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Ontario Strengthens Requirements for Balcony Glass

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Ontario Strengthens Requirements for Balcony Glass

McGuinty Government Takes Strong Action to Protect Ontarians

Ontario has strengthened the Building Code to help prevent balcony glass of newly constructed buildings from breaking and keep Ontarians safe.

Construction companies will now be required 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. 
  • Use heat-strengthened laminated glass or heat-soaked tempered glass where glass balcony guards are inset from the edge of the balcony.


These requirements are based on the Expert Advisory Panel on Glass Panels in Balcony Guards' recommendations and take effect July 1, 2012. They are intended as an interim solution to ensure public safety while the Canadian Standards Association develops a national technical standard for glass panels in balcony guards.


Quick Facts

  • The amendment requires compliance on a go-forward basis and does not require existing buildings to retrofit to the new requirement.
  • Under the Building Code Act, 1992, municipalities have the ability to address unsafe conditions in existing buildings. This includes requiring inspections and issuing work orders to remedy unsafe conditions.
  • The Expert Advisory Panel on Glass Panels in Balcony Guards was composed of 25 members including engineering consultants, building code consultants, developers, contractors, professional designers, municipal building inspectors, insurance providers, and members of codes and standards writing bodies.
  • Canadian Standards Association is a not-for-profit membership-based association serving government, industry, and consumers. It maintains more than 3,000 accredited, consensus standards, many of which are referenced in Ontario legislation.

Additional Resources


“This amendment will help protect the public and offer clarity and certainty to the building industry. I'm thankful to the members of the expert advisory panel for their contributions and sound advice.”

Kathleen Wynne

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

“The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) supports the recommendations of the Expert Advisory Panel on Glass in Balcony Guards. These amendments will impose new standards, making Ontario's Building Code provisions the most stringent in Canada with respect to the use of glass panels in balcony guards.”

Michael Steele, B. Tech. (C.M.),

Director, Technical Standards, RESCON, and member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Glass Panels in Balcony Guards

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