The Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister, Kathleen Wynne, announced changes to the Ontario building code aimed at preventing glass falling incidents from high-rise buildings. The move was triggered by a number of falling glass instances in Toronto. It also follows the recommendations from the Expert Advisory Panel on Glass Panels in Balcony Guards, consisting of engineering consultants, building code consultants, developers, contractors, professional designers, insurance providers, etc.
The changes take effect on July 1 this year and will require construction companies to use:
- Heat-strengthened laminated glass when glass is close to the edge of a balcony. This is the same type of glass used in windshields and is less prone to shatter.
- Heat-strengthened laminated glass or heat-soaked tempered glass where glass balcony guards are inset from the edge of the balcony.
New provisions will only apply to new constructions. If a permit has already been issued, the developers don’t have to abide by the new amendment in the building code. The cities will have to be contacted for repairs in existing buildings.
The Minister noted that these are only temporary measures to help bolster public safety while the Canadian Standards Association develops national guidelines. Follow the link for the government press release.