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Ontario Building Code 2018 PDF


If you work in the construction or industrial sector, you may be familiar with the Ontario Building Code. However, the average homeowner may not know much about the code aside from its name! The Ontario Building Code (Building Code Act, 1992 – Ontario Regulation 332/12) is the “legislative framework governing the construction, renovation and change-of-use of a building” (source).

In this article, we will outline some of the major key statutes listed in the code so home builders and home owners alike can have a better understanding of Ontario legislation. For more information about building or masonry, contact the experts at Royal Masonry today!

 The Ontario Building Code Download Page - Image source: Ontario.ca The Ontario Building Code Download Page – Image source: Ontario.ca

Ontario Building Code – Definitions & Tables

If you download the Ontario Building Code document, you will notice that the first few sections of the document contain definitions and tables. These are in place at the beginning and throughout the document to help you better understand the Code.

For example, under Objectives – Forming Part of Sentence (, there are many definitions listed to ensure readers have the same understanding of certain words or phrases as the writers. “Safety,” in terms of Code Objectives, is defined as: “An objective of this Code is to limit the probability that, as a result of the design or construction of a building, a person in or adjacent to the building will be exposed to an unacceptable risk of injury” (The Ontario Building Code, Pg. 31, source).

What Homeowners Should Know

Unlike home builders, homewners are not required to know anything about the Ontario Building Code. However, it may be beneficial for homeowners to have a moderate understanding of the code.

This can help if you are planning to buy a new home, especially if it’s an older home (where certain features may not be up to current standards) or if you are planning to sell your home. Some regulations homeowners may want to take a look:

  • Regulations regarding basements and crawlspaces

  • Rules and regulations regarding home electricity, outlets, and fire alarms & detectors

  • Information about renovations and knowing the difference between a “basic renovation” and “extensive renovations” and knowing the difference between renovation and refurbishing.

  • Any information that may be relevant if you choose to rent out your home or portions of your home (e.g. a basement apartment)

  • Basic information about plumbing and sewage that may affect you and your home

  • Rules and regulations regarding fireplaces and chimneys, whether you already have a fireplace or plan to install one

  • Regulations about masonry (on fireplaces, as lining materials, regarding wall thickness, and more)

What Home Builders Should Know

Home builders in Ontario should have a good understanding of the entire code, as it outlines both the technical and administrative requirements for builders, as well as the standards for building homes and structures (source). The code’s main purpose is to promote public safety through these standards and statues. Though it is also in place to enhance fire safety, environmental integrity, accessibility, and more.

See below for some of the statues listed in the Code that home builders should know. Keep in mind that builders should know all necessary information. This is not a full listing. This is NOT legal advice. This is NOT a replacement for professional training.

Parts 1-3  

  • The Objectives – The Forming Part of Sentence provides important objects that builders should be aware of

  • Rules and regulations regarding heavy timber

  • Fire protection of rating of closures – Information on fire dampers, hold-open devices, self-closing devices, and more in relation to fire safety

  • Information and regulations regarding temperature rise and combustibility

  • Rules and regulations regarding occupant load, such as guidelines for parking lots, electric vehicle parking spaces, buildings with multiple major occupancies, and more

  • Regulations for smoke & heat detectors and for sprinkler systems

  • Information specifically for building hospitals and retirement homes

  • Rules and regulations regarding the location of exits, exit width, and more

  • How many bathrooms a building should have, and information about plumbing

Part 4 – Structural Design

  • A Building’s strength & stability

  • Information about loads (e.g the effects of wind, rain load, etc.)

  • Information and regulations regarding foundations

  • Design requirements for for structural materials – this includes information on wood, steel, aluminum, glass, and more

  • Design requirements for special structures

Part 5 – Environmental Separation

  • Includes information such as protection from surface water, moisture on ground, sound transmission, and more.

Part 6 – Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning

  • Outlines rules and regulations regarding heating, ventilating, and air conditioning in homes and buildings

Part 7 – Plumbing

  • Includes significant information about rules and regulations regarding plumbing such as drainage pipes, venting systems, water efficiency, and more.

Part 8 – Sewage Systems

  • Provides rules and regulations for sewage system design standards, general requirements, construction requirements, and more.

This has been a selection from the Ontario Building Code. Keep in mind that the code is 875 pages long, and contains information on almost everything one can think of when building or designing a home or structure.

If you are unsure what you need to know for your job, or what training you require, ask your employer or visit the Ontario Ministry of Labour website here.

To view or download the Code from the Ontario website, click here

Work With a Masonry Professional Today!

The Ontario Building Code outlines many rules and regulations regarding masonry. In fact, if you search for “masonry” in the code, it appears 349 times! If you are planning a home renovation, have bricks to repair, want to install a fireplace, or any other home project that requires masonry, it’s best to work with a professional.

Professionals can help ensure your new structure or addition to your home follows all of the Ontario Building Code’s rules, regulations, and statutes. This will help ensure you do not violate any bylaws or run into trouble if you choose to sell your home down the road.

The team at Royal Masonry has built a solid reputation for superior customer service and the highest quality stone masonry craftsmanship in Southern Ontario. Our mission is to provide you with the best quality workmanship at the right price. You can be certain that we will get the job done right the first time.

Our professional approach and superior customer service mean that you can relax in the knowledge that your project is in safe hands. Trust Royal Masonry with any masonry service you require! Contact us today, to find out for yourself why our customers highly recommend us to their friends and family.



Ontario.ca / OBOA.com / labour.gov.on.ca