Written by
Laura Hanrahan

The City of Toronto hopes to sell 22 properties later this month to recoup more than $21.1 million in unpaid property taxes.

Properties are to be sold through the public tender land sale, also known as a property tax sale. The majority of the properties up for grabs are vacant commercial units, 17 of which are inside 222 Spadina Avenue in Chinatown. A condemned commercial/residential property along Eglinton Avenue East in Scarborough is also on the list.

Another of the properties listed, an industrial lot at 99 Toryork Drive in North York, is one of Toronto’s most notorious land fraudsters, appearing on the city’s land debtor list since 2000. In 2019, its owner – who , some say died – owed the City $4.5 million in taxes, according to a Toronto Star report. And it’s not the first time 99 Toryork has gone on sale either. It was proposed in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016, but no call for tenders was accepted. It is currently the most expensive property for sale with a minimum bid amount of $5,757,232. Other properties have minimum prices ranging from just under $36,000 to $2.8 million.

As seen in the case of 99 Toryork, properties listed in this type of sale have years of unpaid property taxes. The City says it is doing everything possible to allow owners to pay these taxes before selling the properties. After a minimum of two years of unpaid taxes, a tax arrears certificate is registered against the property, after which the City must wait one year before listing the property for sale. Until the property is sold, the owner or other interested party – a lien or mortgage holder, for example – has the option of paying the full taxes.

“The City is making every reasonable effort to contact the owner by mail, telephone, site visits and speaking with neighbors to locate and notify the owner before listing a property for sale,” the City of Toronto website states.

For the upcoming sale – whose bidding period will end on June 29 – if a property owner pays their outstanding taxes by the last day of the sale, they will be able to keep their property.

All properties are purchased as is, which for these listings may mean assuming existing liens or other title claims. The City strongly advises interested buyers to consult a lawyer before submitting an offer.

The complete list of goods offered for sale, as well as the terms and conditions for submitting an offer, are available on the City of Toronto website.

Written by
Laura Hanrahan

Laura has covered real estate in Toronto, New York, Miami and Los Angeles. Before coming to STOREYS as an editor, she worked as an urbanized editor in Toronto for Daily Hive.

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