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Building Permits

Why Do I need a Building Permit?

Under the Building Code Act, a building permit is required for the construction of a new building or structure or the demolition where the building area covers more than 108 square feet (10 square metres).

The Act also states that any size addition to an existing structure requires a permit.

The primary reason for a building permit is to ensure your safety and the safety of those who will occupy the building in the future.

The permit process...and the inspections that come along with it....help ensure that the building is safe for occupancy and for adjacent land owners.

It also protects your investment. If work is done without a permit and a problem such as a fire results, your homeowner's insurance policy will often not cover the loss. When it comes to protecting one's family and one's equity, it is better to be safe than sorry, especially considering the relatively small cost of a building permit.

Work done without a permit can also cause difficulties when you want to sell your home, house inspections can fail and cause legal issues and costly delays closing deals.

Remember: it is better safe than sorry. Under the municipal bylaw, building without a permit carries with it 20% penalty over and above the regular permit fee.

Click on the permit application below to download and review the building or demolition permit application form.

Which Types of Projects Require a Permit?

Under the Building Code Act, a building permit is required for the construction of a new building or structure or the demolition where the building area covers more than 108 square feet (10 square metres).

The Act also states that any size addition to an existing structure requires a permit.

But there are exceptions.

We recommend that residents check first and contact us to confirm if a permit is needed or not.

Also, keep in mind it is the resident's responsibly to clarify if a permit is needed, not the contractor who may be doing the work on your behalf. Commercial buildings have different requirements than residential ones.

Occasionally, the scope of a project requires an interpretation by our Building Dept. staff. Some of the typical exceptions are listed below.

Windows and Doors: simply replacing a window or door with the exact same size of window/door does not require a permit. But if you are changing the size of a window or door then a permit is needed. Windows and doors provide structural integrity to a building and if the size changes, a permit is needed to ensure the work is done appropriately and safely.

Asphalt Shingles and Eaves: Simply replacing shingles or eaves does not typically require a permit. But it will require a permit whenever the under sheeting is removed or replaced or other structural repair work is done. If you are planning on doing anything that involves the roof surface, ventilation ducts, soffit, ice water dam or insulation you will need a permit. We highly recommend checking with us first to confirm the scope of your project when it comes to roof work.

Siding: Replacing siding requires a permit. A permit is not required for minor repairs of 10 square meters (108 sq.ft.) or less. A permit is required regardless of the repair dimension if you are less than 1.2 meters from the property line.

Other typical projects that require a permit: 

  • Decks 
  • Additions
  • Replacement of brick veneer
  • Replacement of masonry chimney below roof line
  • Balconies
  • Plumbing
  • Finishing a basement
  • Outdoor boilers plumbing and/or drains (except replacing fixtures)
  • Installation or repair of storm, sanitary & water service
  • New Foundations
  • Swimming pools and their enclosures
  • Installation of clean out and back water valves
  • Private septic systems
  • New fireplaces or completion of roughed-in fireplaces
  • Sunrooms, solariums, gazebos
  • Carports
  • Interior structural alterations
  • Conversion from septic to sewer
  • Adding or removing most walls (i.e. creating different room sizes and/or uses) Insulation of exterior wall, when exterior or interior cladding is removed
  • New porches and/or enclosing a porch
  • Demolition of any structure
  • Attached or detached garages & sheds

Projects that typically do NOT need a permit:

  • Fences
  • Air conditioning units added to existing systems
  • Painting and decorating
  • General landscape (as long as you are not altering ground water flow onto your neighbours land)
  • Kitchen and bathroom cupboards (without plumbing)
  • A shed or similar detached structure with no plumbing less than 108 square feet (10 square metres)