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Pools and spas: a new law soon in force

pools and spas new regulation

To reduce the number of drownings, a new law will soon come into force. Residential swimming pools and spas will now need to be fenced to be out of reach of young children.

The new law will require owners to install a fence around any swimming pool 60 cm deep or more.

As a result, any owner who owns, installs or replaces a swimming pool or spa will have to comply with the new regulations, as there will be no acquired rights applicable. A natural fence such as a hedge, or even a fenced-in lot, will not be sufficient to meet the requirements of the new regulations. As a result, many homeowners will be required to install a fence around their water feature, or even directly on their balcony or terrace, to block access to their pool or spa.

"Provincial regulations stipulate that any outdoor pool deeper than 60 centimetres must be surrounded by an enclosure that prevents access."

Introduced by the Quebec government, the new standard aims to secure watering holes with fencing that meets precise specifications. All regulated pool and spa access doors must be equipped with a safety device that automatically closes and locks the door. Each municipality will be responsible for enforcing the regulation and imposing fines for non-compliant installations.

The new regulations apply to all types of water point listed below:

  • above-ground pools, including inflatable and removable pools

  • semi-in-ground pools

  • in-ground swimming-pools

  • spas containing more than 2,000 liters of water or with a depth of more than 60 cm

  • any other type of water bassin with a depth of 60 cm or more

There is, however, an exception: if the walls of your above-ground pool are at least 1.2 m (47.25 inches) high, you will not be required to fence it.

Outdoor landscaping and new regulations

The new safety law also affects fixed equipment. For example, if you have a filter positioned next to your pool, you'll have to move it if it's installed less than one meter from the pool. The same applies to an existing fence, which must respect the one-meter rule in order to be regulatory, the aim being to prevent a child from climbing over it to gain access to the pool or spa.

Any replacement pool or spa, or new construction of a deck, patio or other feature, will also have to take the new requirements into account. Of course, it's important to consult your municipality's standards, which may have additional or stricter rules. In certain cases, the municipality may also require that you provide an up-to-date certificate of location to demonstrate the current condition of your yard.

Considering selling your property?

If you're planning to sell within the next year or two, you need to be aware of the impact this new law will have on the sale of your property. The law will come into force in 2025, so it would be wise to put your property up for sale now to avoid having to invest large sums to bring your pool, spa or patio into compliance with the new regulations.

Looking to buy a property?

If you're looking for a home with a pool (or spa), but the pool enclosure isn't fenced in, you'll need to invest by 2025 to make your facilities legal.

It is strongly recommend that you read the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Regulation, or consult a real estate broker who can help you purchase a property that meets the standards imposed by the government.

For more information, contact Jennifer Debra Egan at 418.683.4403 or visit the Egan Agency website.


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