Building permits are necessary to ensure that zoning requirements, fire and structural safety standards and other building standards are met, primarily for safety reasons. Zoning requirements are contained in municipal bylaws and the building standards are contained in the Ontario Building Code. This code is a Provincial regulation administered by the Housing Development and Buildings Branch of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Under the Building Code Act, local governments are given authority for the enforcement of the Ontario Building Code within their municipality. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that a building permit is obtained when required.
A building permit is required for the change of use of a building or part thereof, complete construction or complete demolition of a building, any additions including sunrooms and solariums, any alterations including relocating non-structural walls, finishing a basement for a recreation room / bedroom or for a basement apartment, adding a basement entrance or new windows, any detached structures exceding 10 square metres ( or 107 square feet ) in size such as sheds / gazebos / pool cabana, signage, the installation of fireplaces and wood-burning stoves, sundecks, etc., as well as for new or modification of existing HVAC ducts and plumbing installations or alterations.
Building permits are not normally required for:
( NOTE : The information provided to answer this question has been taken from various municipal building departments )
Permit plans must be drawn to scale and contain sufficient information to enable the Chief Building Official and his staff to determine whether the proposed work conforms to all applicable by-laws and regulations. Site plans must be referenced to a current plan of survey, certified by a registered Ontario Land Surveyor. A copy of such survey must be submitted with the permit application for a major project. Site plans showing outlines and dimensions of the property, driveways and existing and proposed buildings, may be accepted. Where required by the Ontario Building Code, plans must be prepared, sealed and signed by an Architect, Professional Engineer, or BCIN qualified Designer. Permit applications will not be accepted when the submitted plans are inadequate or incomplete unless a waiver is signed.
For more information in relation to specific projects, the applicant should obtain a copy of “Basic Building Permit Requirements” and “Building Permit Plans Requirements” from the Development Services Department, Building Permit & Inspection Services Branch.
A building permit application will not be accepted where it is determined that the proposal requires:
The time required for the processing of a building permit application varies in accordance with:
The Building Permit Services staff are prepared to provide reasonable assistance to the applicant, when requested to do so, but must refrain from assisting in the laying out of any work or acting in the capacity of an engineering or architectural consultant.
The Ontario Building Code has been amended to introduce time limits on decisions regarding complete applications, which will reduce delays in permit issuance.
The applicant must file an application, in writing, on prescribed forms. Every application must be signed by the applicant. The applicant must be the owner of a building or property or a person authorized, in writing by the owner, to apply for a permit on the owner’s behalf. Every application must be accompanied by prescribed plans and specifications and the permit fee.
Effective on July 1, 2005, applicants must complete and submit common application forms prescribed by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
Permit plans will be reviewed by Building Permit Services staff for compliance with the Ontario Building Code, applicable law and other related standards and by-laws. Engineering Services will review the proposal with respect to grading, drainage, refuse collection facilities, vehicle access and road design. Fire Services will examine the plans for compliance with fire safety provisions contained in the Ontario Building Code, the Ontario Fire Code (where applicable) and related standards. Zoning staff will review the plans for compliance with the Zoning By-law and Sign By-law.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to secure required approvals from other agencies (where applicable) prior to the issuance of a building permit. The Building Permit Services staff will advise the applicant of the required approvals from other government agencies upon permit application (i.e. CLOCA, Oak Ridges Moraine, MTO).
In addition to the building permit fees, other required fees such as municipal and education levies, road restoration deposits, cash-in-lieu of parkland dedication, sewer connection costs and other applicable fees, must be paid prior to the issuance of a permit. The permit fees are calculated in accordance with the Building By-law.
Where an application remains incomplete or inactive for six months after it is made, the application may be deemed to have been abandoned and notice will be given to the applicant, who may be entitled to a partial refund of the permit fee, as set out in the Building By-law.
The following outlines the building permit application process: