ID Connections

Recent changes to Architects Act to benefit interior designers

Published by Julia Salerno, February 01, 2011.

IDC staff recently sat in on an important webinar, presented by Shimmerman Penn, LLP, which discussed the recent amendments to the Architects Act. These changes will affect the landscape of architectural practices in Ontario, and permit greater flexibility to the structure of ownership.

These changes also fall in line with Ontario's Open for Business initiative, which removes regulatory barriers that impinge on the wellbeing of Ontario businesses and encourages increased investment in the province's economy from outside of Ontario.

The Act now allows for firm ownership to be held by non-member employees and non-employees of the practice however, 51 per cent of ownership must still be maintained by an OAA member. This allows for an architectural firm to seek investors from non-traditional sources. IDC feels these changes are of advantage to design professionals. For example, interior designers can now own up to a 49 per cent stake in architectural practices either through a merger or through employee mobility in a multi-disciplinary firm. The Act's changes bring forth the possibility for outside growth and are more conducive to doing business in Ontario.

The full presentation will be made available on the Shimmerman Penn website in the coming weeks. For more information on the Architects Act, visit

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