January 24, 2017
Thank you for your interest in the Toronto Islands Residential Community Trust (Land Trust). The information below explains the system for purchasing a home on Toronto Island. Please read it carefully. If you are checking this site for an update on the re-opening of our Purchasers' List, please note:
The Purchasers' List is now closed. It will reopen when there are more than 25 vacancies on the List.
INFORMATION ON THE ISLAND TRUST and PURCHASERS’ LIST
The Toronto Islands Residential Community Trust
In December 1993, the Toronto Islands Residential Community Trust was established by legislation (Bill 61 as amended) to manage the land and buildings associated with the Island community, on behalf of the Island residents and the general public. Under the legislation, residents on Ward’s and Algonquin Islands are able to hold title to their homes and lease the lots on which their houses stand until December 15, 2092. The Trust is mandated to provide stewardship of the Island Residential Community, ensuring that this community is maintained according to the principles which islanders fought hard for in their 30 year effort to retain their homes.
One of the core principles of the Trust is to ensure that the sale of island homes and leases, which sit on public land, do not result in windfall profits for the owners. Under the legislation, Island homes and leases may only be bought and sold through the Toronto Islands Residential Community Trust. The system of regulated prices for homes and leases, sold only to people on the Purchasers’ List, ensures that this principle is maintained. The Trust is also charged with managing its five public buildings for the benefit of the public as well as the community. The Trust receives no government or outside funding to support its operations.
The Purchasers’ List
The Act (Bill 61) also requires the Trust to create a waiting list for potential purchasers of Island homes and land leases. The list was established in February, 1994. The maximum number of names on the List is 500. By law, homes and leases can only be sold to people on the list. The list is currently at its maximum, and is reopened whenever space permits, generally once a year. Names are added to the end of the list by a draw. The deadline to apply to the lottery draw is advertised in one major weekend paper and on the island community web site, torontoisland.org/trust .
Since the establishment of the Purchasers’ List in 1994, 66 island homes and leases have been sold. When a house and lease come up for sale, we usually send offers to the top 150 people on the list. We normally find buyers within the first 100 names, but on occasion properties have been bought by numbers as far down as 196. While we cannot predict sales on an annual basis; we anticipate that we will sell an average of one to two houses per year. In addition, over the past few years, an average of 15 to 20 people each year have not renewed their place on the list.
PLEASE NOTE: We cannot determine when a home will become available for people who are joining the end of a list of 500 names because we cannot predict how many homes will sell or how many people will drop off the list in any given year.
Lease and House Costs
The value of the land leases is set by the legislation. Initially, the cost of a lease was $36,000 for a lot on Ward’s Island and $46,000 for a lot on Algonquin Island. Since declaration of the Act (1993), lease prices have increased by approximately $19,000 - $25,000 in accordance with formulas set out in government regulations for the Islands Trust. The purchase price of the lease is currently approximately $55,000 on Ward's Island and $71,000 on Algonquin Island. The lease cost is a one-time payment.
The value of a house is established through a regulated appraisal and inspection process, and is based solely on the construction costs of the building. Lot size and location are not a factor in determining the value of a house. The price of a house ranges from around $50,000 to $600,000, with the average house in the $150,000 - $400,000 range (not including the one-time lease cost). The resale values of houses and leases are limited by formulas set out in the Act.
Under the Act, anyone who holds title to an Island home must use that house as his/her principal residence and declare it as such for Income Tax purposes. The homeowner’s land lease stipulates that you cannot use an Island house for a part-time or "summer" home, or as rental property. There are provisions in the lease permitting limited rentals.
Rules and Instructions
All applications for the Purchasers’ List must be made in writing and be accompanied by a cheque or money order for $20 for the processing fee. The cheques are payable to the Toronto Islands Residential Community Trust Corporation. If you do not include payment or your cheque is returned by your bank, your application may be disregarded without further notice
2. Annual Renewal fees
There will be an annual renewal fee (currently set at $45) to maintain your entry on the Purchasers’ List. The renewal fee is payable in March of each year. Only one (1) notice of renewal will be sent. If payment is not received by March 15 of each year, your name will be removed from the List.
3. Change of Address
The Trust will rely on the address appearing on your application form. The address can be changed only by written notice to the Trust and the Trust will rely on the address shown in any written notice of change.
Applicants who are turned down because the List is full will not have their $20 fee refunded.
All notices sent by ordinary mail and will be considered delivered three days after they are mailed. All emailed notices will be considered delivered the next business day.
6. Minimum Age Requirement
All applicants must be at least eighteen years of age or 16 where required by Ontario law. The applicants must turn 18 or 16 where required by Ontario law in the calendar year of their application.
Two or more people who want to be co-owners of a home should apply on one application form. They will be considered a single entry on the list.
8. Limit of Number of Times a Name May Appear on the List
Each individual will only be permitted to have his or her name appear once on the Purchasers’ List (either alone or in combination with the names of others).