A building permit is a licence granting you legal permission to start construction on a project. The building permit process helps enforce the requirements of the Ontario Building Code, the Town’s zoning by-law, as well as other applicable laws and standards. It ensures compliance during construction as well as the structural safety of the completed building.
Most permits require building plans and a site plan, but some may also require a copy of your property deed, proof of entrance approval, conservation authority approval, septic or water and sewer approval, and/or payment of development fees.
Building without a permit is against the law
Homeowners are responsible for ensuring that a building permit is obtained before construction begins. Building without a permit is against the law and could result in you and/or your contractor being subject to fines or penalties as set out in the Ontario Building Code. Building permit applications are produced on legal size paper and can be picked up at the Building Department or printed from the link above.
Tents or air-supported structures may require a building permit. Be sure to review the Guide to Tent Permits provided at the above link prior to construction.
Timelines for permit issuance
The Ontario Building Code stipulates timelines for issuing building permits. Processing varies depending on project type. As a general rule, permits are issued within 10 business days for most home renovation projects. Time is counted beginning on the day after a permit application is received and only after all required information has been received in our office.
Permit fees vary based on the type of project and location within the municipality. All fees are payable upon issuance of the permit.
When is a permit required?
Before you start construction of any type, please call the Building Department. Some of the projects that require a permit are listed below:
- Construct a new building
- Add an addition or make structural alterations, renovations or repairs to an existing building
- Change a building's use
- Make new openings for, or change the size of, doors and windows
- Build a garage, balcony or deck
- Excavate a basement or construct a foundation
- Install or modify plumbing systems
- Install or reconstruct chimneys or fireplaces
- Build an accessory structure larger than 108 square feet
- Wood burning stove/fireplace installation
- Build a basement entrance
- Finish an existing unfinished basement
- Install a swimming pool, fence or sign
If your project includes adding a washroom or altering existing plumbing, you will require a Plumbing Permit. If you currently have an on-site private sewage disposal system, you may need to obtain a Septic Permit or have your existing system evaluated.
In many cases, designers or contractors will get permits on your behalf, but homeowners are ultimately responsible for ensuring that a building permit is obtained before construction begins. Failure to obtain a building permit can result in costly construction delays or legal action.
When is a permit not required?
Some of the projects that do not require a permit are listed below:
- Replace existing doors and windows (same size), subject to distance from property lines
- Install siding on small residential buildings, subject to distance from property lines
- Build a roofless deck under 0.61 metres (2 feet) that is not attached to a building
- Build a utility shed under 108 square feet
- Re-shingle a roof
- Dry-wall or plaster
- Paint or decorate
- Install kitchen or bathroom cupboards
For electrical and Union Gas related projects, please contact your utility provider for permit requirements
Homeowners are responsible for ensuring that a permit is obtained before demolition of any building begins.