Accessibility Services

Barrier-Free Guidelines

The Barrier-Free Design Guidelines (PDF, 9.56 MB) identifies barriers and obstacles, and presents design requirements that, consistent with the Ontario Building Code (O.B.C. 1997), should be considered as a minimum requirement for all City of Hamilton projects.

It is currently being used by departments and/or divisions involved in the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of physical facilities, including buildings, parks and open spaces, infrastructure, and any other space that is to be open and fully accessible to the Public.

In addition, the Barrier-Free Design Guideline is recommended for use by building owners, architects, engineers, designers and those interested in the reduction or elimination of barriers faced by persons with disabilities within the built environment.

The requirements of the guideline shall be encouraged for all newly constructed and retrofitted facilities owned, leased or operated by the City of Hamilton and all other all other facilities, whether new or retrofitted.

The guideline does not apply to:

  • Residential occupancies
  • Buildings of Group F Division 1 occupancy, as defined by the Ontario Building Code (latest edition will all amendments); and
  • Building which are not intended to be occupied on a daily or full-time basis, including, but not limited to, automatic telephone exchanges, pump houses and substations.


All areas of newly designed or newly constructed facilities and altered portions of existing facilities shall comply. The specific facility types shall comply, where a facility contains more than one use covered by a special application section, each portion shall comply.

  • Work Areas and Employee-Designated Areas
  • Temporary Facilities
  • Retrofitting, Alterations and Additions
  • Heritage Facilities