Toronto’s Buildings are a disaster waiting to happen?

If the followings are anything to go by, then homes and buildings in Toronto are a disaster waiting to happen …

Toronto’s glass condos are burning thermal holes in the sky

Greenhouse-gas-leaking towers setting us up for climate change fail

According to City’s TransformTO plan, we’ll all be living near accessible fossil-fuel-free transit, tossing our waste into tiny garbage bins and getting 75 per cent of our energy from renewable sources, and all our homes, condos and apartments will be retrofitted to become lean, clean greenhouse-gas–saving machines.

But in a city where half our greenhouse gas emissions now come from leaky buildings, the glass condo boom may be setting us up for failure.

Here is the glaring reality: many glass towers and other hastily built condos are falling apart faster than the old concrete giants – springing leaks, facing high repair bills and prompting lawsuits.

They’re also greenhouse-gas-emitting giant thermal holes. Anyone living in a glass box knows that all those windows have them cranking the thermostat in the winter  to keep warm and blasting the AC in summer to keep from getting heat stroke.

Falling glass hits woman on Bay St – The Star

Read more at Now Toronto

Next, on Fire Risks and the London Inferno, the question asked was,

Can A Similar Fire Happen In Toronto?

While the City officials informed catastrophe like London Inferno will not happen because here in Toronto, we have stringent “Building Code”, “Building Standard”, or “Building Materials” …We asked,

What if the “Building Code” is not followed?

Answer: Complete Silence So far.

The next thing we know is …

Every Single Building Tested After Grenfell Tower Has Failed Cladding Safety Checks

Every single high-rise building tested – 120 in total – since the Grenfell Tower disaster has failed a fire safety check on its cladding, Theresa May has confirmed.

100% Failed Safety Test!

The prime minister told the House of Commons that 120 buildings in 37 different local authorities across the UK have now been tested, with a 100% failure rate, as the government struggles to deal with the aftermath of this month’s devastating fire at the building in west London.

May said she understood that the material that was failing the tests was not compliant with building regulations. As a result of the 100% failure rate, she said local authorities “should not wait for test results” and should instead “get on with the job of fire safety tests” on all at-risk buildings.

At least Brits are honest about it and take immediate action to rectify the situation.

Teresa May is admirable.

In Toronto?

Action has been demanded repeatedly to eliminate on this fire hazards (reported eon ago)so as not to continue to pose any further life risks to the general public.
There have been no action so far, not unlike the London Inferno – Tenants’ repeated warnings to landlord fell on ‘deaf ears‘.
On a related note, we understand the City endorsed condo constructed out of wood …

Wood buildings reaching higher

Liberty Village, just west of Toronto’s core … is to build a midrise out of wood framing!

We knew wood rots, we knew wood burns, what we don’t know is what is going to happen couple of decade down to road – when these wooden buildings are ready to be gutted?

How do you move hundreds or thousands of families around? Who is going to pay for … etc. etc. etc.

Anyway, all we know there is no ancient building/ruins left bahind that is made of wood.  So, is the “wooden idea” a temporary measure to solve housing shortage?

How much is the wooden condo selling for? Betcha it is going to sell for the same price (as the concrete ones).

If so, why even use wood in the first place?

Apparently, it’s Donald Trump. We better tell President Trump this is a fake new, lest we invite the wrath of God?

Canadian real estate is doomed with Cover-Up, Censorship and Clampdown on Free Speech

Today, we heard someone has been charged by Toronto Police for exposing City’s scandals (details to follow …).

We will save Civil Liberty for the next topic.

The first question we have in mind is how will this impact real estate in Canada?

If you are one of the deep-pockets, will you park your money in a place where corruption is rampant?

Guess the answer is pretty straight forward – NO.

We know rich people like those from China moved their wealth abroad is because they don’t trust their corrupt regime. Similarly for deep-pockets from elsewhere, particularly those from the third world do it for the same reason  – they don’t trust their own corrupted backyard. Where law is toilet-roll scripts, so to speak.

In another word, your guarantee is as good as your political connections. Once that is gone (and it will be gone in a matter of time), whatever you own will be subjected to whim-ridden rule of men ie. the new power-that-be.

Why? Because in Corruptland, “Rule of Law is only for fun, whim-ridden Rule of Men is the reality“.

The fact that if speech is policed, information of public interest is censored, matters affecting the public is covered up, it will simply mean corruption in Canada is as real as the sun will rise from east.

Dear Deep-Pockets,

Will you park your money in a highly corrupted place and still sleep soundly at night?

Unless they have a reason to do so eg. they’re a part of the corrupted family, they have nowhere else to park their money, it’s only a temporary measure, etc. Guess no sane mind will say yes.

In another word, we are digging our own graveyard by disregarding law, cover-up wrongdoings, and censoring information of public interest.

This is not the constitutional foundation of Canada … If there is no corrective measures, Canada will go to the dogs.

No wonder we got this message from the Conservatives (we used to think they must be kidding, that things like this can only happen in Voodooland, not in a developed nation),

“Dear Canadians,

They police speech. They are shutting down events. They attack professors and guest speakers.

All across North America, free speech is under attack.

And sadly, it is under attack at the one place it should be most celebrated: universities.

Far from bastions of free speech and new ideas, universities are now often where free speech goes to die, as events are regularly shut down by perpetually offended protesters.

This is wrong.

During my campaign I spoke about the need for Canadian universities to foster free-flowing dialogue and debate.

Once elected, I will withhold federal grants from universities that won’t respect a diversity of viewpoints.

We believe universities should be a place for education – a place where young adults can learn to think for themselves by being presented with alternative opinions and ideas.

We don’t believe it should be a place that allows healthy debate to be shut down because it’s a topic someone, somewhere might disagree with.

Free speech matters and should be allowed everywhere – including on university campuses!

Sincerely,

Andrew Scheer
Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada”

________________

This can’t be the kind impression our Liberals government wanted – that the Liberals are no longer “liberal” but some kind of “Totalitarian Monster”?.

If so, God save Canadians … the country has gone to dogs.

Related: –

Why London Inferno will happen in Toronto – Part 3

Is Toronto Fire ready and capable of handling a massive fire like the London Inferno?

Secret report reveals fire response problems

Toronto firefighters have no access to critical building information, a secret consultant’s report says.

Unlike most fire services, Toronto firefighters speeding to a call have no access to critical building information like the location of water, firefighting equipment or hazardous materials, a secret consultant’s report says.

Grenfell Tower On Fire

The Star, which exposed tardy response time to some blazes last year, obtained the $150,000 report under municipal freedom of information legislation. Key portions are blacked out – 53 of 157 pages and numerous other pages are censored… What kind of Free of Information is this?

Here’s what the Star has learned from uncensored areas of the report.

  • Toronto Fire is taking too long to answer calls, process the information and dispatch firefighters. Details on how slow they are have been blacked out in the report.
  • Unlike most fire services, Toronto firefighters enroute to a fire call have no access to critical building information like the location of water firefighting equipment or hazardous materials
  • The fire service has outdated equipment for dispatching firefighters, which slows response time.
  • Fire Service management lacks a “quality assurance system” to track problems within its own system.

The incident prompted local police to warn citizens to “be careful about what you post on social media so as not to victimize an innocent person.”

Toronto Fire Chief Bill Stewart originally told the Star of the existence of the consultant’s report, but then said the Toronto Fire Services Quality Assurance Review “may have privacy implications” and it could only be accessed by making a request to the city of Toronto. The Star did that, waited a month for a response, then paid $22 to the city for a 127 page report that was heavily censored.

The consultant’s review was completed in December 2009 but never made public.

The censored report is tantalizing where it should be transparent. For example, on page 10 the consultant describes his analysis of one year of fire response data from 2008. A large paragraph is removed.

What exactly is “occurring” is blacked out. On the next page, nearly half the words are covered.

Pages 98-102 – “Recommendations” – are blacked out.

One area that escaped the censor deals with the lack of information Toronto fire crews have when they head out on a call.

“Instant access to building information is a feature of many contemporary systems and the lack of this in Toronto is a concern,” the report states. The report describes the importance of dispatchers and fire fire crews having electronic access to location of the “standpipe” (pipe outside a building that acts as a hydrant); location of hazardous materials; backup firefighting equipment; gas shut off points; location of the firefighter’s elevator; and building plans.

The City of Toronto, in censoring the report, applied several exemptions. While the people of Toronto cannot read specific problems with their own fire service, the report quotes openly from other reports – one by a consultant and the other by a state agency – on tardy dispatch systems in Vermont and Washington, D.C.

This may be an archived story, it shows there is NO FREEDOM OF INFORMATION after all.

The star in the old days used to practice classy journalism like this article. Today? We rather reserve our comment … See their news to judge for yourself.

Here is another archived story of interest …

Toronto Inferno

The Great Fire Of Toronto In 1904

A little over 100 years ago on a bitterly cold and windy spring night, a fire swept through the downtown destroying a huge swath of the city’s commercial heart.

On the 19th of April, 1904, a large section of downtown Toronto burned for nine hours.

Street map of downtown Toronto showing the buildings that were affected by the fire of 1904.

Map showing the area of Toronto affected by the fire of 1904. Bay Street from the Esplanade to Miranda Street (just south of King Street) was the hardest hit. At the time, this was called the Wholesale District of the city.

Aftermath, Bay street, April 1904.

Image result for The Great Fire of Toronto 1904

Historical photo of Bay street after the 1904 fire in Toronto. There are people on the street. The street is all mud. There are many burned out buildings on both sides of the streets. Brick facing of two to four storey buildings is all that remains.

As a result of the fire, 5000 people were left without a job. In 1904, the population of Toronto was about 200,000 so the loss of employment on this scale had a profound impact on the city.

The original imaged are kept at the City of Toronto Archives, located on Spadina Road., just north of Dupont Street.

More images of the London Inferno

Grenfell Tower Engulfed By Fire

Yet another Toronto Fire story …

Why Ontario’s paramedics don’t want firefighters performing emergency care

The Ontario firefighters association wants the province to allow firefighters to perform some of the duties of paramedics. 

While that sounds perfectly logical to some, many municipalities and paramedics are hopping mad. They call the proposal a brazen attempt to protect incredibly costly firefighter salaries at a time of dwindling fires.

“It doesn’t seem like a good use of taxpayer dollars.” says Corey Nageleisen, member of the CUPE Ambulance Committee of Ontario.

Nageleisen warns that given the long shifts firefighters work—24 hours, in contrast to the 12-hour shift Nageleisen had worked the day before speaking with TVO.org – public safety could actually be put at risk by overly-tired firefighters attempting to administer medical care.

“When crime goes up we pay more for police. When fire risk goes up we spend more on fire service. EMS calls are going up, so we pay more for firefighters? It doesn’t make sense.”

Paramedics argue they are better trained to handle medical emergencies than other first responders, and that it is much more cost effective to send a two-person ambulance than a four-person fire truck to help someone in distress.

Historically, paramedics have not received the same level of funding as fire and police services. For Nageleisen, that makes any proposal to let firefighters do the work of paramedics tantamount to an insult.

At this year’s annual meeting of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, outgoing president Gary McNamara warned that police and fire service payrolls are already straining municipal budgets, and adding paramedic services to the fire payroll would make matters worse.

“Police and firefighters are the most highly-paid employees we have, and they should be. But we can’t pay them increases at the expense of other services that keep our communities safe and healthy,” McNamara said.

Of particular concern is that, if the province allows the hypothetical use of firefighters as paramedics, municipalities could be forced into it by the binding arbitration that governs police and fire labour negotiations.

Read more at TVO.org

__________________

Related: –

Why London Inferno will happen in Toronto – Part 2

When it comes to fire prevention, media in Canada basically take comments by local experts at face value ie. because we have Building Code in place, catastophe similar to Grenfell Tower a.k.a the London Inferno has no chance to take place.

TRUE or FALSE?

First, let’s take a look at what the media say,

London’s fire symptomatic of larger safety issues globally, experts warn

“One of the reasons is the technology that is now being used in building materials and building fabrics has outstripped the codes and standards in practice… CTV News

London fire: Cladding blamed for inferno’s rapid spread restricted in Canada

All exterior cladding materials for buildings higher than four storeys must be tested for fire resistance and comply with strict standards… Globalnews.ca

 

Lessons of the Grenfell blaze: How can Canada’s thousands of aging towers be kept safe?

“This requires a careful review of building codes, of approved materials,” said Graeme Stewart of ERA Architects, a specialist in the renewal of modern apartment towers… The Globe and Mail

 

Canadian building code designed to guard against fires like London blaze

Shoddy cladding may be the culprit behind London’s Grenfell Tower fire, which left 79 dead or missing. While the U.K. doesn’t mandate fire-retardant material, Canadian regulations prevent the issue—at least in theory… CanadianManufacturing.com

Conclusion so far,

As you can see, the standard answer is “Building Code”, “Building Standard”, or “Building Materials” – repeatedly quoted throughout all the reports.

Is it true that “Building Code” or “Building Materials” alone can guarantee similar fire will not happen?

Probably true to certain extend … (Please bear in mind that “Building code” usually means the “bare minimum standard”, a slight defect here means there will be no more “protection”).

However, the codes are not much of an issue. The real issue is …

What if the “Building Code” is not followed?

Here is classic case where neither “Building Code” nor “Fire Code” is followed: –

No compliance at all?

YES, Totally NOT Compliant with the Fire/Building Codes. In fact, also violates City bylaw and safety related law of all jurisdictions.

Surprised?

Anyway, we will also touch on how such third world phenomenon may scare away foreign money in our next exposé.

Meanwhile, CBC asked …

Do you know the fire code?

How do you expect ordinary folk to know Fire Code or Building Code, when the responsible Fire Prevention personnel also not that well-versed with the Building Code/Fire Code … as in this case: –

Here is a fairer reporting,

‘Major fail:’ Cladding blamed in Grenfell Tower fire wouldn’t pass Canadian safety tests

But in Canada, strict rules on the use of cladding make it unlikely, though not impossible, that a similar tragedy could occur here, industry experts say… CBC.ca

 

At least it is reported as “though not impossible“.

More about Grenfell Tower a.k.a the tragic London Inferno: –

_______________

Related: –

London Inferno – “Posing Fire Risks & Killing A Few Is Okay”

By E. Tan

UPDATE: In relation to my previous articles,

Why London Inferno will happen in Toronto” and  “Ontario: Fire Code refers to Building Code to determine building safety”,

Public Fire Hazards Allowed By City Of Toronto – “Illegal Extension – Fire Hazards”,

Just like the tragic London Inferno, we believe the existing fire hazards are ‘disaster waiting to happen’. Appeals to get the City of Toronto to address the anticipated safety risks has so far fell on ‘deaf ears‘. It is for this reason, I commented “Why London Inferno will happen in Toronto“.

Before proceeding with Toronto Building Scandal, some controversial comments from couple of “readers” popped up at a social media. And to my astonishment, their argument basically suggests (in the event of a fire outbreak),

“Killing A Few Is No Parallel To Mass Murder”

and,

“Posing Life Risks To A Small Group People Is Okay” 

Credit: iHuffPost UK

Of course, these are not the exact words of the comments. This is nevertheless the context of their argument.

The readers believe that the “Illegal Extension – Fire Hazards” in question is no big deal, no “parallel” to major apartment/condo development (in term of fire/life risks),

Reader 1:

“The city is lax about a dinky 2-3 foot porch does not necessarily translate into them being lax about a major apartment/condo development. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if it were the case that some buildings aren’t up to code, I imagine they at least take a more stringent approach to them.
If someone wants to make the claim that our infrastructure is unsafe, I’ll need a bit more than the city taking it easy on a structure the size of a porta-potty.”

Reader 2:

“Lol, I felt the same .. it all boiled down to the damn porch and the developed belief that this existence somehow means laws and codes are ignored willfully which will somehow tie into a high rise tower burning up. Couldn’t make it all the way through it though.”

My respond as follows: –

1. Why the illegal structure is hazardous to the general public?

The “damn porch” is leaning on a wood fence. In the event of fire, it will spread to all the neighbours. And all dwellings in the neighbourhood are connected with wood fences ie. all the neighbours are potential victims of a fire outbreak.

If such fire risks are allowed on our neighbourhood, what makes you think the same wouldn’t happen to folks of a towering condo?

Have you tried burning a 3/4″ wood plank before? If you did, you should know thin dry wood board is highly flammable. It practically burns like cardboard.

2. On the scale of the illegal structure – “Dinky/Porta-Potty” 

Let’s see if your “parallel” make any sense or not?

If you are talking in term of scale, I probably can agree burning down a few dozens of houses is no “parallel” to BBQ-ing hundred of poor souls in a condo tower. That’s if you are looking at the situation solely from the perspective of number of casualties only.

However, the crime is the same. Because killing one person is no less criminal than killing ten people. Murdering lesser number of people simply does not make the wrong or atrocity any less criminal.

This will lead us back to the fundamental question – The scale.

In your argument, you believe “the city may lax on (enforcing safety prevention of) a “dinky 2-3 foot porch”, but they won’t lax lax on major apartment/condo development”. That’s to say,

3. Petty Criminals Will Never Commit Serious Crimes

If the city can lax on smaller scaled fire hazards, what makes you think they won’t lax on major apartment/condo development?

Isn’t like saying if one steals an apple, one will never ever steal anything more valuable? Conventional wisdom tells us if one knowingly and wilfully committed a crime, and if nothing is done, one is likely to commit more and bolder crimes.

Crux of the matter is the City does not respect the very law that it wants everyone else to obey.

4. Why Compliance With Law Is Necessary?

Let’s take a quick look why there is law in the first place?

In a free society each and every man lives under a rule of law, as opposed to a whim-ridden rule of men.

Such a rule of law has only one purpose: to protect the rights of the smallest minority that has ever existed — the individual.

And the main purpose of building codes is to protect public health, safety and general welfare as they relate to the construction and occupancy of buildings and structures… Wikepedia

In essence,

i) Fundamentally, law exists to protect the “minority/individual”,

Why so? Because these are the most vulnerable people, as compared to say an institution like the City of Toronto, which has hundred of lawyers at their disposal (and ironically, funded by the same vulnerable folk  ie. taxpayers).

Question:

Instead of correcting a wrong, is it tenable for the City to defend the wrong by deploying phenomenal public resources against individual folks?

If such a scenario is not an ABUSE to the highest degree, I wonder what is?

ii) Safety is the main purpose/focus of law.

In this case, trust you will agree the law (Fire Code/Building) is enacted to protect safety of all of us, the ordinary folk.

For the same reasoning, isn’t it akin to “whim-ridden rule of men” if compliance of safety law is enforced “selectively” and “biasedly”? If so, what is the point of having any law at all? And again, what makes you think the same catastrophe will never happen to highrises under such circumstances?

While I may accept there are circumstances where law compliance may be exempted. But only if it is for a good reason eg. for the good of society. Certainly not when there is no publicly tenable reason at all eg. for the benefits of a selected few “privileged” people.

As an analogy, tell me what do you think will happen to the society, say an officer gives you a ticket for speeding, but the officer himself is spared from getting a ticket when he is caught speeding (at even higher speed)? Unfortunately, this is the kind of “parallel” known and tolerated by the existing City adminsitration. And there is simply no recourse which folk may pursue as in the case of the fire hazards.

BTW, do you see accidents like “Glass falling from the sky” as a “dinky” issue as well?

Reader 1 followed up with a rebuttal:-

I’m commenting on what was in the article, which says nothing about falling glass. As far as I know the issue of falling glass was not the result of noncompliance, but a result of the building codes themselves, which were only recently updated in 2016 to address the issue–and they only apply to new constructions.

That said, I find the article unconvincing. Even if this patio would go up like a matchstick, I’m not seeing the parallel to what happened in London. If the author had some evidence that the houses are also poorly constructed and unsafe that would be something–since people actually live in them–and the fire would spread rapidly and dangerously through the actual areas where people live.

What happened in London was a horribly tragedy. This guy’s patio burning down in half a second is not even close.

At the very least to take any of this seriously I would have to see some evidence that the main structure of the houses are unsafe. For a real parallel I would have to see some real evidence that high-rise constructions are being built without properly following fire safety codes.

I followed up with a respond as below: –

Thanks for explaining the context of your comment.

First of all, you do sound like you’re in the building business since you appear to know the “Faling Glass” issue very well. Ordinary folks like me didn’t even know half of what you have mentioned. For example, I didn’t know the revised building code is only applicable to new constructions. Whereby I do believe this particular policy is flawed.

I believe exempting ALL existing buildings from complying with the new safety code is wrong. Unless there is empirical evidence to suggest glasses of existing buildings are safe, the exemption may just potentially lead to similar accidents from recurring.

On a related note, I understand the responsible Chief Building official is an urban planner by training. While I can see zoning examination is part of Toronto Building jobs, which obviously requires zoning knowledge. However, I imagine it may make better sense to have an all rounded hands-on technologist with solid engineering background to head the building division. By doing so, perhaps incidents like the “Falling Glass” could have been spotted and prevented before it even have a chance to occur?

After all, we already have a celebrity urban planner as our Chief Planner. And the fact that practically all new housing these days are highrises, which obviously requires a lot more engineering than ever – Big stuffs need serious engineering. And as such, I imagine a hands-on engineer is probably more suited for the building business rather than a planner. What say you?

Similarly, if law compliance is lax or not enforced on certain “privileged” properties, what make you think the same won’t happen to the highrises? Isn’t such prejudiced practice akin to “whim-ridden rule of men”?  If so, what is the point of having any law at all?

If the author had some evidence that the houses are also poorly constructed and unsafe that would be something…

The evidence is enshrined right in the Building Code itself, which dictates in layman’s terms: –

“Any opening (window/door) less than 1.2m (4ft) from the border/fence must have fire protection eg. Fire Curtain, and be constructed with non-combustible materials that have certain fire rating (that can withstand fire for certain amount of time) eg. Masonry Bricks.”

Reference: O. Reg. 332/12: BUILDING CODE under Building Code Act, 1992, S.O. 1992, c. 23  9.10.14.4. Openings in Exposing Building Face (1) & (2)

This particular building code requirement is enacted for a good (scientific) reason – Otherwise there will be unacceptable fire risks to the neighbouring buildings.

Any doubt, please consult the Ministry of Municipal Affairs – the building code is their baby. The City’s duty is to execute & ensure compliance – which they have failed to do so in this case.

Actually, you may also find the answer here: –

  • The City is fully aware of the safety hazards, Because,
  • The safety and bylaw violations have been duly investigated and never refuted by all the relevant parties. And,
  • The only question we asked the City is as simple as “Is the structure/extension safe and legal?”.

Why do you think they City is in complete silence and couldn’t refute the “allegations” at all? Mind you, the City employs hundreds, if not thousands of “experts” including lawyers. Perhaps you can help to shed some light here.

For a real parallel I would have to see some real evidence that high-rise constructions are being built without properly following fire safety codes.

Unless I am the boss of RCMP, how on earth can I possibly provide you with a list of buildings with safety deficiency? If you had any real experience dealing with City bureaucracy, you should know such information is not publicly accessible.

In fact, the standard response of Toronto Building to public inquiry is “You may always get the information under Freedom of Information (MFIPPA – Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act administered by Corporate Information Management Services)”. However, my experience revealed the freedom is only as far as what the City division is willing to release. Else, you get nothing beside excuses. Or if they ever decided to response to you, they will end up by stating “we will not answer question we have responded before (even you can prove what they have mentioned is false). Otherwise, they may straight away tell you they will not provide you with an update at all eg. Fire and Auditor General. And if you ask how on earth will you know the issue has been dealt with? Especially for dire matters concerning public safety? Expect neither reason nor answer. Futher details will be reveal in the Toronto Building Scandal series.

Such is the reality with our existing Administration of the City of Toronto.

Please feel free to ask anything. Criticism is welcome.

_______________________

Notes:

The “Readers” are likely no ordinary folk, but “insiders”. Because they appear to know the building issues very well, and they have since dissappeared as soon as sensitive issues were brought up. (Perhaps they do not want more scandalous exposé to be posted on the social media?).

At the same time, hacking attempts at this site has been on the rise (and coming from very suspicious sources).

Our message to the hackers: We’re ready and will be able revive the site in no time even your hacking attempt is successful. Have fun hacking our industrial strenght security system.

________________________

Related:-

Why London Inferno will happen in Toronto

The London Inferno

Massive fire engulfs Grenfell Tower in West London. The Fire Killed 12, Injured 74 … ‘Someone is jumping! Someone is jumping!’

By E. Tan

The tragic catastrophe prompted CTV to question the City of Toronto’s officials,

Can A Similar Fire Happen In Toronto?

Source

Before we examine comments from the officials, let’s find out what is causing fire in the first place?

What Caused The Fire?

Apparently, the culprit is CLADDING of the building.

Planning documents revealed cladding was installed so that the tower would be more visually pleasing. Cladding has been found to contribute to similar tower fires around the world, including residential blocks in Dubai, but with significantly less casualties.

Victims of the Grenfall Tower blaze were ‘left to die’ in a building that was a ‘disaster waiting to happen’

Daily Mail reported new plastic rain-proof cladding encasing the building in £10million refurbishment ‘went up like a match‘ and helped fire spread quickly – although the contractor insists it was safe.

Grenfell’s community action group called for the tower to be pulled down four years ago over ‘appalling’ fire safety in the building and said today their repeated warnings to landlord Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) fell on ‘deaf ears‘.

Conclusion: The building is constructed with unsafe building materials. And warnings fell on ‘deaf ears’.

Here is the comments from our fire/building experts: –

Officials say London inferno won’t happen in Toronto

Officials says strict building codes and inspections should prevent similar infernos in Toronto

“Here in Ontario we are fortunate to have the comprehensive fire protection and fire safety measures that are contained in the building code,” Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg told CTV News.

 

What safety protocols are in place here?

Every high-rise residential building in the province, in accordance with the Ontario Building Code, must be the result of “non-combustible construction,” Pegg said: “It means the actual design and construction of high rise residential buildings are built out of materials that don’t burn.”

“We’re fortunate in Canada, and I know specifically on the West Coast, that we have some of the most progressive and aggressive fire code, building code and fire bylaw legislation that is extremely stringent,” said Jonathan Gormick, public information officer for Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services.

Note that “Building Code” was repeatedly mentioned as the assurance why similar fire won’t happen in Toronto.

While I like to think our Building Code is “world class” as reported by Global News Mike Drolet: “Our building and safety codes are amongst the highest in the world, but they’re not perfect.”

However, the Building Code is effective only if it is complied and implemented properly.

What if the Building Code is disregarded?

Here is a classic case whereby Building Code is knowingly and wilfully ignored by the very officials, whose responsibility is to ensure Building Code is adhered to so as to ensure safety for the general public: –

Public Fire Hazards Allowed By City Of Toronto

 

The following has been abbreviated to facilitate your understanding of the subject matter,

Illegal Extension – Fire Hazards

– A illegal structure (see photo below) was erected in this residence, which extends all the way to the fence (border) .
– Building Code/City Bylaw dictates any “opening” (door/window) less than 1.2M (4ft) from the border = Fire Hazards. 
– Fire protection is a must – the structure is constructed with non-combustible materials (see Fire Chief Pegg’s comment on “Non-Combustible Construction” above).
– The structure violated all safety law of all levels (municipal, provincial, federal).

Summary

1. The City is fully aware of the safety hazards, Because,
2. The safety and bylaw violations have been duly investigated and never refuted by all the relevant parties. And,
3. The only question we asked the City is as simple as “Is the structure/extension safe and legal?”.
4. The City chose not to take any action to prevent the safety risks and no reason was ever provided. As a result,
5. The public will continue to face life/injury risks posed by the illegal structure/extension allowed to exist by the City of Toronto. And,
6. There is not even civil action which the public may pursue, as there is no legal entity in existence – because the structure/extension is never approved.

Furthermore,

Main dwelling of this particular residence is also erected with at least 13 bylaw violations (or what Toronto Building terms as “Deficiencies”).

What is even more mind-boggling is while the existing illegalities are known to the City, a new garage was permitted to be erected using a carport building permit, also right on the border. This is done in light of the fact that garage and carport are clearly defined under Building Code as different buildings type (therefore requires specific building permit).

The garage is also a Pedestrian Hazards posing life/injury hazards as reversing vehicle from the neightbour’s garage couldn’t see pedestrians on the sidewalk. And Water (from eavestrough) is being discharged to the sidewalk resulting in Slip & Fall Injury Hazards during winter time.

What law has been broken? Dozens of municipal bylaw and all safety related law. Listed hereunder are some of the known/proven offenses (see “LAW VIOLATIONS” below – abbreviated for easy reference. Detailed information will be published in due course).

What did the City do? The City simply do nothing despite all the safety hazards/law violations have been duly and irrefutably proven for years. Neither reason nor remedy was provided.

Here is a similar incident: Toronto bylaws ignored as developer bulldozes historic school – that the City does not respect the very law it wanted everyone else to obey. The difference between this case and our case is that safety hazards are irresponsibly left behind posing danger to the general public, perpetually.

If the safety hazards mentioned above is anything to go by, then it’s really not too far fetched to say London inferno will happen in Toronto in a matter of time.

This is also precisely why I penned “Is replacing OMB with Local Planning Appeal Tribunal a Boon or Bane?” – While I do not disagree with Municipal Affairs Minister Bill Mauro that the proposed reform does sound like a positive plan. However, I wonder if the provincial government has considered what if there is abuse (on the part of the municipality)?

As mentioned in the article, “If my personal experience dealing with City bureaucracy for the past four years is anything to go by, then the City administration has been proven incapable of righting the wrong, particularly if the wrong is perpetuated by senior City staffs.”

Unless and until the City is willing/capable of correcting the wrong, municipal abuse of the system is unfortunately a fact of life for folks of Toronto.

Next – Commentary on Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg’s “comprehensive fire protection and fire safety measures that are contained in the building code will ensure why similar fire (London Inferno) won’t happen in Toronto”.
_________________

LAW VIOLATIONS

Including but not limited to,

A. Transportation Services Related Violations 

1. Sidewalk Pedestrian Slip & Fall Injury Risks

Unsafe and unlawful drainage of water directly discharged into the sidewalk. The water will freeze up during the colder days, and posing injury risks to the pedestrian and vehicular traffics – Public safety hazard violated numberous safety laws under the purview of Transportation Services, and MLS, and Toronto Building.

2. SIGHTLINE OBSTRUCTION VIOLATIONS

Bylaw Chapter 447, Chapter 743 & Chapter 950 enacted to safeguard pedestrians on the sidewalk as below: –

– § 447-2 C.(1)C.1 – MLS: “One of the fundamental aims is to ensure that sight lines are not obstructed so as to create hazards for both pedestrian and vehicular traffic.”
– § 950-200.A.
– § 743-31.A.(1) & (2)
– § 743-34.(2)(a)[1] & [2]
– § 743-36.I.
– § 743-38.B.
– § 743-43.A.
– § 743-44. D.
– § 743-44B & C.
– § 743-51.A. & B.
– § 743-52.
– APPENDIX A.6. & 21.

B. MLS Related Violations 

Main violations – Fire Hazard [Building Code 9.10.14.4.(2)] & Sightline Obstruction (§447, §950 & numberous Zoning Bylaws).

– § 629-12
– § 629-13
– § 629-16.A.(3)
– § 629-18.A., B. & C.
– § 629-27.A. & B.
– § 629-40.A
– § 447
– § 950
– § 629-8. & § 632-2.
– § 629-10.A. & B.
– § 629-23.
– § 629-6.D. & G.
– § 629-4.A.
– § 629-5.A.
– § 629-6.A., D., & G.
– § 629-20
– § 629-11.A.1. (2) & F. (1), (2) & (3)
– § 629-11
– § 629-23.H.

C. Building Code Related Violations 

Building Code Act, 1992
– CHAPTER 23 10.(2), (b) & 10.(1)
– Chapter 363 Article V
– Ontario Regulation 332/12
– Chapter 950
– Division C, Part 1, Subsection 1.3.3.
– Application H. iii) & iv)Ontario Building Code Act
– Section 8(2)(a)Building Code: –
– 3.1.18.1.
– 9.14.6.1.(1)
– 9.26.18.2.(1)
– 2.2.1.1. Objectives (1) Category: Safety Number: OS Objective & Category: Safety — Safety in Use Number: OS3 Objective

D. Zoning Bylaw Related Violations
 

Bylaw 569-2013
– 10.20.40.70.(3)
– 10.5.60.20 (3)(C)(i) & (ii), (6)(B)

Leaside Zoning Bylaw 1916: –

– 5.5
– 5.13.2
– 6.1.1 (1)
– 6.1.1(4)
– 6.3.3 Side Yard Setback
– 6.3.3 Rear Yard Setback
– 6.3.3 Side Yard Setback Between Dwellings
– 6.7.4

E. Breached City of Toronto Code of Conduct for Chief Building Official and Inspectors

– 1. a) & b)
– 2. a), b), c), d) & e)
– 4. a), b), c), d) & e)
– 5. a), b), c), d) & e)
– 7.
– 8. b) 

F. Other Applicable Law Violation

– Section E: Ontario Municipal Board (OMB): No new application applied, no compliance with all currently in-force law.
– Planning Act – PART I, PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATION, Provincial interest, Section 2.(h), (o)
– Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) – 3.0 Protecting Public Health and Safety.
– City of Toronto Act, 2001, Chap. Pr13 (Bill Pr20) False Declarations
– No Urban Forestry permission sought to injure a matured tree behind the garage.
– No Zoning Certificate or Preliminary Project Review (PPR) for extended Zoning & Plan Review
– At least 13 illegal building & structural deficiencies

And resulting in,

G. Criminal Code of Canada (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46) 

CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE
219 (1) Every one is criminally negligent who
(a) in doing anything, or
(b) in omitting to do anything that it is his duty to do,
shows wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons.ii) WILFUL AND FORBIDDEN ACTS IN RESPECT OF CERTAIN PROPERTY
429 (1) Every one who causes the occurrence of an event by doing an act or by omitting to do an act that it is his duty to do, knowing that the act or omission will probably cause the occurrence of the event and being reckless whether the event occurs or not, shall be deemed, for the purposes of this Part, wilfully to have caused the occurrence of the event.

 

Related: –