CAN-ASC-2.6: Existing Built Environment - Accessibility for federally regulated entities as defined in the Accessible Canada Act: Notice of Intent

This notice is to announce that Accessibility Standards Canada intends to develop a new accessibility standard. The purpose of this notice is to avoid duplication in standards development.

This notice is aimed at other standards development organizations and the public. It does the following:

  • It defines the scope of the standard that we propose.
  • It defines the need for the project.
  • It states the time period during which the public can send us comments about the standard.

Name of standards development organization

Accessibility Standards Canada

Contact information


Mailing address:

320, St-Joseph Boulevard
Suite 246
Gatineau, QC K1A 0H3



Work program

The work program lists all of Accessibility Standards Canada’s in-progress and completed standards. It is available on our site.

Designation number


Standard type

National Standard of Canada – Domestic 

Standard development activity

New standard

International Classification for Standards (ICS) codes

  • 53.020.01 – Lifting appliances in general
  • 91.040.01 – Buildings in general
  • 91.040.10 – Public buildings
  • 91.040.20 – Buildings for commerce and industry
  • 91.060 – Elements of buildings
  • 91.120.01 – Protection of and in buildings in general
  • 91.140.90 – Lifts and escalators
  • 91.160 – Lighting
  • 91.190 – Building accessories

SDO Comment Period Start Date: 

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

SDO Comment Period End Date:

Wednesday, July 12, 2023


There are common areas where persons with disabilities may experience barriers to accessibility in the existing built environment. These include, but are not limited to:

  • service spaces (places where service is the primary function, such as a service counter)
  • methods of egress (exiting a space)
  • notifications (for example, visual signals and two-way communications) 
  • washrooms, including showers 
  • lighting.

The committee will work to address barriers in these areas. It will do this by ensuring the technical requirements for all aspects of an existing built environment are equitable. For example, this would include enabling access to the building’s programs (how the spaces in a building are used).

Barriers in the areas listed above may be present in different types of existing built environments, These include, but are not limited to:

  • office and retail spaces
  • lecture and concert halls and other places of assembly (gathering spaces) 
  • clinics in office buildings

Note: Heritage and historical buildings will not be included in this standard.

To meet the standard, organizations will need to put accessibility measures in place for their existing built environment(s) according to a defined timeline.

The standard will use a multi-level (tiered) approach. Each level will contain technical requirements defined by the committee. 

This standard will align with the technical requirements of other Accessibility Standards Canada standards. These include:

  • CAN-ASC-2.1: Outdoor Spaces
  • CAN-ASC-2.3: Model Standard for the Built Environment – Accessibility for Federally Regulated Entities as Defined in the Accessible Canada Act
  • CAN-ASC-2.4: Wayfinding and Signage
  • CAN-ASC-5.1: Emergency Measures

Project need

Accessibility Standards Canada was created under the Accessible Canada Act. Its mandate is to prevent, identify, and remove barriers to accessibility in Canada for people with disabilities. To do this, it develops standards. These are based on the needs of people with disabilities. These needs are identified by consulting Canadians with disabilities. This includes the members of the Accessibility Standards Canada Board of Directors. Most Board members are people with disabilities. The Board has approved the development of this standard. 

The standards developed by Accessibility Standards Canada apply to federally regulated entities, including those in the private sector. These entities are defined in the Accessible Canada Act. We also work with provincial and territorial partners. We do this to identify the needs of other stakeholders and help harmonize standards across Canada.

Accessibility Standards Canada standards are developed following the principle of “nothing without us.” This means that people with disabilities are involved in the development process:

  • Its standards are developed using research that is led by people with disabilities or with lived experience.
  • People with disabilities are members of the organization’s technical committees. These committees produce equity-based requirements for standards. These take into account the needs and perspectives of people with disabilities. 
  • The public review process for this standard will be accessible. This will allow even more people with disabilities to be part of the development process.

Date posted

June 20, 2023