Move-Out By-Law #41



Passed on October 5, 1995

BE IT ENACTED as By-law #41 of Woodsworth Housing Co-operative Inc. AS FOLLOWS:


The purpose of this policy is to clarify the Co-op’s expectations about move-out condition of units. It is recognized that the buildings are getting older, and members will not be penalized for normal wear and tear. Conversely, the Co-op will make every effort to ensure that units are in reasonably acceptable condition when members move in, but will not guarantee an “as new” condition.


1.1 Upon a member giving notice as specified by the By-laws of move-out, the member will be given notice of inspection, to be done within 15 days. This notice will specify that staff must be able to inspect flooring under carpets and walls behind large pieces of furniture.

1.2 On completion of the inspection, the Co-op will provide the member with a list of repairs required (if any) to bring the unit up to a condition which, in the Co-op’s opinion, is reasonable.

1.3 A follow-up inspection will be carried out by the Co-op just prior to move-out.

1.4 No refund of Maintenance Deposit will occur until after final inspection by staff and acceptance by new occupant. If there is any dispute related to condition of the unit on move-out, this must be settled, and all repairs completed (and costed) before any portion of the Maintenance Deposit will be returned.

1.5 Any agreements between in-coming and out-going members must be documented in writing and a copy filed with the Co-op office.


2.1 See the Co-op’s Floor-Covering Policy and Wall-Covering Policy.

2.2 Generally, the Co-op tries to refinish parquet floors at move-out time. However, if the floors have recently been refinished and are damaged beyond normal wear and tear, the out-going member may be charged a portion of the cost to refinish.

2.3 Co-op carpet that is seriously soiled will be cleaned and the expense billed to the out-going member. If carpet must be replaced due to soil or damage, the amount billed to the out-going member will be calculated as per section 4.1.

However, if the Co-op staff believes damage is normal wear and tear, or a stain is in an unobtrusive spot, the Co-op may decide not to replace the carpet.

2.4 It is the responsibility of the out-going member to carefully remove any carpet s/he has installed, unless the in-coming member agrees to assume that responsibility.

2.5 Sometimes the Co-op has installed new carpet or tile in all units but a member has declined to have the flooring installed, either because s/he prefers the old or because s/he has installed his/her own (with permission). In that case, it will be documented in the unit file, and an in-coming member may request that the new flooring be installed.


3.1 Temporary – temporary renovations are those which the Co-op would normally expect to be returned to original condition such as removal of fixtures or cupboard doors. However, if the in-coming member agrees to accept the renovation, this must be documented and a copy of the agreement filed with the office. Acceptance of temporary renovations means that the in-coming member becomes responsible for returning the renovation to original condition upon move-out.

3.2 Permanent – permanent renovations must be approved by the Co-op before being done. They must also be completed before move-out or the Co-op will complete the renovation and bill the out-going member. Please see the Renovation Policy for details.

3.3 A renovation which has not been approved by the Co-op will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. If it would have been approved if the member had requested permission, and it is well done, it may be left. If it is not well done or the in-coming member does not want that particular renovation, staff, or on appeal, the Maintenance Committee, may decide to have the unit returned to previous condition and bill the out-going member for the work. This decision must be made as expeditiously as possible, in order not to hold up the return of the Maintenance Deposit cheque unnecessarily.

3.4 Members who have received permission to renovate but have not completed the work may be charged for completion of the renovation, depending on how livable staff feels the room is. These will be decided on a case by case basis.

3.5 Any of the insulated air conditioning panels which have been removed to install an air conditioner must be replaced.


Often a small area of damage becomes very expensive to fix, due to the fact that a much larger area must be replaced – e.g. a small burn on a counter means that the whole counter must be replaced because of matching. However, these things are not new, therefore the Co-op recognizes normal wear and tear. The following formulae will generally be applied:

4.1 Carpet – % of remaining life (based on 15 years) x % of area damaged x cost of replacement. (Minimum of 2 sq. ft. or 3.7 sq. m.)

4.2 Counter – 1/2 cost of replacing section of counter actually damaged.

4.3 Parquet (if less than 5 years since last refinishing) – based on the proportion of floor damaged.


5.1 If staff feels that a unit needs to be cleaned prior to a new member moving in, this will be done and the expense billed to the out-going member. (may be staff time or a cleaning service).

5.2 If painting/wallpaper have not been done according to policy staff will assist the in-coming member in dealing with the problem in whatever way seems appropriate. The labour will probably have to be done by the in-coming member, but any expenses, such as extra paint, may be charged to the out-going member.

6. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CO-OP (to be charged to outgoing member)

6.1 Major repairs to walls, floors, ceilings

6.2 Major cleaning

6.3 Painting if previously not done according to policy, and if not easily done by member. (e.g., if wall painted navy blue and it will take several coats to cover, then staff will apply 1 – 2 base coats of white)

6.4 Replacement of fixtures (screens, doorknobs, light fixtures, etc.)


7.1 When an in-coming (or relocating) member accepts a unit, s/he is also contracting with the Co-op to a definite non-negotiable moving date that is set at the time of unit acceptance.

7.2 The Co-operative will make every effort to remedy major deficiencies in the unit before move-in date. However, any delays (other than refinishing floors) will not change the moving dates. Therefore, when a member accepts a unit they accept the possibility of living in it “as is”. The Co-op cannot restore a unit to its original condition, or guarantee a relocating member that their new unit will be in as good condition as the one which they are vacating.

7.3 Relocating or new in-coming members will have the opportunity to fully inspect the unit they are being offered and will be informed by staff of any known deficiencies prior to acceptance of the unit and payment of any fees.

7.4 If there are major deficiencies (such as floor refinishing, fumigation, structural repairs) staff will schedule sufficient time to do work on the unit. During this time the in-coming member will not have access for painting, storage, etc.

7.5 Should the in-coming member wish additional vacancy time for redecorating, etc., s/he will be responsible for the additional vacancy loss.

7.6 Repainting and removal of wallpaper – provided it was previously done according to policy – are the responsibility of the in-coming member. This includes filling small nail holes in wall.

7.7 The Co-op will not replace baseboards.

7.8 Decisions about whether floors will be refinished will be made by staff based on their assessment of the condition of the floor and taking the budget into account.

7.9 The co-op will change the lock cylinder on the entrance door to the co-op unit as soon as possible after move out.

7.10 Any decision by staff under this policy is subject to appeal to the Board of Directors. Any such appeal will be dealt with as expeditiously as possible.

Consolidated up to April 2010 and adopted by the members on September 30, 2010.

About Woodsworth Housing Co-op

This website was built and is maintained by co-op volunteers.

For suite and townhouse model layouts, please click on the link below. Please note that individual units may have changed somewhat. Kitchens in some units have been remodelled. For example, some 3-bedroom mews units were altered to have an open plan second floor, not an enclosed kitchen.


Our Co-op History

Woodsworth was incorporated on November 8th, 1976 and members moved into the co-op in the autumn of 1979.  The project was sponsored by the Co-op Housing Federation of Toronto and the architectural firm was Sillaste & Nakashima.

The St. Lawrence Project

The St. Lawrence Housing Development Project was born during the early 1970s, somewhere in the offices of the City of Toronto’s planning and housing departments.

Housing was viewed as such an important priority that a department had been formed to foster housing development. In the preceding years, Toronto’s Housing Department had produced some noteworthy projects, but nothing large enough to really catch the public’s attention or to make a significant dent in the housing problem. This time the planners were asked to search for possible sites for a major housing project. From the several sites proposed they chose a 44-acre urban area south of St. Lawrence Hall and adjacent to the historic old St. Lawrence Market. The area was once known as the Old Town of York and was for a while the bustling core of the new city of Toronto. After the Great Fire of 1849, however, it never regained its former status. Through the subsequent decades it remained a nondescript and cluttered area of small factories, warehouses, trucks and boxcars adjacent to the railway yards.

Not far to the north of this area was a housing development known as Regent Park, a project which stood as a glaring reminder, to the politicians and the planners, on how not to plan and redevelop a housing site. In between Regent Park and St. Lawrence was Trefan Court another redevelopment project with many lessons for the politicians and planners.

The St. Lawrence site had many advantages. There was no housing which might have to be knocked down and no community to argue and/or consult with. The only inhabitants were transients who found it convenient to downtown, the railway and several agencies that specialized in the care of impoverished, homeless people.

The absence of a community was seen as a disadvantage by many, including politicians and planners. Therefore, in 1975, a St. Lawrence Working Committee was formed, comprising representatives from Regent Park, the Don Area, Cabbagetown, the Bain Avenue Coop and the local industrialists.

The concept of the new St. Lawrence Neighbourhood called for retaining many of the historic buildings and using the rest of the area for building moderate and low-cost housing, schools, stores, health care and recreation facilities for about 10,000 people.

The Co-op housing movement in Toronto

Just as St. Lawrence was seen as an opportunity to achieve some significant achievements by the housing and planning departments, the Co-op movement in Toronto saw it as an opportunity for major advancements in the role of co-ops in housing. Prior to this time, most^housing cooperatives were based on the renovation of existing developments. They were created often after considerable political and financial struggles.

The St. Lawrence co-ops were developed by several independent co-op groups, but Woodsworth was developed by the Cooperative Housing Federation of Toronto — the granddaddy of all of the development groups — after a group of men and women met and decided to build a housing co-op as an integral part of the new neighbourhood.

Their vision was to build a model downtown residential housing complex that would include cooperative-minded people from all walls of life, different lifestyles and occupations, varied racial and ethnic origins, all age groups, single and married, with and without children, with different levels of income, as well as a set number of men and women who required government assistance.

Agreement was finally reached on a housing complex that consisted of an eight-story building with 123 apartment units and 70 two-and three-story townhouses, for a total of 194 housing units. The new co-op was incorporated, construction extended over 30 months, and by the summer of 1979 was ready for occupancy.

The founding members decided to name the new co-op after the Rev. James Shaver Woodsworth, the renowned Canadian religious leader, pacifist, social worker and politician. Mr. Woodsworth spent his entire adult life fighting against poverty, injustice and every form of discrimination, and was a persevering advocate of democratic-socialism. He was the first leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), the predecessor of the New Democratic Party.

In a way, the Woodsworth Co-op represented the flagship project for many of the pioneers of cooperative housing development in Toronto.

It is hard to quantify or make specific the benefits the current residents may have gained from that “favourite son” status. Compared to other co-ops in the community. Woodsworth seems to have good design, good location, a good community , a good size and good construction without extraordinarily high housing charges. In any case the physicians were willing to take their own medicine because many of these same pioneers moved into Woodsworth and are still residents.

Development Board

Woodsworth also benefited from an excellent development Board. That was the group of people who volunteered their time to act as an interim Board of Directors until the first resident board was elected. Most of them spent approximately two years on the Board. They helped to interview the original membership committee which then went on to interview everyone else. They were also party to the design of the co-op and the president, Dr. Hooker, frequently reviewed the construction to ensure that it was on budget. It so happened that his profession was construction quantity surveying so he was able to make better sense of all of that than almost anyone else.

First Membership Committee

Most of the original members found out about Woodsworth and about co-ops from the information sessions put on by the CHFT and the development board. After these meetings some of the prospective members were interviewed by the Development Board and by CHFT staff. These first members formed the original membership committee which then began the long and time-consuming task of interviewing every other person who was at the subsequent information sessions. Eventually, membership was offered to enough households so that the 194 units would be filled.

Pre-move and Move-in

Many of the original pre move-in General meetings were held at Innis College and the OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) building. From those meetings Woodsworth members and residents-to-be formed several committees, including a “shadow” Board which sat in on the development board to see what was going on and how things were done from the fall of 1978.

The original move-in was highlighted by great excitement, mud, a hike to Queen Street to get milk but a short hop to Market Street to get a bottle of rare wine), nothing natural (not even insects), and lots of rain!

Source: Woodsworth's member handbook, 1991