Pubdate: Fri, 28 Apr 2006
Source: Bloor West Villager (CN ON)
Copyright: 2006 Bloor West Villager
Author: David Nickle


City Wants Home Buyers To Know If Building Was Used For Growing

Three bedrooms, two baths, central air and vacuum - and a former
illegal marijuana grow house.

Soon that last crucial bit of information will be something potential
homeowners and occupants will have available to them, as a part of the
City of Toronto's beefed up procedures for dealing with grow houses.

"This will protect people from occupying properties that are not
healthy or safe," said Ann Borooah, Toronto's chief building official.
"And it may protect them from purchasing a property they don't know is
a potential health hazard."

Under measures introduced this week, the city will now be registering
property standard orders on title at the Land Registry Office. As
well, the city will be preventing occupancy of any grow operations
until they're considered safe.

"We're dealing with occupancy in areas where we've got issues of
safety that haven't been complied with," Borooah said. "We're looking
at a number of situations where we may provide orders to prohibit occupancy."

Marijuana grow houses have cropped up across Toronto over the past few
years with a high concentration in Scarborough and the northwestern
parts of North York. Converting the houses to a marijuana grow
operation involves, among other things, making illegal and potentially
dangerous electrical connections outside the home, and also often
leads to mould problems that may not be visible to a prospective buyer
or tenant.

"The risks are around mould and a lack of ventilation, and electrical
alterations to the property that may not be safe as well as structural
issues," Borooah said. 
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