News / Toronto

Toronto proposes to propose regulations for Airbnb

The city's first ever staff report on short-term rentals recommends doing more research and consultations before deciding anything.

The report includes new data on the scope of Toronto short-term rentals from Airbnb itself. According to the site there were 12,260 rentals in September.

AFP file Photo

The report includes new data on the scope of Toronto short-term rentals from Airbnb itself. According to the site there were 12,260 rentals in September.

Toronto has taken a first, albeit small, step towards regulating Airbnb and other short-term rental sites.

While cities like New York, San Francisco and Vancouver have proposed or implemented policies limiting short-term rentals, Toronto just published an initial report on the matter Wednesday.

Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam, who asked staff to look into short-term rentals last year, called the report a “good starting place for discussion,” but said she was hoping it would arrive sooner.

“Largely because the pressures are being felt in the neighbourhoods, as well as in the condominium buildings,” she said.

“The pressures are being felt by tenants being asked to leave by their landlords as their homes are being converted to Airbnb rentals, the pressures are being felt by mid-range hotels.”

The report, which goes to executive committee Oct. 26, calls for more research and public consultation before any regulations are proposed.

Airbnb public policy manager Alex Dagg said the company is pleased Toronto is moving towards an “inclusive consultation process on home sharing,” and is looking forward to participating.

Thorben Wieditz, a researcher with Unite Here Local 75, which represents hospitality workers, applauded the report and said he was “not too concerned about Toronto lagging behind other jurisdictions.”

In fact, Toronto now has “the luxury of learning from other cities” about how best to tackle the issue, Weiditz said.

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