650 Parliament: Update April 16, 2019

Updated April 16, 2019

There have been many questions about Toronto Building's role in the restoration of 650 Parliament Street. We asked Toronto and East York Manager of Building Inspections, Andrew Wild, to more fulsomely comment.

From 650 Parliament Inc. management:

No update to provide.


From Toronto Fire Services:

No update to provide.


From Toronto Building:

Toronto Building's role in this is to review the permit drawings and to do inspections of the work to ensure compliance with the Building Code. Inspections have been conducted with the engineer and contractor. Toronto Building has also received progress reports from the engineer, which are being provided during the various stages of remediation. There were a number of mechanical systems and fire separation issues that were identified when the remedial work was being done and further investigations in November/December 2018. These were inspected and required issuance of a further permit to amend the scope of work in February 2019. Our latest progress report was received March 21st 2019. The City's Senior Inspector is inspecting the work in addition to requesting status updates from the engineer.

There are no provisions in the Building Code or Building Code Act that would facilitate the city's jurisdictional authority powers to impose construction schedules when work is done under permit and is in progress. Powers to impose deadlines are only limited for certain types of repairs, mainly structural and life safety when the building remains occupied and under an unsafe order. These powers are used to order the engineers on site to prepare damage reports and provide remedial work scopes. The current, ongoing repairs to 650 Parliament Street do not fall under that category.

Toronto Building's role is to ensure the proposed construction work complies with the (Ontario) Building Code from both a plan review and inspection perspective, when the construction work does not follow the permit drawings, or does not comply with provisions in the Building Code, depending on the severity, Toronto Building may issue orders respecting non-compliance should the work not be corrected.

Toronto Building will investigate all types of building or construction related complaints to determine if there are violations/concerns.  Those that require enforcement under Toronto Building jurisdiction will be. Those that fall outside of Toronto Building's authority will be referred to the agencies/City Divisions that have enforcement jurisdiction. If there is a concern about the work that is occurring, tenants can contact Toronto Building through 311 ([email protected]).

As a general practice, Toronto Building initially try to get voluntary compliance for all types of building/construction related complaints in addition to making the referrals. In the event that justified complaints/issues are not addressed by the responsible parties, Toronto Building will make further referrals and or follow up on referrals when made aware of  the non-compliance.

Common complaints that Toronto Building would investigate include:

  • Non-compliance with the Building Code
  • General site conditions – material storage, fencing etc. (working with Municipal Licensing and Standards)

Municipal Licensing and Standards would investigate the following:

  • Property Standards issues
  • Contractor Licensing

Toronto Fire Services would review existing exiting/life safety issues as a result of poor maintenance in tandem with Toronto Building should building permits be required.

Some issues are the responsibility of the property owner, including:

  • Time to effect the work and facilitate re-occupancy
  • Site Security

Should residents have concerns about unsafe work practices, they should contact the Ministry of Labour – Construction Health and Safety.

If tenants have concerns respecting their landlord, they may wish to bring their concerns to the Landlord and Tennant Board. The City also has a web page on tenant rights/responsibilities, there are contact numbers and links to external agencies for additional information.


Next update: May 1, 2019.

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