Everything You Need to Know About Ontario Building Permits Ⅰ
If you’re planning to make significant alterations to your residential or commercial property, it’s crucial to obtain a building permit from the government. As a property owner who’s never been involved in this process before, you might be curious about what a building permit entails, whether it’s mandatory, and how challenging the application process can be. Additionally, you might be concerned about what you should do if your application gets rejected. However, with this article, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of all these issues and be better prepared to navigate the process successfully.
What is a Building Permit?
A building permit is a document issued by the body responsible for enforcing Ontario’s Building Code in your area. Before construction work begins, the government conducts a thorough review of the building’s design and construction plans. If the review process goes well, the application for the Building Permit will be approved. This permit enables property owners to undertake a wide range of construction activities, such as renovation, demolition, or changes in the building’s use.
Do you need to apply for a Building Permit?
Are you unsure whether you need to apply for a Building Permit for your construction project? It’s common for property owners to wonder if even minor projects, such as building a small fence in the backyard, require a Building Permit.
The answer is “Not necessarily.” However, each city has its own specific regulations and requirements for when a Building Permit is required. To help you navigate these rules, JY Construction (JYC) can provide you with a comprehensive list of situations where a Building Permit is needed or not in Toronto.
When is a Building Permit Required：
- Construct a new building
- Construct an addition to an existing building, such as
- second or third-story additions
- attached garages, carports
- solariums, porches, decks
- Make structural or material alterations, such as
- adding or removing walls (i.e., changing room sizes and/or uses)
- new windows or doors where there were none before
- enlarging or relocating existing windows or doors
- enclosing an existing deck, porch or patio of any size
- Construct a shed with an area of 15 square meters (161 square feet) or more.
- Construct an accessory structure larger than 10 square meters (107 square feet) in area, such as
- Detached Garage
- Pool house or cabana
- Finishing a basement, if the work proposed includes any of the following,
- structural or material alterations
- installing or modifying heating and or plumbing systems
- excavating and/or constructing foundations
- basement underpinning
- constructing a basement entrance
- adding a second suite
- Energy and environmental building improvements, such as
- rooftop stormwater retention systems
- green roofs
- structures used in the support of a wind turbine generator with a rated output of more than 3kW
- solar projects such as the installation of solar collector systems and solar hot water systems
- Construct a deck more than 60 centimetres (24 inches) above ground
- Construct a retaining wall more than one metre (3 feet 3 inches) in height provided the retaining wall is on or adjacent to public property (including streets), building entrances, and on private property accessible to the public
- Constructing a tent that
- covers more than 60 metres squared (646 square feet); and/or
- is attached to a building; and/or
- is within 3 metres (9 feet 10 inches) from another structure.
- Demolish or remove all or a portion of a building
- Install or reconstruct a chimney or fireplace
- Install a wood-burning stove or fireplace
- Install or modify heating and or plumbing systems
- Install a backwater valve
- Install a backflow prevention device
- Change a building’s use (i.e. from residential to office or single dwelling unit house to multi-dwelling unit house). Even if no construction is proposed if a change of use is proposed a building permit is required.
When is a Building Permit Not Required：
- An uncovered platform (e.g. deck) provided:
- its finished deck level is not more than 60 cm (24 inches) above the adjacent finished grade; and/or
- it does not form part of an exit required under the building code; and
- complies with the Zoning Bylaw.
- Installing a skylight in an existing building provided:
- the building is a house or small building (3 storeys or less) and
- the installation does not require the removal of more than one rafter, joist, or other similar structural member (with the exception of a truss);
- Re-cladding of a house or small building (3 storeys or less) with non-combustible material other than brick or stone veneer;
- Adding or replacing insulation;
- The replacement of windows or doors provided:
- there is no change in the location or size of the window and/or door;
- the structural support for the opening (i.e. lintel) is not affected; and
- a new exit is not created;
- Replacing a furnace or boiler in a house;
- The installation of additional cooling systems, gas fireplaces, air cleaners, in-line humidifiers, or hot water tanks in a house;
- Repairing and replacing plumbing fixtures;
- Replacing existing roofing material provided no structural work is required;
- Finishing a basement of a house, if:
- the work does not include structural or material alterations;
- no additional dwelling unit(s) is (are) created (i.e. a second unit); and
- the work does not include the installation of new plumbing;
- Undertaking waterproofing repairs to a basement;
- Installation of cabinetry and millwork.
- Plastic Sheet Covered Accessory Structures (i.e. snow canopies, driveway tents, automotive canopy) do not require a building permit if installed on or after October 15th and are removed on or before April 15th. Compliance with the Zoning Bylaw is required.
- Constructing a retaining wall that is on private property, not accessible to the public and/or where the height is less than 1 metre in height at any location.
- A building permit is not required to install a sump pump.
- A shed is exempt from the requirement to obtain a permit under section 8 of the Act and is exempt from compliance with this Code, provided that the shed:
- is not more than 15 m2 in gross area,
- is not more than one storey in building height,
- is not attached to a building or any other structure,
- is used only for storage purposes ancillary to a principal building on the lot, and
- does not have plumbing.
As a professional and regular licensed construction and renovation company, JY Construction has a wealth of practical experience and provides a one-stop service for design and renovation, so leave the battle of wits with the government to us to ensure the successful completion of your project.
If you still have questions about building permits or have renovation needs, welcome to contact us.