Legislation breaks ground; tall tower for Toronto.
61-Story Tower for Growing Toronto Suburb
Following “lightning-fast sales” of condominiums in multiple towers in its Transit City and Icona developments in the northern Toronto suburb of Vaughn, Cortel Group plans to build a 61-story tower with a striking, stepped design by Quadrangle, UrbanToronto.ca reported. Expo City 5 will join previous phases along Highway 7 at Jane Street. The design consists of increasingly smaller stacked boxes clad in red brick that allow for terraces on the west side planted with foliage. Expo City 5 will back into the future Edgely public park. A construction timeline was not given.
Ontario Action Plan Establishes First Elevator Repair Timelines
Provincial government website Ontario.ca announced legislation in January establishing Ontario as the first jurisdiction in the world to establish standards for elevator repair timelines. Additionally, Ontario will:
- Enable collection of data to inform the development of the standards
- 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 (intended to improve planning and response during emergencies)
- Publish information about elevator performance to help prospective tenants and owners make better-informed decisions before renting or buying a home in a multistory 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
An independent study commissioned by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) was requested by the Ontario government in June 2017 due to the Reliable Elevators Act’s introduction last year (ELEVATOR WORLD, August 2017 and January 2018). It looked at elevator availability in the province by carrying out more than 50 interviews and workshops with stakeholders and getting survey responses from 250 licensed elevator owners and operators. Its conclusion was that elevator availability is a complex issue with no single solution and that there was a mixed picture of the state of elevator availability in Ontario. The action plan addresses all 19 recommendations proposed in the final report. The government said, “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.”
Ontario.ca says the government’s action plan includes the following proposals (with projected timelines):
- Enhancing access to elevators for first responders (mid 2018)
- Enhancing TSSA’s enforcement of elevator safety regulations to ensure elevators are adequately and proactively maintained (fall 2018)
- Addressing the labor supply of elevator mechanics through consultations to determine options to meet labor market demands (fall 2018)
- Creating future standards for elevator repair timelines, to be informed by data collected by TSSA (2018 through 2019)
- Developing education and awareness materials for building owners and residents to support compliance with requirements for notice of service disruptions (fall 2018 and into early 2019)
- Creating new standards for conducting traffic analyses and the minimum number of elevators in new residential and institutional high rises (more than six stories, all of which are required to be elevatored if residentially occupied) through changes to the Ontario Building Code (2018 through 2021)
- Establishing baseline data through proposed legislative and regulatory changes, creating reporting requirements for elevator outage data and making the data publicly available (early to mid 2019)
- Designating a regulatory body to administer and enforce requirements regarding elevator availability, including standards for elevator repair and timelines, and advising on associated compliance costs for elevator contractors and owners (late 2019)
Hinting at further regulation, Minister of Municipal Affairs Marie-France Lalonde commented:
“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 hr.”
The government noted there are approximately 20,000 elevators in around 10,000 residential and institutional buildings in Ontario, including long-term care and retirement homes. They make approximately 655,000 elevator trips per day.