Jan 18, 2023
By Jeremy Logan
There’s a house for sale in Terra Cotta, Ontario, just north of Georgetown, and the listing is raising some concerns and questions.
At first glance it appears straightforward.
The two-bedroom, two-bath bungalow at 54 Odessa Boulevard is situated in a self-described “private community”, known as the Poltawa Country Club.
The listing cites the usual features you’d associate with a small-town home, along with its country club-specific lifestyle and the associated membership fees.
The home is listed for $875,000.
But here’s the catch.
The listing states that any prospective buyer must be of “Ukrainian descent” to qualify for the purchase.
And that qualification may be a violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code, which says every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to the occupancy of accommodation, without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, and ethnic origin.
As reported by BlogTO , a division of ZoomerMedia, Rayissa Palmer is the broker associated with the listing.
Palmer says that this situation is not unprecedented.
She explains that the community was created in 1947 by the Ukrainian diaspora that came after World War Two.
Palmer says that she knows of several communities like this in Ontario, including a Croatian one, another Ukrainian one, and a Jewish one, while admitting that the province does not allow this practice anymore.
It was disallowed in 1950, but Realtor and housing law expert Varun Sriskanda says the Poltawa Country Club community could be under a grandfather clause that allows it to maintain its “Ukrainians only” clause, even if such restrictive covenants are now illegal.