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BCC Ruling No. 94-26-404

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

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Braebury Homes for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Terry Willing, Chief Building Official, Town of Kingston.


Mr. Peter Splinter, President
Braebury Homes


Mr. Terry Willing
Chief Building Official
Town of Kingston


Sarah Maman, Chair
Demir Delen
Michael Lio


Toronto, Ontario


September 30, 1994


Mr. John Wayne Cole, President
The Furniture Place
Kingston, Ontario
for the Applicant


  1. The Applicant

Braebury Homes is the holder of a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct a single family dwelling (i.e. house) at 1375 Braken Wood Drive, Kingston, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The applicant is constructing a house at 1375 Braken Wood Drive, Kingston, Ontario. The 14 riser stairway between the first and second floor consists of 2 risers leading to a landing, a 90 degree change in direction and 12 risers from the landing to the upper floor. The bottom two risers of the stairway do not have a handrail.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and Respondent concerns sufficiency of compliance with Sentence of the Building Code. At issue is the need to provide a handrail on the bottom two risers of the stairway between the first and second floors of the house.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Sentence Required Handrails

(2) Handrails are not required for stairs within dwelling units having not more than 2 risers, or for exterior stairs having not more than 3 risers and serving not more than one dwelling unit.

  1. Applicant's Position

The applicant stated that handrail is not required on a 2 riser set of stairs. The landing between floors creates two sets of stairs. (i.e. two riser stair and ten riser stair).

  1. Chief Building Officials Position

The respondent stated that he could not accept the proposal that the Building Code intended to exempt the bottom 2 risers of every stairway from providing a handrail.

  1. Commission Ruling:

In favour of the Applicant. It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that not providing a handrail on the bottom two risers shows sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code.

  1. Reasons:

The stairway between the first and second floors of the house consists of 12 risers, a landing and two risers at the bottom with a 90 degree change in direction. The elimination of a handrail for the bottom two risers would not compromise the safety of those using this stairway.

Dated at Toronto, this 30th day, in the month of September, in the year 1994, for application number 1994-35.

Sarah Maman

Demir Delen

Michael Lio