Toronto’s Auditor General finds fire safety code deficiencies in city-owned buildings

Toronto’s Auditor General has found fire safety code deficiencies in various city-owned buildings, calling out a contractor’s fraudulent practices and taking city authorities to task about slippage in inspection services. A report released cites 19 city facilities at which these deficiencies were discovered, including Union Station, City Hall, Old City Hall, Exhibition Place, Toronto Zoo, Casa Loma and Metro Hall.

The report says a company known as York Fire Protection has been hired by the city to perform life safety inspections at several city-owned buildings for many years. Over the years, the company, headed by one Rauf Ahmad, also known as Rauf Arain, signed contracts totalling more than $395,000 and $550,000, according to the report.

The report says Ahmad confirmed, after intense questioning under oath, that he uses at least five other identities associated with the company, including names such as David Williams, Lacette Daniels, Serena Crawford, Jason Peters and Steve Sailings. The company, which the report says also operates under other names, such as Advance Fire Control and Advanced Detection Technologies Corp., has done similar work for private buildings in Toronto and other municipalities.