Climate Change and Condo Fees

October 2018

Toronto experienced one of its hottest summers in 2016.  By 2050 higher temperatures and related climate changes could have a significant impact on condo corporation reserve funds and condo fees.

Condo fees are based on past experience and future expectations.  The unpredictability of near future weather changes could require substantial increases in condo fees, starting as early as 2020, to maintain high-rise condo homes.

Increased rainfall, more heavy storms and increased flooding are concerns.  Below level parking garages may flood more frequently.  Power outages may become more common.  The importance of having a generator capable of running for longer periods of time may increase.

Heavy winds can cause more damage to a building in need of repair.

Use of large glass windows in condo towers, currently popular, allow spaces to get hotter in summer and colder in winter.  This may exacerbate climate change concerns.

Hotter temperatures are to be expected.  By 2100 some experts feel that Toronto will have a climate similar to Miami.  Hotter temperatures would create greater demand for electricity and air conditioning systems.  Chillers in condo buildings would be under greater stress thus requiring more frequent maintenance and replacement.  Increased levels of heat and sun would create more damage to outside walls and materials which can be expensive to repair.

Cold weather issues would continue.  Winter is when water makes its way into a building through cracks and other forms of damage where it can freeze and thaw causing building materials to expand and contract, crack and fail.

None of this is unexpected.  The impact of climate change has not yet resulted in a need for condo corporations, directors and management to prepare for these changing weather patterns.  In the near future it will become necessary for condo directors and management to prepare for this new weather reality if they wish to avoid unwanted and undesirable special assessments.