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Ontario Creating More Choice for Wood Frame Construction

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Ontario Creating More Choice for Wood Frame Construction

Province Allowing Wood Frame Buildings up to Six Storeys

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Ontario is introducing safer, more flexible and affordable design options for the construction of wood frame buildings.

Through changes to the Ontario Building Code, wood frame buildings can now be built up to six storeys high, raising the limit from four storeys.

The changes give builders a safe option that can help make building a home more affordable and support more attractive, pedestrian-oriented buildings that enhance streetscapes while continuing to protect the safety of residents and firefighters.

New safety requirements for wood frame buildings that include building stairwells with non-combustible materials and roofs that are combustion resistant now make Ontario's regulations the most rigorous in Canada.

Safe and flexible building options that help make housing more affordable and support our forest industry is part of the government's plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and supporting a dynamic and innovative business climate. 

Quick Facts

  • Changes to the Building Code allowing up to six-storey wood-frame buildings start Jan. 1, 2015.
  • Ontario’s mid-rise wood frame construction requirements offer the highest degree of public and firefighter safety in Canada.
  • Most European Union and several North American jurisdictions allow wood-frame buildings up to six storeys. In British Columbia, over 50 wood frame buildings have been built since its building code was changed in 2009.
  • More demand for mid-rise wood buildings may help generate new demand for forestry products, which currently supports more than 150,000 direct and indirect jobs in more than 260 communities across Ontario.

Additional Resources


“Building Code changes to mid-rise wood construction will give builders and the public even safer, more flexible building options. Our made-in-Ontario model for mid-rise wood provides the highest requirements for fire safety in Canada.”

Ted McMeekin

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

“In 2012, I introduced a Private Member’s Bill to allow for six-storey wood frame construction in Ontario. It is gratifying to see Ontario listening to the needs of Northern communities with today’s announcement. The goal of increasing the use of wood in Ontario’s construction industry has been achieved. As the Minister of Natural Resources & Forestry, I am pleased by the jobs that will be created through expanded use of this sustainable resource.”

Bill Mauro

MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan

“Wood is the only building material that is both renewable and recyclable. It’s a sustainable resource we have in our own backyard. This change in the Building Code is something that I've been lobbying for over the past number of years and will undoubtedly help to stimulate our forestry sector while we continue to create more jobs.”

Michael Gravelle

MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North

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