What! Another Elevator Down?!
First and foremost, Management would like to state that we understand the frustration and inconvenience of having 1-2 elevators down at the same time, especially in this era of living with covid-19 restrictions.
These delays are unfortunate as they also affect the Corporation's day-to-day operations, and affects the housekeeping staff's ability to clean and disinfect the elevators as per the requirement set out by Toronto Public Health to help stop the spread of Covid.
Management would also like to clear up one of the major misconceptions of the condominium industry that Residents normally have, which is that "all condos are the same"; if one condominium operates a certain way, the assumption is that all condos must operate the same or in a similar fashion. Management would like to say this is incorrect because each and every Corporation is unique, and has its own budget, challenges, and community. However, some similarities do exist with regards to the elevator industry, and how it affects us. The general rule of thumb is that when an elevator goes down, the Corporation’s staff must contact the company right away to investigate the issue. In some cases, parts are required, which in turn causes delays.
We understand that issues can cause long wait times, especially due to COVID-19 restrictions that further limit the elevator to 2 occupants due to the elevator's size, and that residents would like more communication when this happens. Management commits to providing updated information to residents when such incidents occur, and has instructed Security to send out e-blasts to all Residents notifying them of issues and wait times, which Management will follow up with once on-site.
In the past, the Corporation released blog posts on October 2, 2017, and January 14, 2019, highlighting what causes issues with the elevators. For your convenience, they are linked below, and summarized at the end of this blog post.
Thank you to all the residents who reached out and asked us to provide more information about what is going on with the elevators; we will keep everyone informed as we know more.
Edward Chin, Assistant Property Manager
at Emerald City One - TSCC 2368.
The key takeaway points from the October 2, 2017 blog:
Elevators, like anything mechanical, can get stuck, malfunction, and break. Our elevators are no different. Emerald City One has 4 elevators that service 36 residential floors and 4 levels of parking. With 479 residential units in the building, that is a lot of daily human traffic!
When an elevator goes down and we have scheduled bookings for the service elevator that cannot be rescheduled, it can take time to catch a ride in one. Understandably, once elevators are booked for move-ins/outs, we have to respect the time and costs involved for the person who booked it and plans to move, too.
If someone holds or forces an elevator door to remain open, a few things will happen: (a) If held for too long, the elevator will buzz and attempt to force the door closed. It, at this point, thinks that there is something (and sometimes it is correct) obstructing the door or that the sensor is malfunctioning. (b) The motion sensor will stop working. Usually, you can wave a hand in-between the door and the wall. When this is done, the sensor indicates to the elevator that there is something in front of it and it will reopen. However, when the buzzer is sounding after being held open and the elevator has begun to force close its doors, the sensor will no longer respond. (c) If the door is continued to be obstructed or it is forced back open, the car will stop. It assumes that there is something wrong and the car will shut down, requiring us to make a service call to our elevator company to resolve the issue.
Please do not hold, force open or obstruct the elevator doors. Now, we are not saying do not use the door open button to be polite and help friends, guests, and neighbors when they are attempting to board. That is common courtesy, and we appreciate and practice this ourselves. However, excessively holding and forcing the door to remain open, can be unsafe/dangerous to people and can cause damage to the elevators.
The key takeaway points from the January 14, 2019 blog:
1. Technicians Needed: According to an article published by City News, in Ontario (2018) there are roughly 57,900 elevators and only 4700 Licensed technicians in to maintain them. That's 1 technician for every 12 elevators!
2. Manufacturing: Where are our parts? While a large majority of these are located in Toronto, the manufacturing of parts for our elevator company (ThyssenKrupp Elevators) is done in the United States. This leads to long delivery times and can slow down even “simple” repairs.
3. More Elevators = Less Priority for Parts. We also have the dis/advantage of having 4 elevators. This leads to problems when we lose one elevator as it is seen as a minor emergency compared to a building which might only have that 1 or perhaps 2 elevators. Meaning they get priority over any parts that would be in stock. Some might ask "well, why don’t companies stock more parts?". The problem is that these parts are often expensive and custom-made, meaning anything left on a shelf is a large loss for the company. It also means that just changing companies isn’t a fix for the long wait times as they would simply have to order the custom parts through ThyssenKrupp’s manufacturing.
4. Proprietary Equipment
Our elevators are installed and maintained by ThyssenKrupp, and their parts and equipment are proprietary. That means that only ThyssenKrupps' licensed employees are allowed to work on it, and if anyone else does, the Corporation risks losing any and all warranty with ThyssenKrupp. Elevators are expensive, and losing warranty would be a huge expense to all Owners of suites at Emerald City One - and this is an unnecessary cost that we try our best to avoid so that it won't drastically increase maintenance fees.
Due to Covid-19, the Corporation’s elevators are currently under restrictions issued by Toronto Public Health of occupants, forcing Residents, Staff, and visitors to maintain a 2-metres separation for social distance. Unfortunately, our elevator size does not allow for more than 2 people per elevator. Furthermore, the Corporation, as per The Act (1998, S.117) prohibits a person from allowing a condition to exist or to carry on the activity in a unit or in the common elements if it is likely to injure someone.
The Condo Act (1998) (S.117).
Toronto Public Health website:
Management and Staff do their very best to accommodate the Residents and resolve reported matters as quickly as possible. However, with the numerous restrictions in place, the Corporation must ensure that safety precautions are being followed to prevent unnecessary liabilities. We hope that you understand how important it is for safety to come first, and for everyone to work together to stop the spread of COVID-19.