You may need a building permit for your home renovation project. On this page, you can find examples of when you need a permit and when you don’t need one.

On this page:

  1. Popular projects
  2. When you need a building permit
  3. When you don’t need a building permit
  4. How to apply for a building permit

Popular projects

Not sure if you need a building permit? Check below for some popular projects.

Do need a permit

  • building a garage, shed or structure like a gazebo that is 108 square feet or greater
  • building an attached carport or other roof structure of any size
  • building a porch or deck more than 24 inches above grade
  • finishing your basement
  • adding a bedroom to a basement
  • creating an addition to a building
  • creating an in-law suite, accessory apartment or granny flat
  • adding or removing plumbing structures

See more projects that you need a building permit to complete.

Don't need a permit

  • building a fence that follows our zoning bylaw
  • building a detached structure like a garage, shed or gazebo that is smaller than 108 square feet
  • installing a water softener
  • replacing a plumbing fixture in the same place

See more projects that you don't need a building permit to complete.


When you need a building permit

The list below includes examples of projects that need a building permit. It is not a complete list.

If you have questions about your project or building permits, call us at 519-741-2312.

  • 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 porch or 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 moving 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
  • demolition of residential buildings, buildings with residential units and minor demolitions
  • 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.


When you don’t need a building permit

The list below includes examples of projects that do not need a building permit.

  • building a detached structure (like a gazebo) that's less than 108 square feet in size, measured from the outside face of walls (that does not have plumbing)
  • installing a gas fireplace
  • building a fence, but the fence must comply with our zoning bylaw
  • 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

How to apply for a building permit

You can apply for your building permit online or in person.

Online

Use our online services tool. After you apply, you can check the status of your permit and schedule any city inspections.

In person

Print and complete the required forms and bring them to the fifth floor of City Hall.

Application forms are available on our residential building permits and ICI building permits pages.