Ontario Building Code: New Design Requirements

Ontario’s Modernized Building Code Improving Safety, Accessibility

The new edition of Ontario’s Building Code, which comes into effect on January 1, 2014, will help ensure public safety, significantly enhance accessibility for people with disabilities and seniors, and improve energy efficiency.

Changes to the Building Code will make Ontario a North American leader in barrier-free building design. Starting in January 2015, there will be more accessibility requirements such as more apartment units with accessible features and visual fire safety devices such as smoke alarms with a flashing light.  Five accessibility standards are already in place under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and information can be found on the AccessON website.

Ontario is also a leader in supporting energy efficiency, helping homeowners save on their energy bills. Under the revised Building Code, new houses built in 2017 will consume 50 per cent less energy than homes built before 2006.

The province will soon launch a user-friendly e-version of the Building Code, which can also be used on notepads and smart phones.  This will give building officials, designers and others in the building sector better access to information they need.

Improving safety and accessible building standards are part of the Ontario government’s economic plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.