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Dec 11, 1999|Article

Condominiums of all Shapes, Sizes and Forms

Introduction

In the 1960’s condominiums were a novel alternative for home ownership. Today condominiums account for 33% of all new homes built in Ontario. The ‘rise’ of condominiums has many reasons, most notably, rapid urban growth.

Condominiums have become so widespread, they have literally blended into the fabric of our towns and cities. As with their numbers, condominiums now come in various shapes and sizes, only defying the creativity of their builders. High and low rise, town-homes, duplexes, row homes, detached & semi-detached condominiums dot the landscape. Even their application defies uniformity, as they can serve the residential, commercial and industrial segments with ease. These condominiums, however varied, traditionally shared one major similarity. Until recently, they were all ‘standard condominiums’, comprised of units owned by unit owners, with appurtenant common elements owned by the condominium corporation at large, of which the units owners were ‘shareholders’ of.

Like our province’s urban growth, even the ‘traditional model’ of a condominium, is undergoing change. Like their physical variations, The Condominium Act, 1998, S.O. 1998, c.19; (“the Act”), now permits four new types of condominiums. With these changes condominiums now come in many shapes, sizes and now, forms.

Condominiums are now divided into two categories being ‘freeholds’ and ‘leaseholds’, with the majority of condominiums falling into the former. Freehold is a legal term that means that the owner owns his or her land absolutely and without a fixed duration. Leasehold means, conversely, that absolute ownership is not conveyed and there is a fixed duration to the use.

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Robert Mullin