I'm renovating a bedroom in the basement, and I am trying to upgrade the window to meet the local egress requirements (Ontario, Canada). We have a standard bungalow with cinder block walls, built in 1958.
As you can see in the picture, there is a wooden frame in the opening of the cinder block wall (I have already taken out the actual vinyl window). If I take out the wooden frame, there would be more than enough room to get a window in that meets the local egress requirements, however with the wooden frame there isn't enough room. So I'm looking for some help in working out if the window frame is actually structural.
There doesn't seem to be any weight on the top of the window frame from the sill plate, as I can wedge a screw driver in there and wiggle it around a fair bit. However I'm concerned about the sill an having 2 floor joists sitting on it without having any support underneath. It seems odd that the window frame would be structural, but this is a 1958 house I guess.
Can anyone provide any pointers on how to know if it is structural or not, and if it is structural, is there a way I might be able to replace the frame with a metal lintel or something?
If I can't work out for sure if its structural or not, I'm thinking that I'll just leave the top and sides of it in place and cut a larger opening in the cinder blocks at the bottom, I'd really rather avoid that though.
*Note that I am not trying to meet USA egress requirements, this is for Ontario, where you only need a 3.8 sq ft opening (from what I've researched). I'm planning to put a hopper style egress window in, similar to this one https://bavarianwindows.com/product/egress-window-ontario/