Picture
Picture
Name and Title
Armand G.R. Conant
Partner
Partner
Year of Call

1980 (Ontario)

Memberships
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • The Lawyers Club
  • Royal Canadian Yacht Club
  • Canadian Condominium Institute (Toronto)
  • Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario
Publications
Description

Armand Conant HeadshotToronto condominium lawyer Armand Conant tells CondoBusiness magazine he’s hopeful the new Ontario government will follow through with changes to the Condominium Act that haven’t yet been proclaimed.

The online publication says the fate of many of the planned changes is uncertain.

“While the Condominium Act reforms that have been phased in to date are now law, the outstanding legislative provisions are sitting on the books awaiting accompanying regulations,” it reports. “After regulations are in place, the outstanding legislative provisions must be proclaimed into force in order to take effect.”

Conant, a partner and head of the condominium law group with Shibley Righton LLP, tells AdvocateDaily.com that he's looking forward to some of those regulations, including one that would "better define for boards what 'adequate' means for financing their reserve funds — which is collected through the monthly fees and used to pay for major repair or replacement of the corporation’s components and assets.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-11-06
Description

Armand Conant HeadshotSince it’s official launch, the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) has been busy providing support to the condo community, Toronto condominium lawyer Armand Conant writes in Condovoice magazine.

And, to continue to grow and improve, the authority is looking for suggestions from users to improve the system, says Conant, a partner and head of the condominium law group with Shibley Righton LLP.

“It is through feedback and input from all stakeholders that the CAO can best meet the needs of condo communities. The CAO looks forward to, and encourages, as much feedback as possible,” he says.

In addition to providing information about rights and responsibilities, the CAO offers “resources to help them identify and resolve common issues before they escalate into disputes,” says Conant.

The CAO also provides mandatory training for all condo directors elected, re-elected or appointed after Nov. 1, 2017, and offers the province’s first online dispute resolution system, the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT), he explains.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story
.

Date_Published
2018-10-03
Description

Armand Conant HeadshotProposed reforms to the Smoke Free Ontario Act have been put on pause by Premier Doug Ford. The proposed regulations which prohibited vaping in non-smoking areas as well as tighter restrictions to the retailing of vaping and ancillary products have been halted until the new government can further examine the health impact that surrounds the use of vaping. The Premier's spokesperson Simon Jefferies confirmed "“The current provisions in the Smoke Free Ontario Act and the Electronic Cigarettes Act remain in effect and will continue to be enforced”.

To see further legislative changes for which the new government has pressed “Pause”, visit Global Public Affair link at: https://mailchi.mp/globalpublic/global-public-affairs-ontario-update-n27q5wu6nx?e=ac66f7e60b

Date_Published
2018-07-10
Title
Description

Some condominium corporations are struggling to address the growing popularity of short-term rentals, Toronto condominium lawyers Armand Conant and John De Vellis write in The Lawyer’s Daily.

“They create a significant problem for condominium corporations, from increased wear and tear on common elements, increased security costs, disruption and general anxiety as residents complain that what they thought was their home has been turned into a hotel,” say Conant, head of the condominium law group with Shibley Righton LLP, and De Vellis, who also sits on the firm’s condo group.

They say it’s often a tenant — not the owner — who offers the unit for rent, adding that a veritable “cottage industry has blossomed” where people rent from unit owners on a long-term basis and then lease to others for short-term stays.

Sometimes they are featured on specialty websites but in other cases, the tenant has created their own online portal where they list "a number of units at various locations, all available for rent on a hotel-like basis," Conant and De Vellis explain. "Often the owner has no idea what is happening to their unit."

Tenants who sublet may “run afoul” of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, which states that a rental unit may only be sublet with the consent of the landlord, Conant and De Vellis say. It also states that they cannot charge more than they pay in rent to the owner.

“For condominium unit owners, these unlawful sublets are not just a nuisance, they may create a big financial headache,” they write.

“That’s because most condominium corporations have indemnity clauses in their declarations that make the owner responsible for all costs incurred by the condominium corporation, including legal costs, in the event the owner or the owner’s tenants breaches the condominium corporation’s declaration, bylaws or rules.”

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-05-16
Description

Armand Conant HeadshotNew warranty coverage will provide long-overdue protection for purchasers of converted condos, Toronto condominium lawyer Armand Conant tells AdvocateDaily.com.

Since Jan. 1, changes to Ontario's New Home Warranties Program have extended coverage to units and common elements in developments identified by Tarion — the province’s new home warranty provider — as “residential condominium conversion projects.”

Conant, a partner and head of the condominium law group with Shibley Righton LLP, says conversions that incorporate aspects of existing buildings, such as former warehouses, office buildings and churches, have been popular in Ontario and particularly in the Greater Toronto Area, especially as the supply of land for new buildings diminishes.     

“The problem was that if even one square foot of the pre-existing building survived, there was no Tarion coverage for the entire building,” he explains.

“This has been a long-standing issue and we in the condo industry have been pushing for a number of years to get this type of coverage included for residential conversions, so it's a really welcome development.”

Under the amendments to the program, conversions will have some of the same statutory warranties that are extended to all condominium projects, including deposit protection, delayed occupancy coverage, as well as the one-, two- and seven-year warranties, according to Tarion.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-04-11
Description

Armand Conant HeadshotToronto condominium lawyer Armand Conant will discuss a variety of condo issues at two upcoming events.

Conant, partner and head of the condominium law group with Shibley Righton LLP, will speak at an event organized by MPP Soo Wong on Feb. 12 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Bridlewood Library, 157A - 2900 Warden Ave., Scarborough.

The goal of the event is to inform condo owners about the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) and the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT), the new online tribunal that helps to settle condominium-related disputes in Ontario.

Conant will also speak at a telephone town hall event on March 1 between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. The event is being organized by MPP Dipika Damerla.

The goal of the event is to inform constituents about the CAO and CAT, and about recent changes to the Condo Act. The discussion will include new requirements for managers and directors, and general condo governance, such as record keeping.

Date_Published
2018-02-12
Description

Armand Conant head ShotA deal between Airbnb and Neptune Waterpark Condominiums — believed to be a first in Canada — should be carefully studied to understand the legalities, says Toronto condominium lawyer Armand Conant.

“We will absolutely see more of these agreements. But once you start saying your building is available for short-term rentals, that raises many issues,” Conant tells AdvocateDaily.com.

“Since condo corporations are not-for-profit corporations, raising income from this type of arrangement could possibly be a problem," he says.

Critics say in a Toronto Star article that the agreement essentially makes the Neptune development a hotel.

Conant, a partner with Shibley Righton LLP and head of its condominium law department, tends to agree.

“Once the board of directors of the condo corporation says, ‘Hey, this is a way to make bucks for the condo corporation,’ it has the potential of making these buildings similar to hotels.”

Although not common, he says there are some condo corporations whose declarations state that residential units can be rented for short-term or even daily use.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-01-23
Description

When Toronto condominium lawyer Armand Conant began in the condo industry more than 25 years ago, there were fewer than 1,000 condo corporations in the city.

There are now more than 2,500, says Conant, partner with Shibley Righton LLP. And that’s just within the city of Toronto. More than 1.5 million Ontarians now live in condos, according to a recent Globe and Mail story.

With that kind of growth comes the inevitable growing pains, Conant tells AdvocateDaily.com.

“In some ways, the industry became a victim of its own success and the legislation had a tough time keeping up with the phenomenal growth,” he says.

“In the mid-1990s, when the current legislation was being drafted, nobody could have anticipated the incredible growth. They couldn’t have envisioned the legislative tools needed to keep pace and deal with the growing complexity of the industry.”

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.  Please click here to read the complete story.

Date_Published
2017-08-25
Description

Recent changes to condominium legislation represent a “brave new world” for the industry, with stakeholders hoping that new rules will significantly improve the community, enhance consumer protection and not stifle development, Toronto condominium lawyer Armand Conant writes in the spring issue of Condo Confidential.

As Conant, partner and head of the condominium law group at Shibley Righton LLP, explains, changes began in early December 2015 when Bill 106 received Royal Assent and was officially called the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 215 (PCOA).

“The three main areas it covers are: (a) major reform to our current condo legislation  – the Condominium Act, 1998 (the ‘Act’); (b) legislation for licensing of managers – the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 (‘CMSA’); and (c) reforms to Tarion warranty coverage to cover conversions. The government has also recently announced a whole-scale re-structuring of Tarion itself,” writes Conant.

This is an excerpt from a story that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.  Please click here to read the complete story.

Date_Published
2017-06-06
Description

Following explosive growth in Ontario’s condominium industry over the last two decades, legislative changes are on the way that will hopefully help protect consumers in a number of areas, Toronto condominium lawyer Armand Conant tells The Condominium Report with Joe Vero on AM 640.

Conant, partner and head of the condominium law group at Shibley Righton LLP, tells listeners that in the last 25 years, Ontario's condo industry has grown from a small number of condo corporations to over 10,000, with more than 1.5 million Ontarians living in condos.

As a result, he explains, disputes have become more complex, requiring further mechanisms to try to achieve a balance between individual unit owners versus the condo board and corporation as well as with the cost of dispute resolution.

Additional consumer protection for those buying condos is also needed, says Conant, in the form of adequate disclosure in the documents that are given to purchasers.

For example, there has been a trend in the last 15 years towards developers downloading certain costs to corporations, he says.

“No owner sees that when they’re buying, and all of a sudden the corporation is going to have to find $10 million to buy their own party room from the developer. It was disclosed, and that’s really where we see the shortcoming, where we’ve got to get better information to buyers so they understand what they’re buying — what is a condo, what does it mean to own a condo and live in a condo? — and go from there.”

This article appeared on AdvocateDail.com.  Please click here for the full story.

Date_Published
2017-02-21
Description

In certain matters, clients may benefit from a co-counsel setting where lawyers tackle different aspects of the case — but the success of these arrangements depends on mutual respect and compromise, Toronto lawyers Armand Conant, Bill Northcote and Joel Berkovitz tell Lawyers Weekly.

As an example, Conant, partner and head of the condominium law group at Shibley Righton LLP, points to a complicated condominium matter where it was clear that drawing in a small team of colleagues in a co-counsel setting to tackle different aspects of the job would be beneficial to the client.

“We needed their skill sets,” Conant says of the decision to bring in Northcote, chair of Shibley Righton’s business law practice group, and Berkovitz, an associate with the firm who practises business and condominium law.

This article appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.  Please click here for the full story.

Date_Published
2016-12-12
Description

Although their efforts may not be visible to the public, the government is hard at work at drafting the regulations for Bill 106 — which encompasses the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015 and the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015. It is hoped that the regulations will be in place by mid to late 2017, Toronto condominium lawyer Armand Conant says in CondoBusiness.

As CondoBusiness reports, the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015  — passed late last year — is set to reform the existing Condominium Act and introduce the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015.

The existing Condominium Act, 1998 will remain in force until the new Act is proclaimed into force — before that happens, the government needs to finalize the accompanying regulations and establish two administrative authorities, says the article.

This articles appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.  Please click here for the full story.

Date_Published
2016-12-07
Description

Co-counsel arrangements are common in many areas of practice, from criminal trials and litigation, where there’s significant court work, to complicated paper-laden negotiations.

But can too many hands on deck sink the ship? Insiders who have worked collaboratively with other lawyers recommend respecting boundaries, working as a team and striving for harmony all while focusing on the needs of the client.

Armand Conant, a partner at Shibley Righton in Toronto, recalls a complicated condominium matter where it was clear that client interest would benefit from drawing in a small team of colleagues in a co-counsel setting to tackle different aspects of the job

This article appeared on LawyersWeekly.ca.  Please click here for the full story.

Date_Published
2016-11-25
Description

Serving a role that is critical as a last consumer protection for unit owners, court-appointed administrators for condo corporations are, in the right circumstances, a friend rather than a foe to the buildings they administer, Toronto condominium lawyer Armand Conant writes in Condo Voice magazine.

As Conant, partner and head of the condominium law group at Shibley Righton LLP, explains, the number of administrations is on the rise amid governance problems, as well as the fact that condo corporations are aging and growing in number. They are expected to have an increased role as the industry continues to grow and age, he adds.

“I am not suggesting that we have a widespread problem or epidemic in Ontario. Quite the opposite, as most corporations are well governed. But I do believe that we will see an increase in Administrations in the future,” he writes.

This article appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.  To read the full story please click here.

Date_Published
2016-11-09
Description

When it comes to owning a condo, there’s a lot to know and sometimes it feels like info isn’t that readily available. 

That is why City Sites Property Management Inc. held a Mississauga Condominium Owner Information Session on Monday, October 24 called Condo Living: Today and Tomorrow to give condo owners some information about condo ownership.

I would say it was well attended, and the panelists that City Sites assembled were able to speak to important issues such as law, insurance, accounting and government. The panelists included Dipika Damerla; MPP (Mississauga East-Cooksville), who has been working on modernizing the Condo Act since her election in 2007, Armand Conant; head of condominium law, partner at Shibley Righton LLP Law Firm (he's also a member of the recently established Condominium Authority created by the province), Mark Shedden; president of Atrens Counsel Insurance Brokers and Condominium Advisor for the Ontario Provincial Government and Stephen Chesney; partner, chartered accountant at Parker, Garber & Chesney.

This article appeared on insauga.com.  To read the complete story please click here.

Date_Published
2016-10-27
Description

A recent decision that allowed a condo corporation to unilaterally amend an oppressive shared facilities agreement is an important win for the condo community, Toronto condominium lawyers Armand Conant, Deborah Howden and John De Vellis write in Condo Voice magazine.

In its August ruling in TSCC No. 2130 v. York Bremner Developments Limited, the Ontario Superior Court upheld the condo corporation’s decision to amend a shared facilities agreement under s. 113 of the Condominium Act, 1998, write Conant, partner and head of the condominium law group at Shibley Righton LLP, and Howden and De Vellis, partners with the firm.

“Under s. 113 of the Act, the court may make such an order if the application is filed within one year of turn-over and the court is satisfied that the disclosure statement did not clearly and adequately disclose the provisions of the agreement and the agreement produces a result that is oppressive or unconscionably prejudicial to the corporation,” they write in the article.

As is increasingly common in new condo developments, write Conant, Howden and De Vellis, the shared facilities were part of a large, complex development involving other commercial owners, including the developer.

This article appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.  Please click here for the fully story.

Date_Published
2016-10-20
Description

While a new initiative that aims to test dog waste in order to identify and fine condo dwellers who don’t stoop and scoop could be a useful tool, it is not without its challenges and hurdles, Toronto condominium lawyer Armand Conant tells Global News.

As the report explains, a Toronto company recently launched a service that aims to track down inconsiderate owners through DNA testing of dog waste. The concept is initially being marketed to property management companies, and is already being used in the U.S.

The concept works by first performing a swab of dogs in the building, which are then sent to the DNA World Pet Registry for a $50 fee. When dog waste is found, it is sent to a lab and compared to registered samples, says Global News.

This article appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.  Please click here to read the full story.

Date_Published
2016-10-11
Description

Toronto condominium lawyer Armand Conant has been appointed a founding/first director of the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO).

The newly established, non-government, not-for profit organization that eventually will be an Administrative Authority, will provide numerous resources to, and services for, the condo industry including education and information about condominiums, be a resource to the whole industry, provide director education, administer a registry of, and data about, condominium corporations and oversee a specialized tribunal to adjudicate certain condominium disputes.

Conant, partner and head of Shibley Righton LLP’s condominium law department, says the Condo Authority will be a distinct non-profit legal entity operating at arm’s length from the government and assumes complete control over its financial, operational and legal responsibilities under its operating statute.

THis article appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.  Please click here for the full story.

Date_Published
2016-10-06
Publication
Description

We will see an increase in Administrations in the future

Over the years I have been appointed Administrator for four condominium corporations (for one I am still there after 9 years). With corporations getting older (some in excess of 40 years old), the number of corporations increasing dramatically (now almost 9,400), and governance problems arising in certain corporations (e.g. short-term vision, misuse of reserve funds, or warring factions in the building) I have noticed an increase in the number of Administrations. This raises the question whether Administrators are friend or foe to the owners of the buildings they administer.

I am not suggesting that we have a widespread problem or epidemic in Ontario. Quite the opposite, as most corporations are well governed. But I do believe that we will see an increase in Administrations in the future.

Of the approximately 30 condominium corporations that have had court appointed Administrators, most arose from the reasons mentioned above (and more). For a few corporations, the building was in such a state of disrepair that the municipality was going to condemn it. In other cases, it was a minority of unit owners who obtained the Administration order so that they could wrest control from a developer controlled board which was not acting in the best interests of all owners.

Some argue the whole Administrator mechanism is wrong as it strips away the democratic right of unit owners to govern themselves. Additionally, Administrators charge a fee for their services, and for financially troubled corporations this can be seen as an unnecessary expense.

Despite this, if the question is whether or not there is a role for Administrators and Inspectors, my answer is an unequivocal yes. While letting owners run their own corporation is desirable from a democratic point of view, unfortunately it does not work for buildings where you have rogue boards who misuse owners' money, directors with hidden agendas, or when the board has misguided ideas of how to govern (e.g. short term goals which disregard the long term health of the corporation). These problems are not always intentional; sometimes they are just innocent mistakes by a well-intentioned board.

So although the thought of a court appointed Administrator may upset some and could send a negative impression of the corporation to the public (though it often gives the exact opposite impression), it is an important tool available to unit owners to save their corporation. There should always be the ability under the Condo Act for the appointment of an arm's length person to operate the corporation, correct the mistakes, and get the building back on its feet (or even have an appointment for limited purposes). Therefore, Administrators and Inspectors, in the right circumstance, are definitely our friend and not a foe to the community. It is a role or function that I believe is critical as a last consumer protection for unit owners, and will have an increased role as our industry grows and ages.

Date_Published
2016-09-23
Publication
Description

Landmark Decision Allows Condo Corporation to Unilaterally
Amend Oppressive Shared Facilities Agreement

In a huge win for the condo community, the Ontario Superior Court on August 26, 2016 upheld a Toronto condominium corporation's decision to amend a shared facilities agreement under s. I IS of the Condominium Act, 1998.

In TSCC No. 2130 v. York Bremner Developments Limited, the condo corporation applied for an order terminating or amending a shared facilities agreement. Under s. I IS of the Act, the court may make such an order if the application is filed within one year of turn-over and the court is satisfied that the disclosure statement did not clearly and adequately disclose the provisions of the agreement and the agreement produces a result that is oppressive or unconscionably prejudicial to the corporation.

With respect to the question of clear and adequate disclosure, the court found that the adequacy of the disclosure is tied to the oppressive outcome. As is increasingly common in new condo developments, the shared facilities were part of a large, complex development involving other commercial owners, including the developer, which continued to own the commercial components within the complex, and whose agent is also the manager of the shared facilities. The court found that the disclosure statement failed to adequately disclose important features of the shared facilities agreement that gave the declarant, or its agent, complete control over the management, repairs and budget of the shared facilities, with no input whatsoever by the condo corporation. Significantly, the court found that the disclosure was inadequate despite the fact that the entire agreement was appended to the disclosure statement. "The statute", said the court, "requires more than just the disclosure of the document."

The court ultimately found that the shared facilities agreement was oppressive toward the condo corporation's rights because, among other things, it allowed for a powerful, non-arm's length shared facilities manager who was heavily biased in favour of the developer and commercial owners. Though the court confirmed it was not illegal to have a one-sided agreement in and of itself, the corporation had a reasonable expectation that the shared facilities manager would treat the corporation fairly under the terms of the agreement. Instead, the shared facilities manager took an unreasonable approach to the agreement and unfairly disregarded the corporation's legitimate interests.

In the end, the court did not terminate the agreement outright, as doing so would create a void that would not likely be filled. Rather, the court amended the agreement to insert a provision allowing TSCC 2130 to terminate the shared facilities manager.

The decision is an important victory for the condominium community. It opens the door for other new condominium corporations, which have been saddled with unfair and oppressive shared facilities agreements, to look to the courts for a remedy.

Date_Published
2016-09-23
Experience
More About


BIO

Armand heads up the Condominium Law Group at Shibley Righton LLP and represents numerous condominium corporations of all types across Ontario. He is a Past-President of the Canadian Condominium Institute (Toronto), where he also serves on its Board of Directors and is Chair of the joint ACMO and CCI (Toronto) Legislative Committee, which prepared and submitted an extensive legislative brief to the Ontario government with recommendations for changes to the Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Act”).

Armand has been on all the government committees involved in the reform of the Act and was one of 11 people appointed to the government's Expert Panel that conducted the final analysis of the Act. Armand has also been appointed as one of the four founding/first Directors of the newly created Condominium Authority of Ontario.

Armand is a recipient of the ACMO Special Recognition Award which is presented to recognize an individual for special achievements and services that have positively impacted the condominium industry in Ontario. He is also a past recipient of ACMO's President's Award and the Associate Member of the Year Award.

Armand is a member and past Chair of the joint CCI (Toronto)/ACMO Government Relations Committee. He is Chair of CCI National’s Government Relations Committee and prepared all 4 editions of the CCI National publication “Canadian Condominium Legislation – A Coast to Coast Comparison”.

Armand has written numerous articles for such publications as ACMO’s “CM Condominium MANAGER”, CCI(T)’s “thecondovoice”, “Humber Happenings”, “Condominium Law Letter”, “Canadian Real Estate”, “Real Estate News”, "The Lawyers Weekly" and "CondoBusiness". He has also represented condominium corporations and lenders on financings to condominium corporations.

He also lectures at CCI(Toronto)’s Directors’ courses and has lectured at Humber

College. In addition, Armand presents and speaks at various condominium conferences, including the annual ACMO/CCI Conference, PM Expo, SpringFest and the Toronto Condo Show, and has appeared on television and radio shows to discuss condominium and real estate issues.

Armand is the first lawyer in Ontario to be appointed by the Superior Court as a full Administrator (appointed under the Act), to take over all the duties of the Board of Directors of, and run, troubled corporations. Armand has been appointed as an Inspector under the Act, and also is an Arbitrator and Mediator.

Armand combines his legal education and engineering degree with the hands on experience of having been on the steering committee and then board of directors of a 276 unit condominium corporation for over 5 years. He has extensive condominium, real estate, litigation and business law experience. Having received a Master of Law degree from the Sorbonne (France). Armand is also bilingual.

Contact Information

T: 416.214.5207
F: 416.214.5407
E: aconant@shibleyrighton.com

vCard
Education

Sorbonne, D.E.S.S., 1984
McGill University, LL.B., 1978
Royal Military College of Canada, B.Eng., 1975

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