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BCC Ruling No. 96-47-530

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IN THE MATTER OF Subsection 24(1) of the Building Code Act, 1992.

AND IN THE MATTER OF Article of the Revised Regulation of Ontario 1990, Regulation 61, as amended by O.Regs. 400/91, 158/93, 160/93, 383/94 and 20/95 (the "Building Code").

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Mr. Alex & Mrs. Lynda Brooks, Owners, Bracebridge, Ontario, for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Randy Gardner, Chief Building Official, Town of Bracebridge, concerning whether the spiral staircase that provides sufficiency of compliance with Articles of the Building Code at 3 South Muskoka Drive, Bracebridge, Ontario.


Mr. Alex & Mrs. Linda Brooks
3 South Muskoka Drive
Bracebridge, Ontario


Mr. Randy Gardner
Chief Building Official
Town of Bracebridge


Mr. Roy Philippe, Chair
Mr. Demir Delen
Ms. Susan Friedrich


Toronto, Ontario


October 31st, 1996


Mr. Alex Brooks
3 South Muskoka Drive
Bracebridge, Ontario
The Applicant


  1. The Applicant

Mr. Alex & Mrs. Linda Brooks, Owners, are a holder of a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to renovate a building at 3 South Muskoka Drive, Bracebridge, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The subject building is a 2 1/2 storey house of approximately 130 square metres. Spiral stairs located at the top of the stairs to the second floor allow access to a loft in the attic.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and the Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code. The spiral stairs which lead from the second floor to the loft have a tread 610 mm wide, a rise of 210 mm, and an average run of 152 mm (0 mm to 305 mm).

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Article Rise and Run of Stairs

  1. "...stairs serving dwelling units shall have a maximum rise of 200 mm (7 7/8 in), a minimum run of 210 mm (8 1/4 in) and a minimum tread width of 235 mm (9 1/4 in).”

Article Curved Stairs not in Exits

"Except as permitted in Article, a curved stair not required as an exit shall have an average run of not less than 200 mm (7 7/8 in) and a minimum run of 150 mm (5 7/8 in) and shall have risers conforming to Article"

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that: the intent of Article of the Building Code was to provide minimum standards for bedroom and other living space, and that the loft area will be a limited use study area; that the structural changes required to meet the Building Code would be cost prohibitive and unattractive; and, that the other Building Code deficiencies in the building are being met.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent submitted that the spiral staircase is within the dwelling unit and does not meet the requirements for stairs in Article or

  1. Commission Ruling:

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the existing circular stair to the attic loft provides sufficiency of compliance with Article of the Building Code.

  1. Reasons:

The Building has existed since 1988, and compliance alternative C.97 indicates that existing curved or spiral stairs are acceptable.

Dated at Toronto, this 31th day, in the month of October, in the year 1996, for application number 1996-52.

Roy Philippe

Demir Delen

Susan Friedrich