Deck railing must be installed on your decking, so it will not compromise the safety of any individual on the decking. Deck railing codes are vital to protect the integrity of your deck and provide the utmost levels of safety for yourself and your guests whilst enjoying your outdoor entertainment area. Deck railing installation’s primary purpose is for safety. The guidelines set out the minimum required deck railing height and that other specified regulations are met.

Decker’s Deck complies with the Ontario Residential Deck Railing Code at all times. The height code and other requirements for deck railing in Ontario, Canada are based on previous building experience and the region’s climate.

The specific deck railing code requirement is that the space between the deck’s surface and the bottom deck rail should not be more than 4 inches (four inches). Stair Railing height should measure from the nosing of the top rail to the bottom of the railing at least 34 inches (thirty-four inches). Depending on your jurisdiction, for Ontario, the deck railing code is determined by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing  Building, and Development Branch. (Check with your city’s local building authority for your specific deck railing code).

Canada Residential Rail Height and Dimensions

A deck guard rail is required for any platform elevated to the height of thirty inches and more. Building code requires all railing to be 42in height for the exterior if the height above the ground is greater than 60cm (600mm). Interior guard rails are to be 32 to 38in height for single residential dwellings. Multifamily dwellings and commercial require 42 inches.

Any raised platform 24in or more above the surface below must be guarded by the railing. The height of that railing varies with the height above the grade:

  • Deck height greater than 24in (twenty-four inches) above grade but less than 5 feet 10 in required Railing 36 in high railing
  • Deck height greater than 5feet to10in above grade required a 42in high railing


If you are using other materials for your railing, such as aluminum, glass, or plastic railing you will need them to be certified and stamped by a structural engineer. Only accredited companies are allowed to install glass on the deck railing.

 Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Building and Development Branch regulations:

  • Deck railing height should be a minimum of 36 inches (thirty-six inches) for any platform elevated to 30in  (thirty inches) and more from the (deck) surface
  • Maximum spacing between the bottom rail and the (deck) surface is 4 inches (four inches)
  • If you are using decorative elements in your railing, the maximum spacing between the bottom rail and the (deck) surface is 4 inches (four inches)
  • Stair railing height has to be a minimum 34 inches(thirty-four inches) from the top rail to the nosing
  • A concentrated load of 200lb (200 pounds) is allowed on the construction
  • 50lb (fifty pounds) load is allowed per square feet for every baluster

 To make sure you meet height and space dimensions on your deck railing, you can also use a spacing calculator that indicated how much spacing you should have between balusters.

 Ontario Building Deck Railing Code Requirements

Ontario City Building Inspectors will look at all aspects of your deck, from the foundations, handrails, and guardrails making sure that they meet minimum safety standards.

  • A Handrail is meant to support an individual when going up or downstairs
  • Guardrail is meant to prevent someone from falling from a raised platform

 All Decker’s Deck-built decking meets the required Ontario Building Code Deck Railing requirements. It’s critical when installing your deck railing that you meet the requirements to ensure your and other’s safety.

If you feel that you can’t meet the requirements set out in the Ontario Building Code, the teat at Decker’s Deck Toronto will be more than happy to help you.

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