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. COVID-19 updates
  2. Apply for a residential building permit
  3. Apply for an ICI building permit
  4. Designer requirements
  5. Drawing requirements
  6. Processing time
  7. Online services
  8. Permit fees
  9. When we issue your permit
  10. Inspections

COVID-19 updates

Most City of Kitchener facilities and all libraries are closed for public use

Ontario is in a state of emergency and under a stay-at-home order. This is in addition to the current provincewide shutdown.

Residents are encouraged to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work.

Visit our COVID-19 updates page to learn what's open and closed as well as how city services are affected.


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
  • 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) with 24 hours’ notice. For same-day inspections, you need to book before 8 a.m. on the day of your intended inspection.