Centre For Local Research into Public Space (CELOS)

See also Site Map

Citizen-Z Cavan Young's 2004 film about the zamboni crisis





Laneway house notebook (9)

The Building Code Commission: excerpts

Blue is my emphasis on specific wording in the BCC text. Red is my comments.

13.1 ...The Commission tries to schedule hearings in suitable facilities.

14.1.1 Services will be provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of members of the public.

14.1.2 The Commission will provide services in a manner that fosters physical and functional access to Commission processes and promotes the inclusion and full participation of members of the public.

1.1 The Building Code Commission (“the Commission”) will consult the public when it is considering significant changes to its guidelines, policies and procedures.

Commission members must have:

2.3.6 Understanding of administrative law and concepts of fairness and natural justice.

2.3.13 Commitment to respect diversity, and to maintain fair, transparent processes that meet high professional standards.

The chair:

4.2.2 Keeps the Minister advised of issues or events that concern, or can reasonably be expected to concern, the Ministry in the exercise of the Minister’s responsibilities.

10.3 Ease of Understanding of Proceedings:

Members should make all reasonable efforts to conduct hearings in a manner that is understood by all parties to the hearing.

11.5 A member shall demonstrate a high degree of sensitivity to issues of gender, ability, race, language, culture and religion, which may affect the conduct of a hearing.

12. Decision-making responsibilities

12.1 A member shall make each decision on the true merits of the case, based on the law, the evidence, and the principles of natural justice. A member shall apply the law to the evidence. The prospect of disapproval from any person, institution, or community must not deter a member from making the decision which he or she believes is correct based on the law and the evidence.

13.1.2 Members have an obligation to comply with procedural fairness and natural justice requirements and to act impartially in the conduct of proceedings, including in matters of law and member attitude and demeanour.

13.2 Ease of understanding of proceedings

13.2.1 The public has a right to information about the services of the Commission in a format that is understandable. Applicants before the Commission, whether or not they have representation, are often unfamiliar with the process. Applicants who are not represented must not be unduly disadvantaged when participating in the Commission’s proceedings.

13.2.3 Members should consider the atmosphere of the room and general comfort, and minimize use of legal or technical language which might be considered beyond the scope of the matter in front of the Commission.

13.4 Transparency

13.4.1 The transparency of Commission processes inspires public confidence in the system and strengthens the confidence of an applicant for a hearing and in the outcome of that hearing. It is not enough that the member act in a manner that is fair; the applicant must be able to see for themself that the process is fair. Meetings conducted in a transparent and open manner will provide assurance that the entire decision making process is impartial and fair.

13.5 Courtesy

13.5.1 Respect for the applicant, representatives, and observers and for the Commission process itself is demonstrated through demeanour, timeliness, dress and conduct throughout the hearings. Members should demonstrate a high degree of sensitivity to issues of gender, age, ability, race, sexual orientation, marital status, language, culture and religion.

13.6.11 Commission members have been appointed for their specialized skills, breadth of technical knowledge, understanding of legislative objectives and awareness of the implications of their decisions. Implications seems to mean precedents In addition, Commission members should have the ability to use discretion and their own judgment, rather than merely adhere to rigid rules.

13.6.13 Members should have knowledge of procedural issues, technical issues specific to the Commission, and the Policies and Procedures of the Building Code Commission. Members should take steps to maintain currency in emerging issues, trends, and regulations pertaining to the work of the Commission. This may be achieved by attending training on adjudication skills, participating in Commission-sponsored training sessions, and participating in appropriate subject matter-related training.

1.04 Duration, expiry, renewal and affirmation of agreement

This MOU becomes effective on the date of its signature by the parties.This MOU replaces the MOU dated December 18, 2009 and shall be in effect for five years from the date of the MOU.

2.02 Consultation and communications

Is the province steering toward granny flats and accessible housing instead of warehousing people in nursing homes? If so, is the BCC's role to explicitly/energetically support that?

The parties also recognize that is essential for the Chair to be kept informed of the government initiatives and broad policy directions that may affect the BCC’s mandate and functions. The Minister will consult with the Chair, as appropriate on broad government policy initiatives or legislation being considered by the government that may impact on the BCC’s mandate or functions;

4.03 Role of the Deputy Minister

monitor BCC on behalf of the Minister, to assess whether or not the BCC is fulfilling its legislative mandate in concert with approved government policies; and identify any need for corrective action and recommend ways to resolve any issues that are identified;


Correspondence with the BCC

March 2, 2020, to Nella Auciello, BCC

Yesterday we had our second neighbourhood "coffee conversation" about the existing administrative obstacles to age-in-place/AODA etc. laneway housing in Toronto. There was some discussion about how other Ontario cities interpret the building code. Is it possible to search for past BCC decisions about laneway-house/coach house/house-behind-a-house/adapted former small industrial buildings applications, so that we could see what's happening elsewhere in the province?

If those links exist, getting them would be really helpful.

March 3, 2020, response from Nella Auciello, BCC

I will conduct and electronic search and any results I find, I will send to you

March 11, 2020, to Nella Auciello, BCC

I'm guessing that no laneway house appeals from elsewhere in the province showed up in your database.

So now for my other question:
What is the province's fee to appeal a permit refusal to the BCC in Toronto? And what specific documents does an applicant need in order to get in the queue at the BCC? (I need to price the cost of an appeal e.g. for an elderly couple wanting to age-in-place, or a family with a mentally challenged adult child, etc.)

I am asking as a researcher for our small charitable organization, the Centre for Local Research into Public Space (CELOS). Laneways are within our mandate as public spaces. I've posted some excerpts from the BCC website here. But I need to follow up on the nuts and bolts.

There will be more media about this, once the virus and school strike news die down -- should I be taking my questions through your media staff or are you the right contact for me to ask?

Back to Laneway houses main page

Content last modified on March 11, 2020, at 07:00 PM EST