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Building Permit FAQs

The following list contains frequently asked questions and their answers.

What is a building permit?

A building permit is a licence issued by the Building Department granting you legal permission to start construction on a project.

Why is a building permit required?

The building permit process helps to ensure that zoning requirements outlined in municipal by-laws and building safety standards contained in the Ontario Building Code are satisfied. It ensures compliance during construction as well as the structural safety of the completed building.

The Building Code Act gives local governments the authority to enforce the Ontario Building Code within their jurisdiction.

When is a building permit required?

Under the Ontario Building Code, a building permit is required for the construction of any structure exceeding an area of 108 square feet. A structure with outside dimensions measuring 12 feet by 9 feet (108 square feet) would not require a building permit, but a building measuring 12 feet by 10 feet (120 square feet) would require a permit.

A building permit is required for new construction, additions, alterations, renovations, relocations, demolition, and repairs or rehabilitation of a building or structure. Some minor repairs do not require a permit.

It is the responsibility of the owner to obtain a building permit. Approved drawings should be kept on the building site and be readily accessible at all times.

Projects that require a building permit:

  • Finishing previously unfinished spaces such as rec rooms, family rooms, attics, etc.
  • Repair and underpinning of foundations
  • Construction of temporary buildings
  • Construction of accessory buildings (sheds, etc.) exceeding 108 square feet
  • Installation of pools and their enclosures
  • Construction of detached decks in excess of 8 inches above the ground, or any deck that is attached to the dwelling.
  • Demolitions
  • Solid fuel appliances (woodstoves, fireplace inserts, etc.)
  • Fences
  • Signs

Projects that do not require a building permit:

  • Replacement of stucco, siding or shingles with the same material
  • Replacement of doors when the opening is not altered
  • Patching, painting and decorating
  • Installation of cabinets and shelves

Although your project may not require a building permit, it does not relieve you of your responsibility to comply with the zoning by-law.

What happens if I fail to obtain a building permit?

It is against the law to begin construction without a building permit.

If the work does not comply with the Ontario Building Code, you may be facing costly repairs, removal of work that is not in compliance, an increase in your building permit application fee, or legal action initiated by the Building Department to gain compliance.

Contact the Building Department to find out if your project requires a building permit.

What types of drawings are required?

Plans must contain sufficient information to enable staff to determine whether the proposed work conforms to all applicable regulations. Site plans showing outlines and dimensions of the property, driveways, existing and proposed buildings may be accepted.

Where required by the Ontario Building Code, drawings must be prepared, sealed and signed by an Architect, Professional Engineer, or both. Two copies of all plans are required for each application.

How do I apply for a building permit?

Visit our Building Permit page to find out more about applying for a building permit. The property owner or an authorized agent must file a completed permit application. Proper drawings and specifications must accompany every application. Incomplete applications/drawings will not be accepted.

Who reviews permit plans?

Permit plans are reviewed by staff for compliance with the Town’s zoning by-law, the Ontario Building Code, and other related standards and by-laws. Staff will review the proposal with respect to fire protection, grading, drainage, etc.

Who obtains approvals from other agencies?

It is the responsibility of the applicant to secure required approvals from other agencies, where applicable, prior to the issuance of a building permit.

How long does the building permit approval process take?

The time required to process a building permit application varies in accordance with the quality and completeness of the submitted plans and the degree of compliance of the plans with applicable regulations.

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.

What is the cost of a building permit?

For information on building permit fees, please contact the Building Department.