Ontario Taking Action to Improve Elevator Availability

The government has announced an action plan that would make Ontario the first jurisdiction in the world to establish standards for elevator repair timelines. This proposal will have far-reaching consequences for tenants living in the province’s many highrise apartments.

 

In addition to establishing a standard for elevator repair timelines, Ontario will also:

 

• Enable collection of necessary data to inform the development of the standard.

• Enhance enforcement of maintenance requirements, including through new administrative monetary penalties.

• Amend Ontario's Fire Code to notify fire departments when designated firefighter elevators are out of service to improve planning and response during emergencies.

• Publish information about elevator performance to help people in the province make better informed decisions before they rent or buy a home in a multi-storey building.

• Help elevator owners negotiate better maintenance contracts through an education and outreach campaign.

• Create new standards for new-build high-rise buildings to ensure they have enough elevators to serve residents.

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The government commissioned an independent study to examine the issue of elevator availability and propose solutions, which was conducted by the Honourable J. Douglas Cunningham. The action plan addresses all of the 19 recommendations proposed in the final report.

 

Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Government and Consumer Services had this to say:

 

“Having access to a working elevator shouldn’t be considered a luxury, especially for those with disabilities, the sick and the elderly. Our proposed actions would position Ontario as a world leader for elevator repair timelines and ensure those who need elevator access, have access.”