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

What we've heard

2 Improve it


RedTapeComments (a professional service provider)

Created 1 year 1 month ago

Improve it

A municipality can decide that enforcement is complaint based. This burden should not fall on the citizens, especially as it can create tensions between the parties involved. Particularly in our municipality, there is debate about whether the complaint process is truly anonymous.

MikeH (a business owner)

Created 1 year 2 months ago

Improve it

From county to county and region to region, it seems inspectors enforce their own interpretation of the Ontario building code, which results in drastically different costs and requirements depending on where you reside, or who your inspector is. The building code should create a fair playing field for all, with clear objectives for all.