Balconies, stairs and other protruding elements

Last updated June 10, 2024

Provincial and federal standards apply to staircases, terraces, balconies and awnings. Montréal residents must also comply with regulations in their borough.

Protruding elements are components of a building that protrude beyond its façade. In Montréal, the following protruding elements are subject to specific standards:

  • Stairs
  • Balconies, terraces, verandas, stoops, 
  • canopies, awnings

Railings, handrails and balustrades

In general, protruding elements such as stairs and balconies must have railings or handrails to prevent people from falling.

Residents are required to comply with federal and provincial regulations.

  • A railing is mandatory when the platform is more than 60 cm (2 ft) from the ground.
  • The railing must have a minimum height of 90 cm (36 in.).
  • If the platform is more than 180 cm (6 ft) from the ground, the railing must have a minimum height of 107 cm (42 in.).
  • Only one handrail is required on a staircase whose width is equal to narrower than 110 cm (43.5 in.).
  • Two handrails are required for staircases wider than 110 cm and spiral staircases.

Residents are also required to comply with the standards specific to their borough, particularly in connection with height, appearance and materials.

Occupancy of public property

If your stairs, terrace or any other projection encroaches on municipal property, you are required to obtain a permit to permanently occupy public property.

Construction and replacement

Authorized materials

Residents must comply with the requirements of their borough and with provincial and federal regulations for all types of protrusions.

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