Amendments to the Nova Scotia Building Code come into effect on Oct. 31 requiring any new restaurants, cafés, lunch counters and delis to be accessible to all Nova Scotians.
In order to get a food safety permit, any new restaurant with seating will need to have accessible entrances, pathways and washrooms. These changes will be paired with other updates to Nova Scotia Building Code requirements around accessibility.
These updated rules will apply to eateries opening in a new space, or in spaces that have not been used as a restaurant in the past 12 months. If a restaurant is undergoing major renovations, these changes may also apply.
These changes are the end result of a restorative process that began in 2019 to address a ruling on washroom accessibility in restaurants from a Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission board of inquiry. Restaurants Canada participated in this process with accessibility advocates, building owners and several government departments.
Nova Scotia’s restaurateurs can receive government funding to help them comply with accessibility requirements through the Business ACCESS-Ability Grant Program.
If you have any further questions or would like more information, you can get in touch with Luc Erjavec, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Atlantic Canada, at firstname.lastname@example.org.