Ontario building codes being modernized

In a recent media release the Ontario Government said that the province is modernizing services related to the province’s Building Code to help speed up the construction of new housing and building projects. Better services, up-to-date tools and new resources will help people better understand and meet Building Code requirements, while maintaining the same high standards for public safety.

The government is proposing to create an administrative authority that could deliver new and enhanced services, such as:

  • Developing digital tools to support municipal e-permitting and make the Building Code easier to use and understand;
  • Providing supports to help municipal governments increase the number of building inspectors in Ontario;
  • Introducing continuing professional development to make sure registered building code professionals remain up-to-date on Building Code requirements; and
  • Providing supports to small, rural and northern municipalities to help them deliver local building services.

“For many years the building sector and the public have been calling on government to do a better job of providing a range of services related to the Building Code,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We are proposing some solutions and are launching a consultation to find out what people think.  Maintaining Ontario’s high standards for building safety is a priority, so our government is also proposing to strengthen enforcement tools to address non-compliance with the Building Code.”

“In 2018, there were over 131,000 building permits issued in Ontario with a total estimated construction value of $38 billion, said Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker. “Some of those permits are issued to people building an addition on their home, adding a backyard deck, or creating a basement apartment. We want to hear their experience, so we can work to modernize and improve service. If you have ever used building code services, or applied for a building permit, we want to hear from you.”

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound residents and building sector professionals are invited to share their thoughts on the proposed changes online. The consultation closes November 25, 2019.

A new innovation guide was also released to help people who want to add a second unit, like a basement apartment, to their home. Second units can help address the shortage of lower-cost rental housing. They can also produce income to help with mortgage payments or provide independent living space for a senior parent or adult child. The guide is the first in a series being developed to encourage a wider range of options in housing.

  • Ontario’s construction industry contributes an estimated $38 billion annually to the province’s economy.

Proposed changes to building code services respond to recommendations made by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario in their recent report, Fixing the Housing Affordability Crisis.