps it is time they include protection for those pets.

Dogs stranded on balconies can face extreme weather conditions, violate noise bylaws, or damage property by defecating or urinating. They can also fall to their death.

A condo balcony is not a replacement for walking a dog. It is too small.

In March 2016 a dog was seen on a 16th floor Liberty Village condo during sub-zero temperatures. The dog was howling and scratching at the door to get inside. Neighbours called police who were able to assist. In July 2016 a dog was left unattended for many hours on a condo balcony in 37 degree heat.

In 2013 a Scarborough dog owner was charged after leaving their dog on a feces-filled balcony.

Caring condo neighbours are rarely able to assist. Toronto bylaws allow animals to left outside so long as there is some shelter and water. Mississauga updated their laws to prevent keeping dogs outside for longer than four hours.

Police may not be allowed to enter condo residences without permission from the resident or condo corporation.

Condominium boards can have rules dealing with pets in the condominium. They could prohibit leaving unattended pets on balconies and possibly require removal of the pet if deemed a nuisance because of barking, urination or defecation. If the condominium allows management to enter a suite to remove an unattended pet from a balcony, they should exercise this right when appropriate. If unsure about condo corporation rights with regard to pets and balconies, condo corporations should consult their legal counsel in advance of taking action.

Pets should not be left unattended on condo balconies.