New Accessibility Amendments to Ontario’s Building Code - Overview of Updated Requirements
On December 27, 2013, Ontario Regulation 368/13 was filed to amend the new 2012 Building Code, O.Reg. 332/12. The effective date of the amendment is January 1, 2015.
The amended requirements will substantially enhance accessibility in newly constructed buildings and existing buildings that are to be extensively renovated. They maintain Ontario’s leadership role in requirements for barrier-free design.
In 2005, the government committed to the development of five accessibility standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. These amendments to the Building Code work together with the Design of Public Spaces standard, introduced in 2012, to finalize the government’s commitment to an accessibility standard for the built environment.
Five accessibility standards are already in regulation under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act: Customer Service, Information and Communications, Employment, Transportation, and Design of Public Spaces. For more information on Accessibility Standards, please visit www.ontario.ca/AccessOn.
Requirements apply to most new construction and extensive renovations. Existing buildings, where no work is planned, are not affected by these new requirements. Houses, including semi-detached houses, townhouses, and duplexes, are not affected by most accessibility requirements, with the exception of smoke alarm requirements.