Backgrounder: TCHC removal of window air conditioners

As part of its commitment to the health and safety of tenants, staff and visitors to its buildings, Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) will no longer permit tenants to install window air conditioners, except where they are contained within a balcony. 

How TCHC is changing its policy:

  • Currently, a Toronto Community Housing tenant must get written permission to install a window air conditioner in their home.
  • Effective immediately, Toronto Community Housing will no longer provide this permission for air conditioners in windows that are not contained within a balcony.
  • The changes apply to all existing and new tenants. TCHC will not allow tenants who have already removed their air conditioners for the season to re-install them except in a window that is contained within a balcony

Removal and replacement program:

  • Work began on November 28, 2019 in multi-storey buildings to remove window air conditioners that are not contained within a balcony. This work will be completed before December 25. Work to remove air conditioners from townhomes will begin shortly thereafter.
  • TCHC is asking for the understanding and cooperation of all tenants as it removes those window air conditioning units. 
  • TCHC advises that tenants should not try to remove window air conditioners on their own. The crews hired by TCHC will remove the units safely and make any needed repairs to the window.
  • Expanded air conditioner replacement program
  • Under an expansion of its window air conditioner exchange program, TCHC will replace every window unit that it removes at this time with an energy-efficient, floor-mounted model unit, at no cost to tenants, in time for the 2020 cooling season.
  • TCHC plans to extend the exchange program to tenants in multi-storey buildings and townhomes who have already removed a window air conditioner not contained within a balcony.
  • TCHC is expanding its air conditioner exchange program across its portfolio. For the past two years, the program has been offered only at buildings where window replacement work was being done.
  • To date, the exchange program has replaced 3,500 window air conditioners with new, energy-efficient floor-model air conditioners, at no charge to tenants.
  • TCHC's goal is to eventually replace all window air conditioners, including those over a balcony, with floor-model air conditioners. Floor models provide more cooling and are safer, quieter and more energy efficient

How the air conditioner removal and exchange program will work:

  • Affected tenants will receive 24-hours' notice that technicians will be coming to remove window air conditioners and make any needed window repairs.
  • Once removed from the window and, with the tenant's agreement, the technicians will remove the window unit from the tenant's home.
  • TCHC will commit to exchange each removed window air conditioner for a new floor model air conditioning unit, which will be distributed in time for the 2020 cooling season.  There is no cost to the tenant.
  • TCHC is encouraging all tenants to participate in this exchange at the time they are removed, so the removed units can be safely recycled.


About Toronto Community Housing:

Toronto Community Housing is Canada's largest social housing provider. We are owned by the City of Toronto and provide homes for nearly 60,000 low- and moderate-income households in more than 100 of the city's neighbourhoods. Our 2,100 buildings represent a $10-billion public asset.

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