Building Permits

Suburbs

Building permits are in place for your safety - and the safety of those around you, ensuring your construction project is protected from structural failure, fire hazards from electrical and heating systems, electrical shock and other health risks. They also provide a permanent record of the work performed and all inspections conducted to ensure the project is sound and safe.

Before starting a new construction project -- either indoors or outdoor -- you must determine whether you need a building permit.

Projects that require a building permit

The following list includes examples of projects that require a building permit. Please keep in mind, however, this is not a complete list. If you're unsure whether your project requires a permit, please call us to discuss.

  • Building a detached garage, shed or accessory structure that are 108 square feet or greater (measured to the outside face of exterior walls)
  • Building an attached carport or other roof structure of any size
  • Building a deck greater than 24 inches above grade
  • Finishing the basement of a house
  • Adding a bedroom to the basement
  • Constructing an addition to a building
  • Building an enclosure for a swimming pool with a depth of 36 inches or greater (including temporary or inflatable)
  • Creating a duplex (in-law suite, accessory apartment, granny flat)
  • Adding or relocating plumbing fixtures
  • Removing a load-bearing wall, column, lintel or beam
  • Re-insulating walls, ceilings or floors
  • Adding a wood stove or wood-burning fireplace
  • Installing a new window or door, or increasing the width of the existing opening
  • Building a retaining wall that is greater than three feet and three inches in height, pending location
  • Mounting solar panels to a building that have a face area of five square metres or greater
  • Installing or altering a septic system
  • Installing site servicing (water or sewer lines) for all building types
  • Building new residential dwellings
  • Demolishing a structure greater than 108 square feet in building area
  • Installing a tent or group of tents that is more than 60 square metres (646 square feet) in aggregate ground area, attached to a building or constructed within three metres (nine feet and 10 inches) of any structure
  • Constructing or altering an industrial, commercial, institutional and multi-residential building
  • Installing a backflow prevention device for lawn irrigation systems connected to potable water
  • Changing the heating source in an existing building (ex. electric baseboard heaters replaced with forced air gas, or vice versa)

We do not review or inspect electrical work. Please contact the Electrical Safety Authority at 1-877-ESA-SAFE (1-877-372-7233) for electrical permits.

Projects that do not require a building permit

The following list includes examples of projects that do not require a building permit:

  • Building a structure that's less than 108 square feet in size, measured from the outside face of walls (that does not contain plumbing)
  • Installing a gas fireplace
  • Building a fence - however, the fence must comply with our zoning regulations
  • Installing a water softener
  • Painting, wall papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops and similar finish work
  • Replacing a door or window within an existing opening, where no structural members are changed and no fire-resistance rating is in place
  • Installing new shingles on an existing roof
  • Removing a non-load-bearing wall in a single, semi-detached or townhouse dwelling
  • Replacing a plumbing fixture (toilet, bathtub or sink) with a new fixture in the same location

Applying for a building permit

You can apply for your building permit by either:

  • Using our online permits system. Here, you can also check the status of your permit and schedule your inspections; or
  • Printing and completing all required forms, and bringing them - and your project drawings or details - to us at City Hall (fifth floor).

Online building permits

Can't make a trip to City Hall for your building permit? No problem - our online permit tool allows you to apply for a building permit; check the status of your application, inspection or permit fee rebate; and book an inspection* from the comfort of your own home.

We accept the following building-permit application types online:

  • accessory structures on a residential property -- new or demolitions (deck, ramp, shed or swimming pool)
  • garage or carport on a residential property -- new or demolitions (attached or detached)
  • residential buildings, new or additions (single, semi-detached or townhouse)
  • alteration to a residential building-- interior finish (single, semi-detached or townhouse)
  • all permit submissions for new housing

Before you use our online tool, please review our process requirements - including the list of drawings required for your submission, as well as all related forms.

*Inspections for pool enclosure permits cannot be scheduled online. Please call us at 519-741-2330 to schedule this type of inspection.

Attention Residential Homeowners!

Need a building permit fast?

Every Tuesday from 2-5PM from May to August, receive your building permit on the spot for your home project!

(Some restrictions may apply).

Building permits are required for:

  • Decks
  • Garages/Carports
  • Sheds
  • Swimming Pools
  • Finishing Basements (excludes duplex)

To learn more about this Express Services, stop by the building division on the 5th floor at City Hall, or call

519-741-2433 for more information.

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