A zoning occupancy certificate confirms that a change of use to a commercial building is allowed under our zoning bylaw. We look at different factors, including if there is enough parking to support the proposed use. You also need a zoning occupancy certificate to operate a home-based business.

On this page:

  1. When you need a zoning occupancy certificate
  2. Apply

When you need a zoning occupancy certificate

A property owner or proposed new tenant needs a zoning occupancy certificate if they’re proposing to change either:

  • the use of a commercial building
  • the previously approved gross floor area of a business

Examples include:

  • if a restaurant is moving out and a pharmacy is taking its place
  • when a business is increasing or decreasing the current size of its unit
  • opening a home-based business like a daycare

This is a requirement under the Ontario Planning Act and our zoning bylaw.

Residential uses

You don’t need a zoning occupancy certificate to establish a residential use for:

  • single detached homes
  • semi-detached homes
  • duplexes
  • street townhouses

If you want to open a home-based business, you need a zoning occupancy certificate because the use of the building would change.


Download the application form for a zoning occupancy certificate.

Send the completed application and the applicable fee by mail to:

Planning division
200 King Street West
Kitchener, ON
N2G 4V6

Depending on your proposed use, you may need to include:

  • parking plan
  • floor plan (for residential uses)

If you have any questions, send us an email or call 519-741-2317.