Accessibility Amendments to Ontario's new Building Code (2012) come into effect as of January 1st, 2015. Does this affect your project? It depends.
These amendments to the Ontario Building Code work in combination with the Design of Public Spaces standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
The new requirements will significantly enhance the accessibility of newly-constructed buildings, and buildings undergoing substantial renovation. So, if your prospective project falls under either of those categories, you'll want to be aware of these new amendments.
The new amendments cover a range of issues. Fire alarms in public corridors and multi-unit residential buildings and suits must now be visual. Smoke alarms in all buildings, including houses, must have a visual component. There are also new requirements for barrier free elevators, washrooms, and access to public pools and spas.
The installment of power doors is now mandatory in a wider range of building entrances, as well as in washroom and common room entrances in multi-unit residential buildings. The requirements for accessible and adaptable seating in public assembly buildings, like lecture halls and places of worship, have also been updated.
If you think your upcoming project might be affected by these new requirements, and would like to learn more about what they entail, you can find more detailed information at the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing's 'Overview of Updated Accessibility Requirements'.