With Canada Day quickly approaching, many condominium residents will want to show their patriotism by displaying the Canadian Flag. Often, this display is visible from the outside. On its face, it can appear to violate the condominium’s declaration or rules, however it does not.
It is important for condominium corporations to know what they can limit in this regard, and what they cannot. The Condominium Act, 1998 provides condominium corporations with the authority to make rules surrounding what condominium owners can and cannot do on the common elements. For example, condominium corporations are permitted to limit owners from visibly hanging another country’s flag outside of their units. In fact, many condominium corporations have put rules into place to prevent certain items, such as sports flags or decorations, from hanging off balconies and hanging from the windows. These are important rules to have in place especially around the holiday seasons.
So, can condominium corporations ban residents from displaying the Canadian flag?
The answer is probably not. A complete prohibition on the display of the Canadian Flag is likely to be found to be unreasonable, not meeting the requirements of section 58 of the Condominium Act. Additionally, a complete ban on the display of the Canadian flag would not be in line with the National Flag of Canada Act which provides that
“Every person who is in control of an apartment building, a condominium building or building in divided co-ownership or another multiple-residence building or a gated community is encouraged to allow the National Flag of Canada to be displayed in accordance with flag protocol.”
Condominium corporations are therefore encouraged to allow the display of the Canadian flag in units and exclusive use common elements. With this said, the display of the Canadian flag can be controlled in some fashion by establishing rules.
With Canada Day around the corner, condominium corporations should enact rules to govern the display of the Canadian flag. These rules can be, but are not limited to, where the flags can be displayed and whether the flag will be allowed on common elements, the number of flags a unit can display, the size of the flags, and the length of time that a flag can be displayed for. These rules will please both parties, as unit owners will be allowed to show their patriotism, and condominium corporations will ensure that the display of the Canadian flag is done in a neat and organized manner.
Have a happy Canada Day!
This post was written by our summer student Jordana Spiegelman.