Ontario Taking Action to Improve Elevator Availability

L to R - Nichole Edwards, volunteer, Han Dong, MPP Trinity-Spadina, Minister Tracy MacCharles, Kevin Vuong and Gary Pieters

Province Aims To Become World Leader With Standards For Repair Timelines

Ontario is elevating its efforts to reduce outages and improving access to elevators, while maintaining the province’s strong safety record.

Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Government and Consumer Services, was joined by MPP Han Dong in Toronto today to announce that the government has developed an action plan that would make Ontario the first jurisdiction in the world to establish standards for elevator repair timelines.

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.

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.

Protecting homebuyers and renters and strengthening public safety is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • There are about 20,000 elevators in approximately 10,000 residential and institutional buildings in Ontario, including long-term care and retirement homes. Approximately 655,000 elevator trips are taken each day on these elevators.
  • In Ontario, the Technical Standards and Safety Authority regulates elevators, including through licensing and inspections, to ensure all devices conform to the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000 and applicable regulations, codes and standards.
  • The independent study on elevator availability included a series of over 50 interviews and workshops with stakeholders, and a survey with responses from 250 licensed elevator owners and operators in Ontario.
  • In the Ontario Fire Code, existing buildings greater than six storeys with residential occupancies are required to have at least one elevator provided (identified on the street floor) for use by firefighters.

Background Information


Tracy MacCharles

“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.”

Tracy MacCharles

Minister of Government and Consumer Services

Bill Mauro

“I’m pleased my ministry was able to partner in the development of our government’s new action plan on elevator availability. This important initiative will help ensure Ontario remains a leader in building safety and accessibility.”

Bill Mauro

Minister of Municipal Affairs

Marie-France Lalonde

“People in Ontario should be safe in their homes and places of work. That’s why we’re proposing a change to the Ontario Fire Code that would require building owners to notify the fire department, building occupants, and supervisory staff once they become aware that a firefighter elevator is out of service for more than 24 hours. This is just one of many ways Ontario is prioritizing public safety.”

Marie-France Lalonde

Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

Han Dong

“I’m glad to see that my private members’ bill was an inspiration for the government to take action and that proposed changes are coming. The action plan addresses the concerns voiced by those living in our vertical communities. It builds on improving the daily lives of my constituents and residents across Ontario.”

Han Dong

MPP, Trinity-Spadina

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