Doorknob ban aims at improving accessibility in Halifax

The Halifax Regional Municipality is considering a ban on round doorknobs, in addition to a number of other building code changes that would make all new buildings more accessible.

Vancouver approved ban last fall

Vancouver was the first city in Canada to ban doorknobs. (The Canadian Press)

The Halifax Regional Municipality is considering a ban on round doorknobs, in addition to a number of other building code changes that would make all new buildings more accessible.

Nova Scotia has had a law in place since the 1980s requiring new public buildings to replace conventional door knobs and faucets with levers.

Coun. Jennifer Watts said it's time to consider taking it further to cover private homes.

"Very small things, but if they actually are implemented, then they could make a huge difference in terms of how someone feels inside their home space that its more friendly, more accessible and much easier to use," she said.

Watts said the city is looking at changing regulations to raise the height of electrical plugs and lower the height of light switches. 

Ted Ross is the building code co-ordinator for the Province of Nova Scotia.

"Generally we believe that a homeowner has a choice of making decisions for themselves as to how they would like to fit out their house," he said.

"Certainly with our increased age population we're seeing developers, certainly providing levered handles and that kind of design generally as an option."

The Halifax Regional Municipality will discuss making those options a requirement at a meeting next month.

Vancouver has already approved such a ban.

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