Regulation - Minister

Building Code Act, 1992

Regulation Number(s):
O. Reg 159/12
Instrument Type:
Regulation - Minister
Bill or Act:
Building Code Act, 1992
Summary of Decision:
Ontario's Building Code has been amended to provide standards for glass panels in balcony guards. This amendment is in response to the issue of balcony glass breaking on newly constructed buildings. The Ministry established an Expert Advisory Panel on Glass Panels in Balcony Guards to provide recommendations on how to address the issue of falling balcony glass. The Ministry has adopted all of the recommendations set out by the Expert Advisory Panel.

The new requirements for glass panels in balcony guards outline proper design and installation of glass balcony guards, including the type of glass that can be used and in which circumstances.

All new construction will now be required to:

-Use heat-strengthened laminated glass when glass is beyond 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. The type of glass depends on how far inward from the edge of the balcony floor the guard is.
-Avoid glass to metal contact in balcony design and construction.

The new amendment came into force on July 1, 2012 and references new Supplementary Standard SB-13, "Glass in Guards".
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
Summary of Proposal:

These changes are intended to help minimize the likelihood that balcony glass will spontaneously break on newly constructed buildings and help reduce the chance of broken pieces falling to the ground below. These measures are intended as an interim solution. As a longer-term strategy, the government will support the work of the Canadian Standards Association in the development of a technical standard for glass panels in balcony guards. Once this standard is finalized, the ministry will consider referencing it in the Building Code.
Contact Address:
Alek Antoniuk, Manager
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Municipal Services Division
Building and Development Branch
ode Development Unit
777 Bay Street
2nd Floor
Toronto Ontario
M5G 2E5
Phone: (416) 585-6456
Effective Date:
June 20, 2012