Posted on Thursday February 05, 2015

Division B, (1)- The location and placement of blocking for future installation of grab bars has changed. This has to do with the elimination of diagonal grab bars. Continuous L-shaped bars are now required in bathtubs, showers and beside toilets. See the attached diagrams for the proper placement.

Division B, (2)- Smoke alarms must now have a visual signalling component.

Division B, (2)- Furnaces shall now have a brushless direct current motor.

Division B, (3&4) and (1&2)- The surfaces of ramps, landings and treads shall have a slip-resistant surface and if accessible to the public a colour contrast or distinctive visual pattern to indicate the leading edge of the tread, landing and the beginning and end of the ramp. Also, a tactile attention indicator shall be installed at the top of the stairs starting one tread depth back from the edge of the top stair and the leading edge of landings where a door opens onto a landing. This does not apply to single dwelling units. See attached drawing.


Grab bars are now to be L-Shaped (750mm by 750mm) and continuous, with the exception of the one located above the toilet tank. Diagonally installed bars are no longer allowed. See attached drawing.

Universal washrooms are now required to have an emergency call system with both visual and audible alarms along with a sign indicating this.

Lavatories in a barrier free washroom are required to have a clear forward approach space 920mm wide by 1370mm long to allow access for a wheelchair or walker.

Apartment buildings with 7 or more units are required to have 15% of the units barrier free.

The open turning space in universal washrooms is now 1700mm in diameter (an increase from 1500mm). Barrier free washroom stalls will continue to require a 1500mm turning space. See attached drawing.

These are a summary of the major changes to the Ontario Building Code. Many other minor changes have taken effect as well. For more information on these, please contact us.