Ontario Building Code Updates

Summary of Ontario Building Code changes from CodeNews

The Ontario Building Code

Ontario Building Code is provincial legislation that outlines regulations for building and renovating in Ontario. The regulations include structural requirements, safety requirements including fire safety, public health, accessibility and structural sufficiency.

The purpose of the Building Code is to set minimum standards for construction to minimize the risk to the health and safety of the occupants of a building.

2025 National Construction Codes

CHBA is working with local HBA Chapters and the provinces on Building Code Harmonization, which would see one building code across Canada. Consultation and comments were received in December 2022 and April 2023. Five more commenting periods are planned. PKHBA is always open to hearing comments from members on Code Changes and suggestions. Comments may also be shared directly to the Ministry: buildingcode.consultation@ontario.ca.

The Building Code Updates can be viewed online HERE

The Building Code Compendium can be viewed online HERE

May 12, 2023

-Midrise Wood Construction: These changes are intended to reduce costs for certain building types and harmonize requirements with the National Construction Codes on 4-6 storey wood buildings, including multi-unit residential.

-Stacked Townhomes: These changes are intended to reduce costs for certain building types, by removing standpipe requirements for four storey stacked townhouses, while maintaining the objectives of fire protection, life safety and health.

-Applicable Law: Minister’s orders under section 34.1 of the Planning Act (using the community housing and infrastructure accelerator tool) become applicable law for purposes of issuing a building permit.

February 28, 2023

  • Building permits are required for demountable stages and associated sound and lighting equipment towers. These stages must also comply with specific technical requirements for stage safety. This amendment responds to recommendations from a Coroner's Inquiry and from an expert panel on strengthening safety standards in the live performance industry following two stage collapses that resulted in injuries and a fatality in 2011 and 2012.
  • Fire damper requirements are being streamlined to facilitate the construction of certain buildings, such as hospitals and long-term care facilities. These changes will reduce construction and ongoing maintenance costs for large, complex buildings that are currently being designed and constructed.

Temporary Health or Residential Facilities amendments made in response to Covid 19 have been extended to March 31, 2024.

July 1, 2022

Requires identification of new and renovated buildings constructed using truss and lightweight construction systems.

The program requires municipal building departments to notify fire departments or the clerk of a municipality that does not have a fire department, that a building, other than a house, will be constructed or renovated using a truss and lightweight system.

These requirements complement requirements released by the Office of the Fire Marshal on February 25, 2022, for existing buildings.

January 1, 2023

Amendments to Ontario’s Building Code related to:

  • building permits and inspections for tiny homes
  • remote inspections for all buildings
  • housekeeping amendments

Tiny homes amendments:

  • create a two-permit system for tiny homes that are constructed in one municipality and are to be located and occupied in another municipality.
  • allow building permit applicants to obtain a building permit and have “off site” inspections done by the building official in the municipality where the home is constructed.
  • require building permit applicants to obtain a second building permit in the municipality where the tiny home will be located demonstrating compliance with site-specific conditions such as applicable law and requirements related to siting the tiny home, including ingress/egress, foundations and anchoring.
  • set out responsibilities for the building officials in each municipality.
  • set out how the mandatory timelines apply in this two-permit system when two different municipalities are involved.

Remote inspection amendment (Article of Division C of the Building Code):

  • clarifies that building officials have discretion to use alternative inspection methods when conducting inspections on the construction of buildings such as remote inspections and other means.

Four housekeeping amendments:

  • update outdated references to other statutes in the list of applicable law to account for changes made in 2021 by the new Ontario Land Tribunal Act, 2021, as well as changes to the Ontario Heritage Act.

2019 Building Code Amendments related to Stairs, Guards and Handrails

September 7, 2021

Updated Code and Guide Publications

  • 2020 Code and Guide for Sewage Systems
  • 2020 Code and Guide for Plumbing
  • 2020 Ontario Code and Construction Guide for Housing

May 17, 2021

Updates from Building Transit Faster Act, 2020, Transit Corridor Lands