Tornado wake-up call as Barrie council takes a stand on hurricane straps

Any changes to building code must be approved by the province

Nothing like riding out a tornado in your ex-husband’s home and losing the roof to demand a change to the province’s building code.

City Council gave the nod without discussion on Monday to a motion from Coun. Natalie Harris that the city partner with the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction to propose to the Ontario government-specific measures to modernize the Ontario building code with respect to severe wind protection for new homes. This would include the requirement for the use of hurricane straps, clips or other mechanisms to better connect the roof, wall and foundation of homes.

Tornado damage to home of ex-husband of Coun. Natalie Harris

The city would work with other agencies to develop an awareness campaign to inform Barrie residents about the risk of destructive tornadoes.

Environment Canada and Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project determined an EF-2 tornado slammed into southeast Barrie on July 15 with a maximum wind speed of 210 km/h.

As part of the motion, staff will investigate the feasibility of a potential rebate program for homeowners who install “severe wind resilience” features on their existing houses.