Ontario government introduces stricter requirements for balcony glass

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Government Relations  OREA  Ontario Real Estate Association

Ontario government introduces stricter requirements for balcony glass

21 June 2012

Balcony_railingsThe 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.


POSTING RESPONSE by Linda Pinizzotto, Founder President CEO Condo Owners Association

Stronger Ontario Building Codes to keep Condo Owners Safe

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister, Kathleen Wynne has announced changes to strengthen the Ontario building code to help prevent balcony glass of newly constructed buildings from breaking and keep Ontarians safe in high-rise buildings.

While this initiative is an excellent start, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing needs to address the inefficiencies of the New Home Warranty Program and Tarion Warranties for new construction and the limited 1-2 years warranties on existing buildings. These warranties do not protect the value of a $80 Million dollar condo building when the time period and list of coverages are similar to those of a single family dwelling. There needs to be a separate coverage to address multi-family residential condominium buildings.

Today’s announcement relating to new Ontario rules and better building codes to prevent glass from breaking off high-rise Balconies was another example of how COA is helping Condo Owners. COA worked with CBC news “throw-away buildings: Toronto’s glass condos.  Falling glass from balconies from several buildings in downtown Toronto created major issues of safety concerns for owners and the general public. The Condo Owners Association – (COA) reported problems relating to glass balconies and deficiencies relating to energy efficiency supporting a CBC special featured story by John Lancaster.

Value issues relate are affected by unwarranted costs relating to premature deficiencies which fall past the minimal and limited Tarion Warranties.  COA has played a very active role in moving forward for a better understanding of the problems and bringing this information to the forefront. Cam Wooley’s “Know your Rights” on CP24 welcomes our input as well as Matt Galloway – CBC Metro Morning in conversation with Linda Pinizzotto, Founder, President/CEO of the Condo Owners Association about the risks condo owners face and the limited protection they have. Listen (runs 6:54)



COA continues to work with Government to embrace the issues to help Condo owners ensure their safety, investment sustainability and good business infrastructure of the condo world.

The mass construction of Condominiums in the past few years has identified over 1.3 million Condo Owners in our Province. Last Friday, our Ministry of Consumer Services announced “Building a Better Condo Act” to modernize the present Condo Act (1998). The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing needs to participate to embrace resolutions to the Act relating to safety and better construction standards. Specific requirements and restrictions relating to the construction aspect of new and existing Condo Corporations.

All information and comment on articles geared to Condo Owners and Condominiums should include comment from COA Ontario as the governing body of COAtoronto, COAmississauga, COAottawa etc.  COA has chapters in each City across Ontario


About the Author:

Linda Pinizzotto represents Buyers and Sellers in Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville and surrounding areas. She is an award winning, popular and very well known Realtor who is extremely passionate about her profession. She has excellent real estate market knowledge which reflects in her successes with over 30 years experience. Linda Pinizzotto values her clients and reputation, making sure they receive first class advice and information and expertise and protecting their interest every step of the way.
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