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May 27, 2011
Posted in Condo Litigation

Human Rights Tribunal and Pool Restrictions

A recent interesting case at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal dealt with restrictions against children using a condominium pool.
The two condominium corporations' rules had a prohibition against children under the age of 2 years using the pool, and rules restricting the times during which children under the age of 16 could use the pool. The Tribunal determined on the facts of that case, that these rules were discriminatory and resulted in the complainant's rights, a mother of a ten-month old daughter, being violated on the basis of family status.  In finding that the condominium corporations had not fulfilled their duty to accommodate to the point of undue hardship in relation to the prohibition of children under 2 years of age, the Tribunal stated:
"Using the language of the Code, I find that the needs of the group (i.e., families with children in diapers) can be accommodated without undue hardship on the respondents. The respondents have not met their burden to establish that a total ban on children in diapers is reasonable and bona fide in the circumstances."
With respect to the limited hours during which children under 16 years of age were restricted, the Tribunal found that the rules concerning children's hours were not reasonable and bona fide, as follows:
"There was no direct evidence from the respondents that to lift the restrictions which prevent children under 16 from using the facilities outside of the specified “children’s hours” would result in undue hardship. ...
As it stands now, the outdoor pool can only be used by children between the hours of 12-4 on weekdays. Children’s hours for the indoor pool are 1-5 on weekdays. A parent who worked during these hours would not be able to swim with their child because of this restriction. Similarly, a child in school would not be able to use the pool for most or all of these hours. Indeed, these hours seemed designed to minimize access to the pools by children."
The Tribunal also found that the complainant was subject to a poisoned environment at the condominium due to backlash from the other owners, and the Tribunal awarded her $10,000.00 as compensation for injury to her dignity, feelings and self-respect.


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