Ontario’s Building Code lays out the requirements for construction, renovation and change of use of buildings. As an important regulation under the Building Code Act, 1992, amendments are generally issued every five years to follow updates to Canada’s National Construction Codes as rules and regulations change and evolve.
But Ontario isn’t the only province seeing changes! Find out more about Saskatchewan’s new and improved Construction Codes Act for 2022 here.
So, what’s new for 2022 when it comes to Ontario’s Building Code?
Amendments to building permits and inspections for Tiny Homes
It’s no secret that the interest in and market for Tiny Homes has boomed over the last few years. With soaring home prices across the country, some look to Tiny Homes as an affordable, year-round housing or vacation home option as well as a great add-on to an existing property.
Ontario saw the demand and released a 2019 guide titled “Build or Buy a Tiny Home”. The guide was written for the general public and went over the current laws and by-laws that would need to be considered by those building or buying a Tiny Home.
The guide includes a definition of a Tiny Home, classifying Tiny Homes as those that are 400 sq. ft. (37 m2) or less and stating: “A ‘tiny home’ is a small private, compact, self-contained dwelling unit with kitchen and bathroom facilities and sleeping areas intended for year-round use.”
But the guide leaves some uncertainty regarding the codes and regulations related to Tiny Homes, such as in cases where a Tiny Home is built off-site and then transported to a different municipality.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing took notice, launching a public consultation period in 2021 on proposed changes to Ontario’s Building Code regarding Tiny Homes.
The Ontario Building Code’s new 2022 amendments for Tiny Homes:
- Creates a two-permit system for tiny homes that are constructed in one municipality and meant to be located and occupied in another municipality.
- Grants building permit applicants the ability to obtain a building permit and have “off-site” inspections done by the building official in the municipality where the home is built.
- Requires building permit applicants obtain a second building permit in the municipality where the tiny home is to be located, showing compliance with site-specific conditions under applicable law and requirements related to siting the tiny home, including ingress/egress, foundations and anchoring.
- Lays out the responsibilities for building officials in each municipality.
- Lays out how mandatory timelines apply in this two-permit system when two municipalities are involved.
Amendments to remote inspections for all buildings
The COVID-19 pandemic forced a pivot in a lot of the ways work is conducted, requiring many to carry out their jobs remotely, building inspectors included.
To stay in line with public health protocols around reducing personal interactions while still trying to meet established timelines for conducting building inspections, many building departments developed their own policies and procedures around carrying out remote inspections.
While the Ontario Building Code doesn’t explicitly prohibit the use of remote inspections, in response to the experiences of many municipal building officials, the Ontario Building Code was updated to formally clarify and confirm that remote inspections are acceptable and at the discretion of building officials.
The Ontario Building Code’s new 2022 amendments for remote inspections:
- Confirms that building officials have the choice to use alternative inspection methods when conducting inspections on the construction of buildings, such as remote inspections and other means.
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Whether commercial, condo or residential, the experienced and licensed structural engineers at Criterium-Jansen have all your building inspection needs covered. We are well-versed in Ontario’s Building Code and are here to ensure your property meets those requirements and more.