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BCC Ruling No. 95-29-449

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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 and 355/94 (the "Building Code").

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Mr. Lew King, Co-owner, Alternatives Natural Food Market for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Frank Asta, Chief Building Official, Town of Oakville, concerning whether the exhaust system for cooking equipment used for the purpose of customer and staff demonstrations at Kerr Centre provides sufficiency of compliance with Article of the Building Code, at 579 Kerr Street, Oakville, Ontario.


Alternatives Natural Food Market
Oakville, Ontario


Mr. Frank Asta
Chief Building Official
Town of Oakville


Mr. Michael Lio, Chair
Mr. Rick Florio
Mr. Kenneth Bacon


Toronto, Ontario


June 20th, 1995


Mr. Lew King, Co-owner
Alternatives Natural Food Market
The Applicant

Mr. John Peters
Chief Fire Prevention Officer
Town of Oakville
For the Respondent


  1. The Applicant

Mr. Lew King, Co-owner, Alternatives Natural Food Market received an order to comply under the Building Code Act, 1992 to provide an exhaust system for the cooking equipment used for customer and staff demonstrations in conformance with NFPA-96 at the Kerr Centre, 579 Kerr Street, Oakville, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The subject building includes an area where household cooking equipment has been installed for the purpose of conducting cooking demonstrations. Food is not prepared for any other purpose.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of Article of the Building Code. At issue is whether the requirements of NFPA-96, "Installation of Equipment for the Removal of Smoke and Grease- Laden Vapours from Commercial Cooking Equipment" need be applied to the household cooking equipment being used for the purpose of customer and staff demonstrations.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Article Commercial Cooking Equipment

Systems for the ventilation of restaurant and other commercial cooking equipment shall be designed, constructed and installed to conform to NFPA-96, "Installation of Equipment for the Removal of Smoke and Grease-Laden Vapours from Commercial Cooking Equipment", except as required by Sentences and Article

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that household cooking equipment has been installed for the purpose of conducting cooking demonstrations. All demonstrations are done with recipes that only serve 4 - 6 people (i.e. mass quantities are not served). The recipes are very low in fat and are meat free (e.g. no hamburgers, fries, etc.). Therefore, no smoke is produced and vapours are not grease laden.

The applicant stated that the demonstration premises are supervised, locked when not in use and provided with fire extinguishers. The cooking equipment is also provided with a down draft system that exhausts outdoors.

The applicant submitted that there are many examples of similar demonstration set-ups used throughout the Province for trade shows, exhibits and promotions.

  1. Chief Building Officials Position

The Respondent submitted that the cooking equipment is used to prepare meals. Therefore, the stove requires a commercial hood and suppression system in conformance to NFPA-96. The Respondent stated that the municipality is concerned about the safety of the people watching the cooking demonstration.

The Respondent also stated that daycare facilities in the Town of Oakville that have stove top cooking equipment are required to comply with NFPA-80.

The Respondent does not have the authority to permit a condition that deviates from the Building Code and the use of equivalents regulated by Section 2.7 is not applicable.

  1. Commission Ruling:

In favour of the Applicant. It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the residential stove and down-draft system shows sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code provided that:

  1. No more than 20 people are present within the demonstration area at any one time.

  1. Use of the stove is restricted to occasional cooking demonstration only attended by trained personnel at all times.

  1. Demonstrations are carried out by persons trained in the use of the cooking equipment and fire extinguishers.

  1. Fire extinguishers must be located where clearly visible.

  1. The gas line to the stove must be locked off when the stove is not in use for cooking demonstrations.

  1. No other stoves or cooking ovens are permitted within the demonstration area.

  1. Reasons:

    1. The stove is a residential - type stove.

  1. No smoke or grease-laden vapours will be produced by the preparation of meals.

  1. Cooking is for demonstrations only and is not continuous as in most commercial applications.

  1. Only trained personnel will operate the equipment.

Dated at Toronto, this 20th day, in the month of June, in the year 1995, for application number 1995-26.

Michael Lio

Rick Florio

Kenneth Bacon