Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Barrie Office
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News Release

Owner looking to add healthy clause to townhouse complex

Oct 17, 2016
SIMCOE-MUSKOKA –When Cecilia DeCourcy decided to downsize and move into a condominium townhouse she never thought twice about what went on behind closed doors at her neighbours’ homes.

SIMCOE-MUSKOKA –When Cecilia DeCourcy decided to downsize and move into a condominium townhouse she never thought twice about what went on behind closed doors at her neighbours’ homes. Now she can’t help but think about it.

The Penetanguishene resident says she is worried that with more townhomes going up for sale in her 20-unit complex, new buyers who smoke in their homes may end up moving in.

“My next door neighbour was an occasional smoker and she tried to be considerate with her smoking,” DeCourcy says, “but we all share a common roof here and drifting smoke has no conscience; it seeps in anywhere it can.

“I was so happy when she quit. I can’t imagine what it would be like if a lot of people who smoke moved into the complex.”

Similar to many of the people living in condos and apartments who call the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit for help, DeCourcy says she wishes she “insisted on a no smoking complex when she was looking to buy five years ago.”

She has approached members of her condominium board of directors and asked them to consider changing the declaration to make the complex no smoking—both to protect her health and her investment in her home.

A 2013 Ipsos Reid survey of real estate professionals found that homes where smoking occurs have lower resale values ranging from 10 to 29 per cent below smoke-free homes.

An earlier survey of multi-unit housing residents by the same survey firm showed that given the choice 80 per cent would choose to live in a smoke-free building.

“Smoke-free apartments, townhouses and condominiums are healthy, legal and they are in demand,” says Leslie Gordon, tobacco-free living coordinator at the health unit. “We’re ready to support owners, tenants and landlords who want to protect themselves by helping them start the process of transitioning their buildings to smoke free.”

Gordon stresses that “transitioning” doesn’t mean forcing people who smoke to quit or move out but rather putting rules in place that will apply to new tenants or owners. A building will become 100 per cent smoke free over time as units turn over.

For DeCourcy, making changes to the condominium declaration can’t come soon enough.

“We have a great little community here, I’d hate to see that change because we weren’t proactive in making it a healthy place to live by making it smoke free.”

For more information about smoke-free housing visit the health unit website at or call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.



Penetanguishene resident Cecilia DeCourcy wants her condo board to add a No Smoking clause to their declaration for any new owners so that as units are sold the complex will transition to smoke free.


Multi-unit housing complexes that are choosing to include No Smoking clauses in their rental or ownership agreements will be offered decals to let the public know they are smoke free.

Six reasons to go smoke free


  • Protection from secondhand smoke for the entire family
  • Smoking is the leading cause of fatal home fires
  • Supports healthy lifestyle

Landlords, Condo Owners

  • Cost to refurbish a smoke-free unit is lower
  • Reduced fire risk and in some cases insurance rates
  • Better resale values, larger market for your properties

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