There are different processes for residential and industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) building permits. Learn about both on this page.

Check the status of your building permit

On this page:

  1. Apply for a residential building permit
  2. Apply for an ICI building permit
  3. Designer requirements
  4. Drawing requirements
  5. Processing time
  6. Online services
  7. Permit fees
  8. When we issue your permit
  9. Inspections
  10. Conditional permits

Apply for a residential building permit

Before you start, check if you need a building permit for your project.

You can apply for a residential building permit using our online services tool.

To apply in person, you need to make an appointment.

If you have any questions about residential projects, send us an email or call 519-741-2433.


Apply for an ICI building permit

Follow these steps to start the ICI building permit process:

  1. send us an email with the project address, then we will send you a ShareFile link
  2. upload your completed permit package to the ShareFile
  3. staff will contact you within two business days to discuss your permit application

If you need a list of the application requirements for your specific project, send us an email with the project address and a description of the work you want to do.

If you have any questions about applying for an ICI building permit, send us an email or call 519-741-2312.

Permit application package

Your completed permit package will include complete and signed copies of:

  • permit application
  • Commitment to General Review (CTGR) form and/or Schedule 1 form

Follow these guidelines for your plans and documents:

  • all plans must have a stamp from an architect, professional engineer or qualified designer
  • all electronic plans and documents must be in PDF format
  • do not password protect or otherwise secure your files

Organize your permit package by discipline. Examples include:

  • architectural
  • structural
  • application form
  • CTGR form

For your drawings, follow these guidelines:

  • small drawing sets (fewer than 20 pages): one PDF for all drawings, keep documents as separate files
  • large drawing sets (more than 20 pages): one PDF for each section (architectural, mechanical, application form etc.)

Designer requirements

The Ontario Building Code requires us to ensure all drawings submitted are prepared and reviewed by a qualified, registered designer, architect or professional engineer.

The following information must be included on all documents submitted to a chief building official or registered code agency:

  • the name and building code identification number (BCIN) of the registered firm
  • a statement that the qualified person has reviewed and taken responsibility for the design activities
  • the name and BCIN of the qualified person
  • the signature of the qualified person

Drawing requirements

Requirements for all drawings

  • be fully dimensioned - elevation and construction floor plans shall be drawn to scale: min. 1:75 or 3/16” = 1’
  • note all sizes and types of construction materials that will be used, as well as the locations of these materials
  • note finishes to all walls, ceilings and floors
  • all existing and proposed fire separations

Project-specific requirements

After you speak with your team, they will explain what’s needed for your project.

Common requirements
  • site plan
  • key plan
  • lot grading plan
  • floor plans
  • foundation plans
  • framing plans
  • roof plans
  • reflected ceiling plans
  • sections and details
  • building elevations
  • structural drawings
  • architectural drawings
  • electrical drawings
  • heating, ventilation and air conditioning drawings
  • plumbing drawings
  • fire alarm drawings
  • travel distance plans
  • exit capacity plans
  • on-site sewage system design

Sprinkler drawings

Sprinkler drawings are not needed at the time of application, but they must be submitted for approval after permit issuance and prior to installation.

Alterations, renovations and additions

Your drawings must differentiate between the existing building and the proposed new work. After you speak with your team, they will explain what’s needed for your project.

Common requirements
  • spatial separation calculations
  • fire protection reports
  • building code related reports
  • record of site condition

Processing time

When we get your application, we will review it within:

  • 10 business days: renovation or new construction of a house where no dwelling unit is above another dwelling unit, a detached structure that serves a house and does not exceed 55 m² in building area and tents.
  • 15 business days: renovation or new construction of a building smaller than 600m² or three storeys
  • 20 business days: buildings larger than 600m²
  • 30 business days: post-disaster buildings and building classified as a high building

We appreciate your patience if processing times are longer than the times listed above.

When the review is complete, staff will email you to inform you that the permit is ready for issuance or a status letter with a list of deficiencies that you will need to address in order for the permit to be issued.

Timeframes for re-reviews will vary depending on permit application activity levels.


Online services

After you apply, you’ll use our online services to access:

  • the status of your permit (within two business days)
  • permit drawings and documents
  • invoices
  • book inspections
  • your inspection results

Permit fees

Visit our building permit fees to find:

  • current permit fees
  • how to pay your fee
  • rebate fees
  • damage deposit
  • stormwater management fee
  • development charges

When we issue your permit

Login to our online services to get your permit information, then:

  1. print the permit and post it on site, visible from the road (you can remove the permit after the final building inspection is approved)
  2. print the approved building permit drawings, full size and in colour
  3. always have the approved plans and drawings on site for the building inspector (inspection may fail if plans are not on site)

Inspections

You can book building inspections online. After your inspection, you can check if the inspection passed or failed and read the inspector’s notes.

Or call our inspection request line at 519-741-2761. Have your permit number ready, including your inspection codes that can be found at the bottom of your permit.

Please book your inspection(s) by 3 p.m. on the day before your inspection.


Conditional permits

A conditional permit (CP) is a permit issued under Section 8(3) of the Building Code Act at the discretion of our Chief Building Official (CBO). A CP may be issued when the applicant can show that applicable laws, including site plan approval, are forthcoming and that the approval timeframes are unreasonable and are causing unnecessary construction delays.

Find this information below:

Eligibility

You can apply for a CP in the cases in the accordions below.

A CP application is not a fast track to circumvent planning approvals or the time necessary for normal building code technical reviews, which ensure that public health and safety standards are being met.

Part 9 model home
Subdivision is registered or a model home agreement has been executed (see step five of the conditional permit process, submit a conditional permit application).
All other cases
  • Where subject to site plan approval under s.41 of the Planning Act, plans or drawings have been stamped ‘endorsed’ and, approval in principle (AIP) has been issued by the Director of Planning, except for a Part 9 model home.
  • Any necessary zoning, heritage, conservation authority or environmental permissions have been obtained and any appeal period has expired, or appeals have been resolved.
  • If a minor variance was necessary, then the variance must be approved by the Committee of Adjustment and all appeal periods must have lapsed and/or any appeals have been fully resolved.
  • All required applications set out in the OBC in Section 1.4.1.3. “Definition of Applicable Law” have been filed, and approvals are forthcoming.
Refusal

Our Chief Building Official (CBO) may refuse a CP application for any reason.

We cannot issue a CP if certain planning, heritage, conservation authority or environmental approvals are not completed. Other refusal decisions may include an objection from another approval agency, where applications have only been very recently filed or when the owner has not filed all required documents.

The CBO’s decision is final. There is no appeal available on CP decisions.

Limitations of CPs

A Conditional Permit (CP) allows an owner to lawfully start construction entirely at their own risk in some circumstances. A CP is different from a regular building permit in that it is limited by certain conditions imposed at the discretion of the Chief Building Official (CBO).

For example, if the required outstanding approvals are not obtained within the prescribed time period, if the conditional permit is revoked, any construction conducted thereunder must be removed and the site restored at the owner’s expense.

You must fully disclose to the CBO any information or uncertainty you have about an outstanding approval, to reduce the risk that the permit is revoked.

Cost

A Conditional Permit (CP) application must include a fee, as outlined in our building bylaw. The fee is not refundable. Before issuing the Conditional Permit, we will prepare an agreement that you must secure with a letter of credit or certified cheque in an amount specified by the Chief Building Official (CBO). The letter of credit may be drawn on to restore the site, if necessary. All other fees are payable in full, including normal building permit fees and applicable development charges. 

If you do not get the outstanding approvals, including building permit(s), before the conditional permit’s expiry date, you must request to extend the conditional permit. Extensions of the conditional permit expiry date incur a fee and are subject to the approval of the CBO.

Application

To apply for a Conditional Permit (CP), you will need:

When you have the completed forms and permit fee, send us an email.

If we approve your CP request, we will prepare an agreement setting out the terms of approval and the timeframes to obtain such approvals.

To get the CP, you must: 

  • sign and return the Conditional Permit Agreement (sample agreement)
  • submit a certified cheque or an irrevocable letter of credit (LOC) for the detailed cost estimate that was approved by the CBO

The securities must be from an acceptable financial institution following our investment policy and in a form approved by us (sample letter of credit) and reference the date of the Conditional Permit Agreement and the owner listed on the Conditional Permit Agreement. 

The linked documents above are general samples only and are subject to change at the discretion of the CBO.

Conditional permit process

The Conditional Permit (CP) process is outlined below.

  1. read the entire Conditional Permit Guide
  2. if the project is eligible for a CP request, submit these documents by email:
    • written CP request that proves unreasonable delays in the construction would happen if you do not receive a CP (sample letter to the CBO)
    • detailed cost estimate (see sample)
  3. the Chief Building Official (CBO) will review the request (timing)
    • if the CBO does not support the request, we will let you know
    • if the CBO does support your request, they will consider comments from other city staff (examples: planning and engineering) or agencies for any specific conditions that need to be included in the CP
  4. building staff will let you know about any or all applicable conditions of your CP (timing)
    • if you or your authorized agent accept the conditions, proceed to step 5
    • if you or your authorized agent do not accept the conditions, the process ends
  5. submit a Conditional Permit Application and associated construction documents
  6. building staff will ask our legal staff to prepare a CP agreement
  7. legal staff will contact the applicant when the agreement is ready to sign
  8. the owner(s) and mortgagee (if applicable) sign the agreement, provide security and return the signed agreement to legal staff as soon as possible
  9. the owner or authorized agent will satisfy pre-permit issuance conditions, including paying any development charges (if applicable) and outstanding legal and permit fees
  10. when steps eight and nine are complete, including the plan review for the building permit, we issue the CP and construction can start
Process timing

Steps three and four will be completed within 15 business days.

Steps six and seven will be completed within 15 business days.