Why Permits are Needed?

Building permits are necessary to ensure that zoning requirements, fire and structural safety standards and other building standards are met, primarily for safety reasons. It is the homeowner's responsibility to ensure that a building permit is obtained when required. You may authorize your contractor or designer to apply for the permit, but the owner should ensure that they have the permit prior to any work starting.

What projects require a building permit?
Under the Ontario Building Code Act, a building permit is required for the construction of an addition or alteration of any structure which results in a building area of over 10m² (108 sq ft).

The following is a list of typical projects that require a permit:

  • Decks greater than 600 mm (24 inches) above ground or serving the principal entrance for dwelling units
  • Attached or Detatched Garages, Sheds
  • Dormers or Finishing of Attic Space
  • One or Two Story Additions
  • Finishing a Basement
  • Furnace and Ductwork Replacements
  • Plumbing and/or Drains (Except Replacing Fixtures)
  • New or Structural Alterations to Windows or Doors
  • Adding or removing most walls, i.e., creating different room sizes and/or uses
  • Interior Structural Alterations
  • Basement or Main Floor Walkout Alterations
  • Replacement of Brick Veneer
  • Replacement of Masonry Chimney Below Roofline
  • Installation of Irrigation Systems
  • Installation, Repair of Storm, Sanitary and Water Service
  • Installation of Cleanouts
  • Conversion from Septic to Sanitary Sewer
  • Insulating of exterior walls when exterior or interior cladding is removed