Scarborough rooming house operator pleads guilty to fire code violations

A Toronto Fire Services truck on display at a downtown station. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

A rooming house operator in Scarborough has been convicted for Ontario Fire Code and Planning Act violations after investigations found the operator to have several code violations.

The city of Toronto said Comfort Residential Group Home Inc. and its director, Winston Manning, pleaded guilty in provincial offences court and has received substantial fines.

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In a press release sent out Wednesday morning, the city said the conviction comes after a joint effort with Toronto Fire Services to ensure residents in the city are living in up-to-code homes.

“Our focus is to make sure that all residents are living in homes that are properly maintained and in which personal safety is never compromised,” said Jim Jessop, Toronto deputy fire chief. “Toronto Fire Services will enforce the requirements of the Ontario Fire Code to the full extent of the law, especially in buildings providing care services to our city’s most vulnerable residents.”

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Manning has been fined $73,000 plus a 25 per cent victim-fine surcharge, $4,000 for using a building for a non-permitted purpose, as well as court costs for violations of the Ontario Fire Code. Comfort Residential Group Home Inc. has been fined $7,500.

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Manning has also received court-appointed probation for two years that requires him to comply with all applicable statutes and regulations if he operates any type of multi-unit residential homes.

“The ruling follows co-ordinated enforcement actions involving Toronto Fire Services, the city’s Municipal Licensing and Standards division and police at several Scarborough properties that were operating as rooming houses in 2017,” the city of Toronto release said.

The properties owned and operated by Comfort Residential Group Home Inc. include 108 Fawcett Trail, 692 Birchmount Rd., 107 Westcroft Dr., 78 Rouge River Dr., 32 Panama Court, and 1320 Victoria Park Ave.

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