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Accessibility Legislation and Compliance

Three pieces of complementary legislation have a major impact on accessibility in Ontario: Human Rights Code, Ontario's Building Code (OBC) and the AODA. The Human Rights Code has primacy and sets out the legal duty to accommodate people with disabilities. The OBC sets minimum accessibility standards for the construction of buildings. The AODA sets a progressive goal to create a more inclusive Ontario by January 1, 2025.

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is the most progressive accessibility legislation in Canada.

AODA - Integrated Accessibility Standards (IAS) Regulation

This regulation enhances accessibility in many ways, including making small changes to how we serve a customer, making websites more accessible and ensuring adequate accessible parking spaces are provided in the community. It includes accessibility enhancements related to:

  • Employment Standards
  • Information and Communication Standards
  • Transportation Standards
  • Design of Public Spaces Standards
  • Customer Service Standards 

AODA - Built Environment Standard

Ontario's Building Code (OBC) includes requirements that substantially enhance accessibility in newly constructed buildings and existing buildings that are to be extensively renovated. Existing buildings, where no work is planned, are not affected by these requirements. Houses, including semi-detached houses, townhouses and duplexes, are not affected by most accessibility requirements, with the exception of smoke alarm requirements.

Standards for the Design of Public Spaces are included in the IAS Regulation. The requirements apply to new construction and major changes to:

  • recreational trails and beach access routes
  • outdoor public eating areas and play spaces
  • outdoor paths of travel such as sidewalks, stairs and ramps
  • accessible parking (on and off street)
  • service related elements such as counters, queuing lines and waiting areas
  • maintenance and restoration of public spaces