* UPDATED as of 28 February 2013 *
Ottawa city council has approved new rules for homeowners with swimming pools and hot tubs, which makes it mandatory for all doors and/or gates leading to the backyard to be locked unless they are being used.
According to a report in the Ottawa Citizen, these rules went into effect on March 1, 2013 and also apply to gates in the backyard that lead to public areas.
After reviewing several safety studies, city council determined the best use of its resources would be to enforce the locking of backyard gates and focusing on adult supervision, rather than creating a four-sided fencing bylaw.
A hot tub with a compliant safety cover that is locked when not in use is exempt from the gate and fence requirements of the By-law – the safety cover acts as the enclosure. A pool enclosure permit and inspection will still be required. Hot tubs without a compliant safety cover will still be subject to the fence and gate requirements of the By-law.
Additional details and formal rules are posted at www.Ottawa.ca under “pool enclosures”.