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Star Investigation

Toronto made a bylaw to crack down on short-term Airbnb rentals. Now, companies are instructing investor owners how to evade the rules

The city says it's doing its best to enforce the bylaw with the resources it has, though it's working to "identify areas for improvement."

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As Toronto tries to clamp down on short-term rentals to maximize housing supply in the midst of a housing crisis, a cottage industry of short-term rental hosting companies continue to help investment property owners evade the city’s rules, a Star investigation has found.

The sales rep on the phone is reassuring. He works for a property management company that specializes in short-term rentals, and he says Toronto’s bylaw is easy enough to get around.

Yes, you need to register if you want to list your place on Airbnb now, and you need to say that you live in the condo, he says.


Renting out a two-bedroom at 300 Front St. W. as a short-term rental could fetch $16,000 a month or more.

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Property records show 88 of the 234 units at Toronto's ICE Condos registered for short-term rentals are owned by someone whose mailing address differs from the unit itself.


Thorben Wieditz, executive director of advocacy group Fairbnb Canada Network, said he would like the City of Toronto to implement a more rigorous verification process for short-term rental registrations.

Brendan Kennedy

Brendan Kennedy is a reporter on the Toronto Star’s investigative team. Reach him via email:

May Warren

May Warren is a Toronto-based housing reporter for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @maywarren11.


Sheila Wang is an investigative reporter for the Star. Reach her via email:

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