Use of Non-Residential Space Policy

Policies and programs

Use of Non-Residential Space Policy


Download a PDF version of the policy for tenants ​ | Download a PDF version of the policy for agencies


Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that non-residential space in TCHC communities is used to build vibrant communities and promote positive tenant experience. To do this, the policy

  • clarifies the process for booking or renting non-residential space by tenant, tenant-led groups and agency
  • ensures that use of non-residential space serves the needs of tenants and supports Toronto Community Housing’s strategic objectivesis, and
  • promotes good tenant/customer service-focus, accountability, equity, inclusivity, transparency, community empowerment, community improvement and sustainability for Toronto Community Housing.

Scope​

This policy applies to all non-residential space in Toronto Community Housing’s communities. It outlines a clear and fair process for individuals and groups booking non-residential space for short term or long term use, including rental fees and damage deposits where applicable.

This policy applies to anyone who wants to book non-residential space, including tenants, tenant groups, TCHC staff, members of the community or neighbourhood, political representatives, community agencies and organizations. TCHC communities often include several tenant groups, including tenant associations, social clubs, interest groups, cultural groups and others. Tenants and tenant groups can book space in any TCHC community, not just their own building.

This policy applies to non-residential space in communities managed by TCHC, and to communities run by property management services.


This policy does not cover requests for:

  • Tenant Community Fund
  • Repairs and renovation, or
  • Tenant priority transfer.

These requests must be directed to the OU manager.

If Tenant Councils or communities seek to generate new sources of revenue using TCH assets and/or increasing costs to TCH (such as utility costs), permission must be granted by TCH.


Definitions

Community Space: Common space within a Toronto Community Housing building that is not designated for commercial, retail or industrial use. Community space is always the main (usually the largest) or only common space in a Toronto Community Housing building. 

Community Event: A one-time event that is open to all tenants; that is free or charges a nominal fee; and where the activities and purpose of the event are to provide tenant support and/or engagement.  

Exclusive Use of Space: Use of commercial or recreational space by an agency where it is the sole occupant for a defined period of time to provide programs, services, and activities that benefit tenants and which support Toronto Community Housing’s strategic priorities as outlined in our Strategic Plan. 

Non-Exclusive Use of Space: Shared use of by tenants, tenant-led groups, and agencies at various times of the day or week on a recurring basis to provide programs, services, and activities that benefit tenants and which support Toronto Community Housing’s strategic priorities as outlined in our Strategic Plan. 

Non-Residential Space: Space within a Toronto Community Housing building that is used for purposes other than providing residential housing. All non-residential space is further designated into one of the following categories: 

  • Community space;
  • Recreational space; or
  • Commercial space.
One-Time Use of Space: Use of non-residential space by a tenant or tenant-led groups for a defined, nonrecurring, time period for a: 
  • Private event;or
  • Community event

Private Event: A one-time event that is not open to all tenants or the public such as a birthday party or a wedding. Only tenants or tenant-led groups are permitted to use non-residential space for private events. 

Recreational Space: Space within a Toronto Community building that is not designated for commercial, retail or industrial purposes. Recreational space is supplementary to community space, and is not the main or only common space in a Toronto Community Housing building. 

Residential Space: Space that is used for residential housing pursuant to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, SO 2006 c 17 (the “RTA”), as amended from time to time. 

Commercial Space: Space within a Toronto Community Housing building that is designated by Toronto Community Housing for commercial, retail or industrial use, which permits commercial or mercantile activity and can be leased out in exchange for rental revenue. Commercial space is not available to tenants or tenant-led groups for use under this Policy.


Principles

This policy will be guided by the following principles:

  • Space in TCH communities can only be used for activities which adhere to the Ontario Human Rights Code and do not break any laws.
  • Access to common space will be fair and equitable.
  • All individuals and groups must follow the same process to reserve or rent space.
  • Requests will be considered on a first-come-first-served basis, but will be flexible to accommodate unforeseen or changing needs. For example, a regular Tuesday night euchre may be rescheduled to allow for a culturally significant celebration.
  • Events that generate rental income will not receive any particular priority.

Responsibilities

Toronto Community Housing is responsible for allocation and decision-making for use of non-residential space. Tenant and Community Services Division, in consultation with Asset Management Division, Fire Life Safety & Risk Management Department and Commercial Business Unit, are tasked with assessment and approval of use of non-residential space across the TCHC portfolio.


Insurance Requirements

Agencies
All agencies using non-residential space must obtain the appropriate insurance and provide proof of insurance coverage. 

All agencies entering into a use of space agreement must: 
   1. Obtain $5,000,000 commercial general liability insurance coverage for the event or recurring events; 
   2. Include Toronto Community Housing Corporation as additional named insured on the policy for liability arising out of the                 insured’s operations;
   3. Provide Toronto Community Housing with a certificate of insurance as proof of the above coverage at least 30 days prior to           event or first date of a recurring event  or as otherwise advised by Toronto Community Housing; and
   4. Maintain the insurance coverage for the full duration of the use of space agreement.

Tenants and/or Tenant-Led Groups 
All tenants and tenant-led groups using community or recreational space must obtain valid and appropriate insurance as required by Toronto Community Housing and provide proof of coverage for the duration of the term of the use of space agreement. Tenants and tenant-led groups are required to have insurance coverage before entering into a use of space agreement. 

Eligibility for Toronto Community Housing’s Insurance Coverage 
Tenants and tenant-led groups entering into use of space agreements for community events may be eligible for coverage under Toronto Community Housing’s insurance policy. 

To be considered for eligibility, the tenant or tenant-led group must submit a completed application to use non-residential space to Toronto Community Housing’s Fire Life Safety & Risk Management Department for review and consideration at least 30 days prior to the event or first date of a recurring event or as otherwise advised by Toronto Community Housing.


Ineligibility for Toronto Community Housing’s Insurance Coverage
Private events are not eligible for coverage under Toronto Community Housing’s Insurance Coverage. The tenant or tenant-led group is required to obtain the appropriate insurance and provide proof of insurance coverage before using community or recreational space. 

How to book a space

You must book space two weeks before your event to allow enough time for processing. This means that you must give TCH your application form and applicable fees/damage deposit 14 days before the event. If the event is urgent or unforeseen, exceptions can be made.

Applicant Procedure

Step 1: Get a Use of Space Application Form

Applicants can get the form in the following places:

  • Toronto Community Housing Corporation website: www.torontohousing.ca
  • Local Operating Unit Office
  • Local Community Services Coordinators
  • Superintendent
  • Property Manager
  • Site Staff
  • help@torontohousing.ca
  • Call Client Care Centre at 416-981-5500 and request to have it forwarded by email or regular mail

 

Step 2: Complete the Application Form

If applicants have questions when completing the form, they can contact the following for support and assistance:

 

Step 3: Submit the Application Form

Applicants can submit the completed form to any of the following:

  • Local Operating Unit Office
  • Local Community Service Coordinators
  • TCS-UseofSpace@torontohousing.ca

After Step 1-3, Toronto Community Housing Corporation will begin the internal review process for the submitted application.

Step 4: Download the Application Form


Fee Guidelines

These fees are only a guide. Each OU or building may adapt these fees.


​​What kind of Event ​Fee ​Damage Deposit
Community Event (open to all tenants)
  • Community party
  • Community meeting
  • Memorial/life celebration
$0 ​$0
Private Event (not open to all tenants)
  • Children's events 
  • Adult events
  • Birthday parties
  • Retirement parties
$75
$75
Private Event (not open to all tenants)
  • Weddings or receptions
​$250
​$300


The OU Tenant Community Fund

  • About the OU Tenant Community Fund
  • Request Form
  • Approval Form​

About the OU Tenant Community Fund

The OU Tenant Community Fund is money from rental of common space in all building in the OU. It can be used to support initiatives and activities that help build healthy communities. Tenant groups can apply. The OU Tenant Council in each community decides which requests will get money.

Here are some examples of things that could get money:

  • equipment or material to support and invest in tenant activities or programs, recognizing the cultural diversity of the tenants
  • training and development for tenants and tenant groups. For example, learning how to deal with conflict, how to raise money, how to do advocacy, how to bring people together, how to cook, and how to do First Aid or CPR.
  • equipment and supplies to support programs in buildings, such as dining together and peer support groups.

How to Apply for OU Tenant Community Funds

  • Step 1 Fill in the Request Form. Make sure you include all of the information it asks for. If you do not include everything, it could take longer to make a decision about your request.
  • Step 2 Attach copies of anything that will support your request. For example, copies of invoices or estimates.
  • Step 3 Make a copy of your request. Keep the copy.
  • Step 4 Hand in your Request Form. You can give it to your Tenant Representative, building staff, or your COU office.

What will happen to my request?

Your OU Tenant Council will review your request. They will write to tell you their decision.

If the OU Tenant Council does not approve your request, you can appeal.

Write to them and say why they should look at your request aga​in. Give your letter to your OU Tenant Council.


Want more information?

Contact your Tenant Representative or Community Services Coordinator/Community Health Promoter​

Tenant Council Fund Request Form 2018 [PDF]