City launches review of the pool enclosure by-law

The City of Ottawa is beginning a month-long period of consultations with industry stakeholders, safety organizations, community associations and residents on proposals to revise and update Ottawa’s pool enclosure by-law.

The pool enclosure by-law was enacted in 2001, primarily to protect small children from gaining access to private pools when unsupervised. The current by-law is focused on preventing children outside the property from gaining access to the pool area. Many of the new proposals are aimed at protecting children living within, or visiting the home.

The key proposal is to introduce four-sided pool enclosures where there is a gated fence between the home and the pool. Currently, the dwelling can serve as one of the sides of the pool enclosure, allowing direct access to the pool from the home. Additional proposals will deal with temporary enclosures, technical issues such as fence and gate specifications and unique requirements for hot tubs and above-ground pools. This requirement will not affect existing pool enclosures.

The proposed changes to the by-law, a discussion paper and links to provide your comments are available on the City’s website at The consultation will conclude on March 9, 2012 and a report will be presented to Planning Committee in April. There will be a transition period before any changes take effect.