On June 21, Kathleen Wynne, the Ontario Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing, announced changes to the Ontario Building Code that would take effect on July 1, 2012.
There were a number of incidents in Toronto where glass fell from balconies, sometimes up to 30 stories up. This obviously was a safety hazard, both for the person potentially leaning on their balcony and the person walking along the street below the building. The new rules will require builders to use the same type of heat-resistant glass that is used in car windshields, and will only apply to projects where the builders have not yet applied for building permits. This decision follows the recommendation of the Expert Advisory Panel on Glass Panels in Balcony Guards, which was struck after several of these incidents. Minister Wynne also stated that these are temporary measures to help improve public safety while the Canadian Standards Association develops national guidelines.
You can read the government’s press release here.