Getting a Permit FAQ


What do I need a permit for/ When do I need a Building Permit?
Do I need a Permit if I want to enclose a porch, or glaze it / Cover it with windows?
Do I need a Permit for New Door and Window Openings?
Do I need a Permit for a Basement Walk-up, or Step-up?
Do I need a Permit for Interior Alterations?
I am building a fence. What do I need to know?
What Permits are required for building a house (infill or subdivision, Land severance)?
Do I need a Permit for Additions to my Property / House?
Do I need a Permit for building a Deck / Porch?
Do I need a Permit for the Demolition of a structure on my property?
Do I need a Permit to Finish my Basement?
Do I need a Permit to build a Fireplace / Woodstove / Chimney
Do I need a Permit to build a Garage  (Attached / Detached)
Do I need a Permit for building a Garden Sheds / Accessory Buildings/ Detached Garage/Cabana/Gazebo
Do I need a Permit for a new Hot Tubs / Whirlpools/ Outdoor Jacuzzi?
Do I need a Permit for minor Plumbing / Septic work

Do I need a Permit for Renovations / Alterations to my Property/ House?
I Want to create / build Secondary Dwelling Unit (Additional Dwelling / Apartment), Do I need a permit?
Do I need a Permit for Swimming Pool Enclosures?

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What do I need a permit for? When do I need a Building Permit?
in short, You need a permit for any structure in excess of 107 square feet
A building permit is required to ensure that your project, whether a small deck or a large house, is built to the minimum standards set out in the Ontario Building Code (OBC).  The OBC is a provincial regulation created and administered by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing which also includes the Building Code Act.  The Building Code Act allows municipalities to ensure such things as structural and fire safety and energy conservation are maintained at a level equal to what is required in the OBC.
A building is a structure occupying an area greater than 10 square metres (107 square feet) consisting of a wall, roof or floor or a structural system serving the function thereof including all plumbing, works, fixtures and service systems.

 

Do I need a Permit if I want to enclose a porch, or glaze it / Cover it with windows?
Yes, A building permit is required for enclosing existing exterior porch areas (e.g. enclosing a front porch).​

 

Do I need a Permit for New Door and Window Openings?
Yes, A building permit is required for enclosing existing exterior porch areas (e.g. enclosing a front porch).​
Establishing new openings may affect the Heat Loss for the property, and will sometimes require an additional HVAC Heat Gain/ Loss Calculation made by a certified designer or Engineer to be included with the submission. In addition, Doors for Sleeping areas particularly need to comply with the OBC and offer a certain percentage of the room area. In some cases, New openings may act as a means of egress (Escape / Exit), and will have to offer specific opening methods and sizes.


Do I need a Permit for a Basement Walk-up, or Step-up?
Yes, A building permit is required for the construction of all exterior basement walk-out and walk-ups.
Sometimes the City will require additional underpinning specs for the new addition.

 

Do I need a Permit for Interior Alterations?
A building permit is required for all structural alterations (or material changes) within single family dwellings, semi-detached dwellings and townhouse dwelling units. (e.g. permit to remove a load bearing wall.)
However, if the alteration is for removing a non-load bearing wall, or for painting, replacing countertops, replacing an old window or a door, adding a lighting fixture, replacing tiles or floors, a permit may not be required. It is always best to check with the City first, and always hire a certified insured contractor to do the work.


I am building a fence. What do I need to know?
Fences do not require a permit (excluding pool enclosures). Please ensure you observe the following requirements:
- The maximum height of a fence in a residential dwelling is 6ft, including lattice
- Fencing must be no less than 5ft between houses, and/or 3ft from front corner
- Any fencing that is erected must be paid by the initiating resident. You cannot force your neighbour to pay a portion.

 

What Permits are required for building a house (infill or subdivision, Land severance)?
if there is an existing structure on the lot that is to be removed a demolition permit would be required. In addition, a Grading Permit must be obtained from the Building Standards Department prior to application for the associated Building Permit.   

 

Do I need a Permit for Additions to my Property / House?
Residential additions require a building permit. An addition to your home can include a sunroom, family room, bedroom or 2nd storey addition etc. If the addition includes a washroom or alterations to existing plumbing fixtures, a plumbing permit is required. Also, if your home is serviced by an on-site private sewage disposal system, a septic permit may be required.

 

Do I need a Permit for building a Deck / Porch?
A building permit is required for any new construction, addition or alteration to a deck or porch that is 600mm (23 5/8 inches) or greater above grade and/or any deck that is 18.6m2 (200 sq ft) or greater in building area or attached to another structure regardless of size.  Regardless of whether or not a permit is required all construction must comply with the City Zoning By-law


Do I need a Permit for the Demolition of a structure on my property?
A permit is required for demolition of any structure i.e. garage, addition, residential dwelling, barns, commercial, institutional or industrial buildings. You must provide the Building Department with a copy of your site plan or survey showing the location of the building for demolition and a permit application completed with the description of the building to be demolished and the total gross floor area of the building.
Ontario Building Code Demolition Requirements:
Applicants are advised of the applicable provisions of the Building Code related to the proposed demolition: 

 

Do I need a Permit to Finish my Basement?
A building permit is required for new finishing or alterations to existing finished basement areas within dwellings and/or where there are new plumbing fixtures or existing fixtures are being relocated.
If you are finishing your basement, you may require a building or plumbing permit, or both. If you are finishing your basement to become a separate dwelling, a special permit and registration is required. A building permit is required if the proposed work involves additional sleeping accommodations or structural alterations. A plumbing permit is required for additional plumbing fixtures or alteration to existing plumbing fixtures. In addition, if your home is serviced by an on-site private sewage disposal system, a septic permit may be required. Please note: Finishing a basement where no structural alterations or plumbing is proposed, and where there aren't sleeping areas, does not require a permit. it is always best to check with your City / Town to make sure whether you need a permit.

 

Do I need a Permit to build a Fireplace / Woodstove / Chimney
Yes, If you are planning to install a fireplace, woodstove or chimney, a building permit it required.

 

Do I need a Permit to build a Garage  (Attached / Detached)
Yes, Construction of an attached or detached garage or a carport requires a building permit. If the construction of a garage or carport includes alterations to existing plumbing fixtures, a plumbing permit is required. Also, if your home is serviced by an on-site private sewage disposal system, a septic permit may be required. 


Do I need a Permit for building a Garden Sheds / Accessory Buildings /Detached Garage/Cabana/Gazebo
A garden shed is an accessory building. Other accessory buildings include gazebos, cabanas, change houses, pool equipment sheds and detached garages etc. A building permit is required for the construction of accessory buildings greater than 10 m2. or an accessory structure that is attached to another structure regardless of size.


Do I need a Permit for a new Hot Tubs / Whirlpools/ Outdoor Jacuzzi?
If you are installing a hot-tub or whirlpool on your property, a permit is required. If the hot-tub or whirlpool installation is combined with the construction of a deck, a permit is required for both.

 

Do I need a Permit for minor Plumbing / Septic work
Whether you are adding new plumbing fixtures or making alterations to existing plumbing fixtures, a plumbing permit is required. If your home is serviced by a septic system, a septic permit may be required.

 

Do I need a Permit for Renovations / Alterations to my Property/ House?
Residential renovations or alterations require a building permit. A residential renovation or alteration to your home can include enlarging a window or door opening, adding or removing a wall. If the renovations / alterations include a washroom or alterations to existing plumbing fixtures, a plumbing permit is required. Also, if your home is serviced by an on-site private sewage disposal system, a septic permit may be required.


I Want to create / build Secondary Dwelling Unit (Additional Dwelling / Apartment), Do I need a permit?
Yes, but first you need to check with the City/ Town whether the Zoning By-laws allow it, some Cities permit second suite dwelling units in detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings and link house dwellings subject to certain zoning provisions.

Two-Unit Houses existing on or before November 16, 1995 are grandfathered by the Land Use Planning and Protection Act (bill 20) and are subject to the requirements of the Ontario Fire Code.

Existing Two-Unit Houses shall be registered with Building Services.

 

Do I need a Permit for Swimming Pool Enclosures?
If you are installing an aboveground or inground swimming pool on your property, the fence (enclosure) surrounding the swimming pool requires a permit.