How To Apply for Building Permits on Vacant Land in Ontario, Canada

Steps to Apply for Building Permits In Ontario, Canada When are building permits necessary? The Ontario Building Code Act states that you must have a building permit before …

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Steps to Apply for Building Permits In Ontario, Canada


When are building permits necessary?

The Ontario Building Code Act states that you must have a building permit before erecting a new building, or making any additions or alterations to an existing construction that has a building area of more than ten square meters. This is approximately one hundred and eight square feet. 

How to apply for a building permit

You can either obtain application forms for a building permit from your municipality or call 1-800-668-9938.

On the application you will supply the building department with relevant information about your project. Who, what, where and how, plans to scale, drawings or any other documents of the work you are proposing to construct must be submitted for review with your application.

Staff at the Building Division Counter will help you to complete your forms. However, you must submit 
  • 2 sets of the building plans ( if you need additional help, you can phone 519-740-4613)
  • 3 copies of your property survey or site plan
  • Your building permit fee (fee schedule) 
Make certain your application is completely filled in; otherwise, it will not be accepted. 

Upon receipt of your completed building application by the Building Services, the staff will review the application according to the mandated timelines of the Ontario Building Code Act. 

  • 10 business days for a residential building permit application
  • 15 business days for a small commercial building permit
  • 30 business days for a large commercial building permit application 

Accordingly you will be notified in writing, as mandated by the province, whether your permit is issued or the reason why it was rejected. 

The Reviewing Process

Most building permits are issued without delay as long as your plans comply with the Building Code in terms of zoning, municipal by-laws and the provincial regulations. The drawings are reviewed to ensure they conform to the Building Code for structural, fire and safety, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning (HVAC) and plumbing requirements. 

Receiving your permit

If all is compliant with the Building Code your permit will be issued, granting you legal permission to begin building. This must be done in accordance with the Review process and a copy kept on site. Notify the Building Official immediately if any changes are proposed. Changes may require review and approval the same way as the original application.

The building permit

As part of your agreement with the contractor, they will often apply for and obtain any necessary building permits on your behalf. This license legally grants permission for commencing construction of the project. Anyone found constructing or demolishing a building without a permit is subject to a fine. The responsibility for obtaining all permits ultimately falls on the owner of the property. Building permits are essential for ensuring that zoning requirements, fire and structural and any other building standards are met as required by the Building Code.

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