Real estate brokers, Realtors, sales reps and other industry stakeholders are understandably concerned about the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Below is a compiled list of statements and resources from across the Canadian real estate industry regarding the ongoing global pandemic.

REM will continue to update this page as more information becomes available. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the latest updates.

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Boards & Associations

Real estate lawyer Mark Weisleder offers some clauses to consider inserting into Schedule A for Ontario Realtors:

We suggest the following clauses (of course each transaction is unique and if you have specific questions please contact us directly).


The Buyer shall pay the balance of the purchase price, subject to the usual adjustments by wire transfer.

The parties acknowledge and agree that all closing documentation can be signed electronically and forwarded by email or fax in accordance with the Electronic Commerce Act, 2000, S.O.2000,c.17

The parties agree that the keys to the property shall be left in a lock box at the property and the code to the same is to be provided to the Buyer’s lawyer in escrow pending closing of this transaction.

The parties herein acknowledge and agree that they are required to close this transaction notwithstanding any impacts of COVID-19, save and except the closing of the Land Registry Office(s) and all financial institutions. In the event the closing cannot occur due to a shutdown/disruption of the Land Registry System and/or banking system, then the closing date shall be automatically extended to the fifth (5th) business day following the date upon which said systems have returned to operational status and can clear funds accordingly.

March 20 updates:

March 23 updates:

Coronavirus And Condominiums: Lawyers David Thiel , Carol A. Dirks, Gareth F.G. Stackhouse and Rachel Fielding of Fogler, Rubinoff LLP in Toronto discuss various legal obligations for condominiums to consider.

REALPAC is providing detailed daily updates for the commercial real estate industry on its online portal.

March 24 updates:

Century 21 Canada is streaming a live webinar on its Facebook page every weekday at 1 p.m. ET to help agents cope with the current situation – and agents from all companies are invited to watch. Today (March 24), Richard Robbins will present Staying Positive and Productive During COVID-19.  Other presenters will include Tracey Anderson, Alicia Berruti, Shannon Smith, Kathleen Black and David Greenspan.

The Ontario government announced that real estate agents, movers, banks, real estate lawyers and insurers have been deemed to be essential services and may continue to operate during the crisis.  The full list of Essential Workplaces is here.

OREA urges Realtors to cease all face-to-face business: 

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is urging Ontario’s Realtors to stop all face-to-face business, including open houses, agent and public office hours, and in-person showings, particularity of tenant-occupied homes, during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

“Just yesterday, the Ontario government declared real estate an essential service, in order to permit transactions to close. I want to make it clear that this does not mean business as usual for Ontario’s Realtors. It’s time to stop all face-to-face business including open houses, maintaining agent and public office hours and in-person showings, especially in cases where a property is tenant-occupied,” says Sean Morrison, OREA president. “As Realtors and community leaders, we must do our part to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Why put your health on the line – or the health of your client or community – for showings that can simply be postponed for a few weeks? It’s not worth the risk.”

OREA is calling on its Realtors to work with the landlord and tenant to ensure the health and well-being of the province’s home buyers, sellers, and families remains a focus by encouraging the use of modern technology that facilitates remote interactions, such as virtual tours, video conference calls, and digital signing.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board issued a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) guidance to its 56,000 members on the provincial shutdown, as it relates to trading in real estate. The key message is to avoid in-person business, such as open houses and showings with clients, during the provincial state of emergency. This will include home sellers, buyers, tenants and business clients.


  1. Don’t toss out loaf bread, French baguette, or Italian rolls that have dried and are becoming brittle. If you catch them when they first start to dry out, and you don’t see being able to use that day, wet a clean white cotton (not terry cloth) tea towel. Wring out most of the moisture. Lay the tea towel loosely over the bread. Don’t tuck in the covering.

    Let rest on the kitchen counter and the bread will absorb the tea towel moisture and allow you a couple more days to use the bread. This really works! I’ve done it many times when not able to slice a loaf using my long serrated bread knife. Within a few hours, I am able to slice the bread, split the buns and toast, grill, or chop for bread pudding. One more example of nothing goes to waste in my kitchen. – my ebook (lots of free reading at tab above cover graphic marked: “Look inside”)

    “Gourmet Cooking – at Home with Carolyne”

    Amazon doesn’t show who buys, so I am not able to say personal thank you unless you notify me.

    © “From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks” Turning everyday meal making into a Gourmet Experience

    Read my REM recipes at:

    Add to REM – Timer, Timer, Timer

    Not just during this international crisis time …

    If you use Mazola Corn Oil large containers, keep the empty ones; when they are empty you can fill to dispose of used deep-frying oil in them and dispose of properly.
    Likewise, large plain white vinegar containers serve the same purpose. Store in high-up pantry shelf in maybe otherwise unused space until needed. Use a black magic marker to name that contents are unusable.

    Likewise wash and sterilize used glass jam jars and lids to repurpose, storing bits and pieces in refrigerator rather than using plastic containers.

    Another idea is to keep a glass bowl of Clorox / Javex water in your kitchen sink where periodically you can dip in your fingers while working in the kitchen. Add a cap to your floor-washing water as a disinfectant. In laundry I use baking soda and never have to buy Downey and Fleecy and such. Saves a fortune.

    Rinse your hair after washing, with plain white kitchen vinegar in a little water. You will have most beautiful shiny hair always. Rinse with clear water so you don’t smell like a salad bar. Add a half cup of vinegar to your bath water along with your favourite bubble bath. Softens the bath water.

    I like our local hard water for bathing because I’m used to it, but a trip to Vancouver was shocking. The hotel bathtub water was so soft it felt slimy to me. Hmmmm!

    I always keep an old large dinner plate on the counter as a catch-all for holding stirring spoons and such until ready to wash up. I also keep a plate for kitchen bits of trash collected while cooking and then toss all at once into the trash bin bag under the sink.

    A wonderful not so kitchen-ish necessary to do, especially these days that I have talked about before: cut open a medium onion, perhaps in quarters or cut in thick slices so as to have lots of onion surface exposed to the air. No need to peel. Put on a saucer and leave on the kitchen counter. Change every couple of days. The cut open onion attracts all the bacteria in the air in your house. I keep one on the side of the bathroom tub, too. It seriously works, especially if someone in your house has a cold or flu.

    Open crosswind windows every day in all seasons for a little while to change the air around and ventilate your living quarters naturally. Helps get rid of condensation from cooking and showers, and prevents MOLD from having an opportunity to get into the interior of your living quarters.

    Perfect air freshener: place a cut cucumber, slices or quarters, in several rooms. Money can’t buy a cheaper or better air freshener. And it smells wonderful. Toss every couple of days.

    I had a listing years ago belonging to a big name retiring lawyer partner in a firm here in town. I was fascinated to discover his wife of many years who was a professional homemaker mother/wife did exactly what I grew up doing.

    Beds don’t get made as soon as you vacate. Toss back the sheets and blanket covers to the end of the bed to let the overnight body heat evaporate. Helps to prolong the life of your mattress, too. Keeps everything nice and fresh. After you have finished your bathroom visit or other nearby chores, then make the bed. I never forgot her because she was the only client I ever had who preached the same housekeeping gospel I lived by and still do today. I only discovered this by a visit at 11 am waiting to double check a measurement and she apologized that the master bed hadn’t yet been made. We had a nice chat.

    Likewise, lay out the clothes before you retire for the day, that you will need in the morning. And what you wore today, scatter around the room to air out before putting into a laundry hamper.

    I don’t like kitchen gloves. I find them too awkward to work with. So I invested in a box of surgical lightweight gloves at the pharmacy. They are particularly handy when working with beets or hot chillies. I just told my estate lawyer to put some in his attache due to the virus situation. And as ridiculous as it might sound, to put a few in his suit pocket. Use at ATM’s and such and if you are using someone else’s pens filling out forms these days. He said: what a great idea!

    Cover your handheld tv channel changer with a non-zip sandwich bag wrapper. Change every couple of days.

    Keep your toothbrush sterilized: and air it and keep it covered maybe wrapped in a clean facecloth, in a drawer, especially during the current virus situation, but ideally all the time. The bathroom is bacteria-laden no matter how clean you are.

    I am not OCD, but being extra careful these days is even more necessary. Going to include this material with my cookbook manuscript where the Timer, Timer, Timer is positioned in handy hints, as already discussed at another REM column.

    Carolyne Lederer-Ralston
    “Gourmet Cooking – at Home with Carolyne” (Amazon Kindle)
    © “From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks” | Turning everyday meal making into a Gourmet Experience (work in progress NYC)
    © “Spirits in My Kitchen:” Lady Ralston – Cooking with Bouquets and Aromas
    (Maybe flap copy… for next in series )

    Flap copy maybe…

    What we are looking for is the flavours that are the base of liquors and liqueurs, wines, beers, and barrels (in particular, oak); sometimes the flavours are fruit-based, others are mellow herbs and spices, often flavours can be unusual to the palate because they are local. Some are easily defined, others more difficult to assess as a novice. Regardless, we eat first with our eyes.

    In cooking, mostly but not always, we want the alcohol mostly to burn off, just leaving the bouquet to tantalize the taste buds and sense of smell, producing that je ne sais quoi. Of course this doesn’t apply in marinating, or in preserving flavours as in Christmas fruitcake or Stollen, or marinating black mission figs.
    An interesting article on the topic:

  3. REM readers might find this National Post article useful.
    Daniel Whittal: Canadians should have estate plans in place during this coronavirus pandemic
    Many Canadians are not prepared for the implications of a global pandemic, especially when it comes to the potential fallout from not having a will or powers of attorney in place

    Read in National Post:

    Shared from Apple News

    Carolyne L

  4. Something to consider. Have your buyers and sellers seek advice about the reliance upon this legal term: Force majeure. Much is outside the control of the real estate community per se, and out of control generally speaking, of the law office in charge of finalizing LRO registrations. Escrow doesn’t kick in automatically.

    There are hurricanes and other weather related issues to wreak havoc and car crashes wherein deaths of buyers and sellers are involved, as well as unaccounted for untimely natural deaths. People have control removed from their purview.

    About Force Majeure: (look up details on google)…

    Carolyne L

    (From Google)
    A force majeure may work to excuse all or part of the obligations of one or both parties. … The importance of the force majeure clause in a contract, particularly one of any length in time, cannot be overstated as it relieves a party from an obligation under the contract (or suspends that obligation).

    What is a Force Majeure Clause? “A contractual term by which one (or both) of the parties is entitled to cancel the contract or is excused from performance […] or is entitled to suspend performance […] upon the happening of a specified event or events beyond [his or her] control.”



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