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2016 Annual Building Report

Why are building permits important?

Building Permits ensure that construction meets with standards set out in the Ontario Building Code. Obtaining a Building Permit helps to protect your investment and reduce the risk of improper and unsafe construction. Building Permits protect you and your family from tragedy caused by fire, structural collapse and general deterioration of the structures that surround you: your home, school, office, stores and other businesses.

What is a Building Permit?

A Building Permit is a document which grants legal permission to undertake the construction, alteration, repair, change of use, or demolition of a building or structure.

When is a building permit required?

A Building Permit is required for any new building greater than 10 square metres  (108 square feet), any addition to an existing building, any material alterations to an existing building which effects: the structural design of the building; mechanical; electrical; plumbing services; fire separations; exiting; fire protection systems; and the use of buildings. Home improvement projects that require a Building Permit may include:

  • Constructing an addition, adding or removing walls, altering windows or doors, adding insulation
  • Constructing a porch or sunroom
  • Constructing a deck greater than 600mm (24 inches) above ground or a deck that provides entrance to the main door of your home
  • Constructing a garage, carport, or shed
  • Replacing the brick veneer on the outside of your house or replacing the masonry chimney below the roofline
  • Finishing an attic space or finishing a basement
  • Replacing a furnace and ductwork; adding or replacing a fireplace or wood burning stove
  • Installing a lawn irrigation system and a backflow preventer for irrigation systems
  • Plumbing and drains, installing or repairing a storm sewer, sanitary sewer or septic system, or water service
  • Structural fire damage
  • Fencing around a swimming pool or hot tub

 When is a Building Permit NOT Required?

A Building Permit is not required for a structure such as a shed or gazebo which measures less than 10 square metres (107 square feet) in area.

Below is a list of other projects that do not require a permit. Although a Building Permit may not be required, you must still comply with the requirements of the Zoning By-law.

  • Landscaping such as constructing a fence, garden, walkways and interlocking stone
  • Minor exterior renovations such as re-shingling your roof, replacing the siding, installing eaves trough, and replacing windows or doors that are the same size and location
  • Minor interior renovations such as installing new flooring, painting and decorating.

If you are not sure if you need a building permit for your project, you can find out by contacting the building department by phone at 705-672-3363

Where can I obtain an Application for a Building Permit?

You can obtain an Application for a Building Permit by dropping by City Hall.. An application can also be downloaded here.

A "complete" application includes the completed application form, construction drawings prepared by a qualified person, and the building permit fee.

If you have questions about the application and required documents, you may wish to contact the building department by phone at 705-672-3363.

What is the cost for a Building Permit?

Building Permit application fees are set by Council and are reviewed yearly. Fees are based on the value of construction which includes all materials and labour for the building. The value of the land and landscaping are not included in the fees. The current building permit fees are available in our by-laws section listed under ByLaw 2013-052. 

If you require assistance to calculate the cost of your building permit, you may contact the building department by phone at 705-672-3363.

Who should apply for the Building Permit?

It is the property owner's responsibility to ensure that a Building Permit is obtained when required. You may authorize your contractor or designer to apply for the Building Permit, but you should ensure that they have the permit prior to starting construction.  

To confirm that a Building Permit has been issued, you may contact the building department by phone at 705-672-3363.

What are the steps in the Building Permit process?

  1. Pre-consultation - Staff of the building department are available to meet with you before you submit your application for Building Permit to provide you with some of the information you will need to make your application so that you can proceed with your project without undue delay.

  2.  Application - Once you submit your application for a Building Permit, the building official reviews the application to ensure that the plans and details of construction meet the requirements of the Ontario Building Code and applicable laws such as zoning by-laws. A building official will contact you if more information is needed before the Building Permit can be issued. 
  3.  Permit - Once you submit all of the required information the "complete" application is approved and the building official issues the Building Permit. Staff will call or email you to let you know when your Building Permit is ready for you to pick up.
  4.  Inspections - Building officials also perform inspections at various stages of construction to ensure that the work complies with the approved plans and the Ontario Building Code. Once the project is complete, a final inspection is made then the file is closed.

How long does it take to get a permit?

For small projects like home renovations and additions, building officials will generally issue the Building Permit within one week from the day that your application is a "complete" application.  For a larger project like a new home, the permit may take two weeks to process.

Making sure that your application has all of the information that the Building Code requires is the best way to ensure that your permit is not delayed. You are encouraged to contact the building department by phone at 705-672-3363 to discuss your project well in advance of your proposed construction start date.

When can construction begin?

You can start building as soon as you receive your Building Permit.

You must build your project according to the plans that were approved by the City. The Building Code requires you to post the Building Permit in a window or other prominent place at the construction site, keep a copy of the building plans at the site, and bring any proposed changes to the attention of the building official immediately. Changes may require a review and approval in the same manner as the original application.

What inspections are required?

Each major phase of construction must be inspected by a building official to make certain the work conforms to the Building Code, the Building Permit and the approved plans. The mandatory inspections required for your project will be indicated on the Building Permit.

How do I arrange to have my project inspected?

Building officials do not automatically inspect your project.  You or your contractor is required to contact the Building Department to request an inspection before work proceeds from one inspection stage to the next.

Building officials are generally able to do an inspection with 24 hours notice. The Building Code mandates that a building official must make an inspection within 48 hours of a request.

If the work is not inspected at the required stage, you may be asked to uncover and expose the work for inspection. If the building official finds that some work does not conform to the approved plans, he or she will advise you that the situation is to be remedied. If the violation is serious, a stop work order may be posted until the problem is resolved. Another inspection may be necessary before work is resumed.

If I have more questions, how do I get answers?

You may call 705-672-3363.

A Building Official will answer your questions or meet with you to discuss your construction project.