Here's a prime example in Ontario. On January 1/15, Ontario Building Code section 126.96.36.199 (5) started requiring 15% of apartments to be VisitAble (basic/cheapest/easiest form of barrier-free design features known globally). My research on issued building permits in the City of Ottawa has revealed a disturbing trend in loopholes to OBC 188.8.131.52 (5) based on the fact that "apartment" isn't defined in the building code (nor is semi-detached, duplex, triplex, townhouse, or rowhouse), it's left up to the municipalities to define and enforce compliance for these different types of housing. What's happened in Ottawa is that a building (see photo) can be called a "stacked dwelling" to be exempted from the 15% requirement. I have also challenged the issue of 600 square meters of building area (6,458 sq ft) requiring compliance to section 3.8 for Barrier-Free Design but the Ontario Building Code definition of building area is broad enough to permit exemptions for that reason too. So either the OBC doesn't define housing types, or creates broad definitions that create exemptions, it's a mess that continues our shameful history of ignoring human rights in housing, even though our Ontario Human Rights Code is supposed to have primacy over our building code. I guess it's all rhetoric when home builders start their lobbying, always crying poor or complaining that it will kill off their industry (but it's ok to keep ignoring equality rights of persons with disabilities/activity limitations).
Check out the definition of stacked dwelling according to City of Ottawa zoning. "Independent entrance to the interior" doesn't seem to be the case for the building on the right because there are roughly 13 exterior doors for 19 units, some have a shared exterior door as the covered entranceways reveal in the photo above.
I emailed an Ontario Code Development Coordinator and was told the following:
My response today was the following:
I'm confused by your email. You're telling me that I would need to submit a CCR, wasting countless public tax dollars, and wait until 2022 to possibly have "apartment" defined, something that should have already happened decades ago? To then further deflect it to the NBC, which would delay it even longer, leaves me questioning the millions of dollars that go into the code development process. I am speechless."
I shouldn't be surprised though, Ontario has continued with Tarion (our failed home warranty program) even though there's been a formal review of its many problems. Consumers have a lousy home warranty program, building code is being manipulated by municipalities to create loopholes to compliance, and Ontario seems perfectly content in ignoring the most basic element, defining what exactly an apartment is (and other types of housing). Without a clear definition of "apartment" in our building code, it's allowing a number of projects in Ontario to avoid compliance to OBC 184.108.40.206 (5).
There's even a video on YouTube about building code violations of accessibility requirements in a new building funded by public dollars, it's a disgusting mess that no one seems willing to acknowledge. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRmVBmOy6xg&t=6s
I'm willing to provide specifics if anyone is interested, just reach out to me on social media and we can arrange it by email. I'm completely disgusted with the poor leadership shown in Ontario, a province that states that it will be fully accessible by January 1, 2025 (see https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/05a11). Housing, where all of us spend the greatest portion of any day, is apparently off-limits for an accessible Ontario. I guess our Human Rights Code is a hoax then, there's no right to Occupancy of Accommodation when our only dwelling type in Ontario that requires VisitAbility has seen quite a few "stacked dwelling" exemptions in Ottawa, it's simply ridiculous and unacceptable.
I suspect that I've provided sufficient proof that our code development process is broken, and that there's no desire to improve it apparently.