Statement of Founding Principles and Objectives

At its founding in February 2001 the following ratepayers’ and residents’ associations joined together to form the Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Associations (FoNTRA)*:

  • ABC Residents’ Association
  • Avenue Road & Eglinton Community Association
  • Bedford Park Residents’ Association
  • Deer Park Ratepayers’ Group
  • Don Mills Residents Inc.
  • FoNTRA Associate Members-at-Large
  • Lawrence Park Ratepayers’ Association
  • Lawrence Park-Bayview Property Owners’ Association
  • Leaside Property Owners’ Association
  • Lytton Park Residents’ Organization Inc.
  • Moore Park Residents’ Association
  • North Hill District Home Owners’ Association
  • Oriole Park Association
  • Sherwood Park Residents’ Association
  • South Eglinton Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association
  • South Hill District Home Owners’ Association
  • Summerhill Residents’ Association
  • Tarragon Village Community Association
  • Teddington Park Residents’ Association
  • York Mills Ratepayers’ Association
  • York Mills Valley Association

The members of FoNTRA agree to work jointly to preserve and enhance the quality of life that makes our area such an enjoyable place to live, shop and work. FoNTRA will be dedicated to safeguarding the sustainability of our neighbourhoods that include all of our road systems. We are committed to holding members of our City and Provincial governments, including elected and non-elected officials, accountable to the residents in our neighbourhoods. We want to restore the belief and trust of our members in the fairness and democracy of Toronto’s political system, and to reverse the current feeling that the interests of others rank ahead of our own residents.

FoNTRA’s objectives include:

  • Working with the elected and non-elected members of the City, Provincial and, where appropriate, Federal governments as well as the media to ensure that public policies better reflect the taxation and the significant, longstanding volunteer and charitable contributions of our residents. We will be dedicated to ensuring that development, taxation and other policies are compatible with our neighbourhoods and the needs of our residents;
  • Standing together as FoNTRA to ensure that any property development and redevelopment is in keeping with the Official Plan, Zoning By-Laws and Secondary Plans irrespective of the local association area in which an application is made.
  • Placing developers and planners on notice that applications for new developments or redevelopments that significantly affect any part of our region affect all of our members. We will review and respond to them accordingly;
  • Working together to ensure genuine participation by our residents in the development of the new Official Plan and in the formulation of other new development policies affecting our area;
  • Promoting reforms to the City’s property tax system to reduce the serious inequities of the current taxation approach; and
  • Working with the media and our members to publicize undemocratic initiatives and other actions proposed or taken without accountability to residents by non-elected officials. We will work vigorously and diligently to reverse such actions that are harmful to the FoNTRA area’s quality of life and our residents’ interest in vibrant, liveable neighbourhoods.

* The 20 area residents’ associations and the FoNTRA Associate Members-at-Large comprised the 21 original member organizations of FoNTRA. In total, these associations represented over 125,000 residents within their boundaries. Today FoNTRA has over 30 members representing over 170,000 residents.

Operation of Residents’ Associations

Insurance Considerations for Residents’ Associations

The subject of Insurance is often raised by Residents’/Ratepayers’ Associations (RA’s) who are members of FoNTRA. Some RA’s are Incorporated/some are not. Of the incorporated RA’s, some do not have any insurance; some have Directors & Officers Liability (D&O); some may also have Commercial General Liability (CGL). The cost of the insurance is a significant challenge to arranging coverage for many RA’s.

On the benefit side to having insurance, it covers the RA and its Directors, Officers and, possibly, volunteers for a range of potential legal liabilities, including claims arising from injuries/accidents at public events. It can also serve as insurance coverage that will be requested when renting or using a third party facility (such as a meeting room in a church). Increasingly, third parties are requesting such insurance coverage. As well, potential Board Members will often question whether or not the RA holds insurance, as they want to be protected from the risk of lawsuits for their volunteer efforts. We live in an increasingly litigious society and the frequency of lawsuits (legitimate or not) has skyrocketed over the past 25 years.

Another benefit to having insurance is that legal fees incurred in defending a lawsuit are included in the insurance coverage. Even if a RA is not found ultimately liable for a CGL or D&O claim, the defence costs incurred may well be in the multiple thousands of dollars. Without a policy in place, the RA and/or Directors/Officers will need to cover the legal expenses out of their own pockets.

Review this resource document for a discussion of CGL and D&O policies as they apply to non-profits:

Insurance Coverages Nonprofits and Charities Need to Understand, David Hartley, manager, Insurance & Liability Resource Centre for Nonprofits.

For more detailed information and advice on CGL and/or D&O policies, your RA should consult a licensed Insurance Broker and/or a Lawyer.

In April, 2018 FoNTRA felt that it would be helpful to survey the member RA’s to (a) determine what insurance arrangements the RA’s currently have (b) to get feedback on their opinions on the need for insurance coverage and (c) to find out if they were interested in being given information to pursue obtaining insurance coverage. The information collection could also be useful to RA’s who do have insurance for comparison purposes, to determine if they are obtaining good coverage for the costs.

The survey was distributed to 35 RA’s and responses were received from 23 – of these, 20 are incorporated and 3 are not. 10 of the 20 incorporated RA’s carry Directors & Officers Liability and/or Commercial General Liability insurance.

An unincorporated RA may wish to review the legal risks to their Directors, Officers and members (the principles governing their liability are different from those governing incorporated RA’s) – perhaps a lawyer in their RA could provide clarification/advice.

The reasons provided by the 13 RA’s for not having insurance were: don’t know where to obtain insurance; Board hasn’t considered the need for coverage; Board doesn’t think it is necessary, after consideration or can’t afford the cost.

For the RA’s that have Directors & Officers Liability, the Limits of Insurance values range from $1,000,000 to $5,000,000 with Premium Costs ranging from $500 to $1200, dependent on the specific circumstances for each RA.

For the RA’s that have Commercial General Liability, the Limits of Insurance values again range from $1,000,000 to $5,000,000 with Premium Costs ranging from $500 to $1,800, again dependent on each RA’s circumstances.

If a RA is interested in discussing the insurance survey described above, FoNTRA would be pleased to talk with them. Please contact Geoff Kettel.

FoNTRA has spoken with the following brokers who would be pleased to talk with your RA about possible CGL and/or D&O coverage and costs:

Cade Associates Insurance Brokers Ltd.

4800 Dundas St. West Suite 100, Toronto ON, M9A 1B1



Canadian Insurance Brokers (Daniel Goldhar)

1 Eglinton Ave E, Suite 415, Toronto ON, M3P 3A1

Direct: 416-583-5854 Main: 416-486-0951


R. Robertson Insurance Brokers Ltd. (Greg Robertson)

150 Bridgeland Ave #203, North York ON M6A 1Z5

416-780-9906 (224) / 877-489-9906



Submitted by:

Sheila Harrison-Dunlop, South Armour Heights Residents’ Association (SAHRA)

Contributors: Paul Green (LPOA), Jeffrey Levitt (GBNA), Paul Newbigging (SERRA), Andy Gort (SERRA)

Prepared on: Aug 1, 2019