What is a Universal Washroom?
Universal washrooms are enclosed washrooms providing a barrier‐free toilet and sink and turning space to accommodate a wheeled mobility device.
6 STEPS TO COMPLETE YOUR UNIVERSAL (BARRIER FREE) WASHROOM
- Installing a Low Energy Washroom Door.
- Installing A Washroom Door Control Kit with Electric Strikes.
- Installing Call for Emergency Kit.
- Installing a Store Room Function Lever.
- Installing appropriate Grab Bars and a Mirror.
- Supplying 110V Power Supply to Door Operator.
Dimensions and infographic
Although there already exist accessibility guidelines to provide the best possible environment for people with disabilities, there are amended AODA (The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) requirements that all organizations in Ontario have to follow by 2025.
A new critical standard requirement of the AODA is that there should be one universal washroom for each one-story building. For the buildings with multiple floors, at least one universal washroom is required for every three floors. The latter should be placed in a suitable location, which can be determined with the guidance of building contractors. Universal Washrooms are supposed to provide dignity and solitude for people with disabilities.
Furthermore, families with children can also use these as they give parents the ability to deal with multiple young children at once. Washrooms include but are not limited to adapted toilet and sink facilities, an adult change table, automated doors that lead into them, etc.
ADA COMPLIANT UNIVERSAL (BARRIER FREE) WASHROOM KIT
What is the Building Code?
Ontario’s Building Code addresses new construction, renovations, and change of use or demolition of a building. The Building Code has been in place since 1975 and sets minimum standards for construction in Ontario.
WHAT HAS CHANGED IN ONTARIO’S BUILDING CODE?
- The Building Code was recently amended to enhance barrier‐free design requirements (accessibility) for new construction and extensive renovations.
- Requirements take effect January 1, 2015, and apply only to new construction or extensive renovations.
- The Building Code already requires barrier‐free washrooms to be provided in public areas of buildings where barrier‐ free requirements apply. Updated requirements are intended to enhance accessibility and reflect new research on the dimensions needed to accommodate people with disabilities.
WHAT ARE THE NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR BARRIER-FREE WASHROOMS?
- The Building Code requires that barrier‐free washrooms be situated on a barrier‐free path of travel and meet design requirements addressing turning space, doorway widths, grab bars, counter heights, and signage, among others.
- Requirements for power door operators at the entrance door to all barrier‐free washrooms.
- Amended mounting height and location requirements for accessories such as towel dispensers and hand dryers.
- Requiring an L‐shaped grab bar in all cases and removing the option to provide a diagonal grab bar.
- Increased minimum clear floor area in barrier‐free washroom stalls required to allow for turning space.