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Building & Development Permits

residential construction

Does your next project require a building and development permit? Several common project are outlined below to help you determine if a building and development permit is required for your next project. Please contact Building Standards if you require clarification or further details regarding your specific scope of work as the lists noted below are not comprehensive. 

Common projects where a building and development permit is required:

  • New building or structure on your property including: house, garden and garage suite, mobile home, garage, decks or other accessory building greater than 10 square meters (107 square feet) in floor area.
  • Swimming pools (including above-ground pools and hot tubs)
  • Basement developments, secondary suites or fireplaces in your home
  • Demolition, repair, alteration or addition to an existing building or structure including: solar panel installation, repair after fire or water damage and structural repairs.
  • Change in occupancy or use of the building
  • Moving an existing building or structure.  
  • Installation or replacement of any fire alarm system
  • Alterations or repairs to heritage buildings
  • Installing bay, bow, or box windows in new or existing openings
  • Construction increasing the roof top loading

Common projects where a building and development permit is not required if the entire scope of the project consists only of:

  • Fences, landscape stairs or retaining walls not attached to a building
  • Driveways and sidewalks for curb and ditch crossings (A Curb, Sidewalk and Ditch Crossing Permit is required for changes to public property) 
  • Cosmetic repairs such as painting, patching drywall, laying carpet and other similar minor repairs of interior or exterior finishes 
  • Replacing kitchen cabinets provided the clearances of the National Building Code are met 
  • A play structure
  • An accessory building less than 10 square metres in area. The accessory building must conform to zoning regulations
  • Replacement/repair of roofing of exactly the same roofing material (above decking) as per most recent approved building plans, where available
  • Replacing/repairing a portion of existing siding with exact same material, but not a full wall
  • Replacing doors and windows in existing openings, as long as the outside dimension of the window or door does not change, the opening area is not changing and the level of life/fire safety is not changing, such as the fire protection rating or egress hardware

Permit Turnaround Time 

After you have applied for your permit, the building standards team will process your application. A listing of the permit turnaround times for different projects is outlined below.

Building and Development Permit Application Service Level Target* (June 1, 2020)

  New Alt
Single/Semidetached Dwelling Site 5-7 5
Alternative Family Care Home 15 8
Group Dwelling Site - Including Site Development 15-20 5-8
Group Dwelling Site - Post Site Development Approval 10-15 5-8
Apartment Buildings 17-22 9-15
Commercial, Industrial & Institutional 17-22 10-15
Major Projects 25-30 N/A
Demolitions        5-8 N/A

*Represented in business days