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What is a Condo?

Identifying the different types of condo corporations

A condominium is a specific kind of ownership structure that involves shared ownership of common elements and community decision-making. In Ontario, there are several different types of condo corporations and understanding each will help you make an informed decision whether you are planning to live in one or buy one.


  • There are different types of Condo corporations in Ontario.
  • The two main categories are freehold and leasehold.
  • The four types of freehold condos are: standard, phased, vacant land and common elements condo corporation

Freehold Condominium Corporations

A freehold condo is one where the land is owned by the condo corporation. Here are the four kinds of freehold condo types under the Condo Act;

Standard condo corporation

  • The most common type of condo corporation in Ontario
  • Has individual condo units
  • May include common elements and amenities such as a foyer, exterior walls, pools, gardens, etc.

Phased condo corporation

  • A condo corporation that is intended to be built and registered in phases
  • New condo units and common elements are built and then added to the condo corporation
  • A phased condo corporation becomes a standard corporation upon completion

Vacant land condo corporation

  • The condo units may be vacant lots at the time of purchase and the layout of the lands may resemble a subdivision
  • Common elements are often things such as roadways, sewer systems; or amenities such as parks or recreation facilities
  • The developer can sell the lots as vacant or build on them first and then sell

Common elements condo corporation

  • There are no condo units in this type of condo corporation
  • Owners purchase a part of a common elements. Examples include shared roads, golf courses, or ski hills

Leasehold Condo Corporation

These are condo corporations built on leased land for a term between 40 and 99 years. Owners have a leasehold interest in the units and common elements but do not actually own the land. Some key points about leasehold condo corporations include:


  • Common expenses include a portion of the rent payable to the landowner
  • Once the lease expires, the owner’s rights to occupy the condo unit is automatically terminated
  • Leasehold condo corporations are not common in Ontario

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