Toronto Condo News would like to express our condolences and sympathies to families of the victims and everyone impacted by the events at the Bellaria Residences in Vaughan, Ontario.
On December 18, 2022, a resident of Bellaria Residences targeted current and former directors of this community. He travelled floor-to-floor to shoot and kill five individuals before being shot to death by police. Nobody appears to have considered this individual to be a physical threat to anyone.
Conflicts like this are rare. Disputes are usually resolved through discussions, courts or mediation. What occurred in Brampton is a rare, unpredictable and unavoidable situation caused by an individual with no history of being a threat.
Since 2016, the gunman had been harassing, aggressive and menacing toward board members and residents, but did not commit violence prior to the shootings. His mental state was obvious to neighbours. He made baseless allegations and was loud, disruptive and foul mouthed. After the condo board had asked the court to intervene, things quieted down until mid 2022 so the condominium corporation went back to court. An order forcing him to sell and vacate his unit was anticipated if not pre-empted by the shootings.
A Flawed Proposal
In response to this, one proposal that has been circulating is to keep condominium directors’ home addresses private. This could be done by providing the condominium management office address as directors’ address of service on status certificates, information certificates, and the list of owners’ addresses for service which any owner can request. This proposal is asking that the Condo Act be revised to keep director contact information private.
There was no way to predict and protect people from someone driving their van along the sidewalk over people, pushing another onto subway tracks, or being the victim of road rage. Yet these events occur. We don’t enact rules or laws against actions that are impossible to predict and prevent.
This proposal would create a new level of privacy in high-rise communities for directors that suggests they are more deserving than other owners. It is unlikely that documents containing director contact information actually disclosed information that the gunman did not already know. Had this proposed change been in effect, it would not have included former directors that were targeted. Finally, this tragedy has never happened in the past and may never happen again.
This proposal is unlikely to offer practical benefit while making it more difficult for residents to know and be able to reach out to their neighbours.
This unfortunate and unavoidable tragedy was not a failure of security or management. The board did what they could to protect owners. Once problems were reported they investigated, verified claims and attempted to change the individual’s behaviour.
Nothing could have been done to prevent this tragedy including offering directors a degree of privacy unavailable to other building residents.