Building permits are required prior to commencing construction of new buildings, renovating existing buildings, and constructing certain structures on your property.
A building permit is formal approval from your municipality to construct, add to, or renovate a building on your property. Building permits allow a municipality to protect the interests of both individuals and the community as a whole. By reviewing and approving plans before any work is done, the municipality can ensure that buildings comply with the Ontario Building Code (which sets minimum standards for design and materials), the local zoning bylaw (which controls building location and height, parking and uses that are suitable to the area), and other health and safety regulations.
Under the Ontario Building Code Act, a building permit is required for the construction or installation of a new structure, or for the construction of an addition or alteration of any structure. The following is a list of typical projects that require a permit:
- New home - commercial - industrial - institutional - designated structures
- Accessory buildings such as a shed, etc. separate from the existing home or building and over 10 square metres or 107 sq ft. If the accessory building is under 107 sq ft, a building permit is not required, but check with the Planning Department for height restrictions
- Any addition to a structure, regardless of the size of the addition
- Interior alterations to create new rooms in a basement/attic or converting a garage to living space
- Any structural changes including interior partitions
- Adding structural features such as decks, balconies, canopies, etc.
- Repairs or renovations
- A new entrance or new window opening
- Adding new dormers
- Raising the house to provide a full basement or first storey or to excavate the basement to provide a full basement
- Enclosing a porch/roof over a sundeck
- Constructing a retaining wall in excess of 3 feet 3 inches of exposed height
- Installing a pool or hot tub
- Installing a fireplace or woodstove
- Interior alterations to non-residential units
- Any installation or alteration of a plumbing system
- Replacing a sewer line/water service line
- Converting from a septic system to Town sewer or water
- Change of use
The information listed above is a summary only. For clarification and questions, please contact the Building Department directly at 519-941-0440 Ext. 2228.
Building permit applications are received by staff of the Department, located in the lower level of Town Hall, 87 Broadway. The applicant may be the homeowner, contractor, engineer, architect, developer, commercial or industrial tenant or an agent for the owner. Each building permit application must be accompanied by an Attachment to Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish.
Please note: applicants who are not the owner of the property will be required to submit with the permit application a letter of authorization from the owner. For your convenience, you may use our standard agent authorization form.
Facts you need to know:
- No person can construct or demolish a building without first obtaining a permit from the Chief Building Official.
- Applications are available at the Building and Bylaw Department, 87 Broadway, lower level, or online.
- Fees are assessed based on type, size and use of building. Currently, the minimum permit fee is $150. For additional information related to the Building Permit Fee structure, please refer to Schedule A of Bylaw Number 100-2012.
- Additional fees may apply, some examples of these fees are grading damage deposits, water meters, development charges and site plan securities.
- Constructing a building without a permit may be subject to penalties including fines and removal.