Building Code Act

The Building Code Act (BCA) and the Building Code are the basis for the building regulatory system in Ontario. The BCA governs the construction, significant renovation, demolition and change of use of all buildings in Ontario.


Ontario's first Building Code was created in 1975. New editions are released approximately every five years. The 2012 Building Code (the current edition) came into effect on January 1, 2014.

The Building Code regulates new construction (including extensive renovations). The Act regulates some changes of use for existing buildings as well as maintenance and re-inspection of existing small on-site sewage systems (e.g., septic systems).

Ontario differs from the national building codes in key areas, including:

  • unique code requirements (e.g., water and energy conservation)
  • consolidation of construction requirements in the Building Code (e.g., on-site sewage systems, pools, rapid transit stations)
  • higher or modified requirements (e.g., barrier-free access)

Enforcement of the Building Code Act and the Building Code is assigned to municipalities, conservation authorities and boards of health in the case of on-site sewage systems and plumbing.


The Building Code establishes minimum building standards to promote:

  • public health and safety
  • fire protection
  • structural sufficiency
  • environmental integrity
  • conservation, including energy and water conservation
  • barrier-free accessibility

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