Condos, Co-ops and Co-Ownership – Three choices for condo living

July 2019

While it sometimes seems condo buildings are being built everywhere, Toronto does impose limits on where they can exist.


The City of Toronto prohibits conversion of apartment buildings to condominiums.  This protects affordable and mid-range rental units in the city from being converted to non-rental housing.  Co-ownership is a form of high-rise home ownership where condos are not allowed.

Those who choose to purchase a home and desire “condo living” have three options each of which provide unique advantages.


The most popular choice today is to purchase a condo or condominium. You own your unit and receive a deed.  You also share an interest in common elements with all condo corporation members.

Choosing to purchase into a co-op means you own shares in a private company that owns the building and are provided with exclusive rights to occupy a specific unit.  One of the advantages of co-op living is that potential owners are pre-screened by the board.

Co-ownership means owning a percentage of the building.  Your name goes on title for the building and you receive exclusive rights to a unit.  Property taxes are paid as part of monthly maintenance fees.  Heat and hydro costs may also be included.  In some areas the city will not allow older apartment buildings to be retrofitted and sold as condos.  Co-ownership allows these buildings to be retrofitted and sold to those who desire “condo living” in areas where condos are not allowed.  Buyers typically purchase after seeing retrofitted space rather than relying on building plans which can be changed prior to taking possession.

Regardless of how it is achieved. all forms of “condo living” have a governing body; building management; common expenses and maintenance fees; and the right to sell, lease or mortgage units without consent of other residents or owners.