You need a building permit before starting any construction, demolition, or renovation project. We’ve listed the exceptions below.

Please note that the answers below are for general use and don’t cover every situation. For advice on whether your project requires a permit, please contact an Applications Administrator at 905-475-4858.

You do need a Building Permit for the following projects:

New Construction:

  • Any new building greater than 10 m2 (108 ft2) in size (the area of the building's footprint)
  • Any new building that contains plumbing, irrespective of size
  • Any addition to an existing building, irrespective of size
  • Concrete porches
  • Raised decks more than (24") above existing grade at any point
  • Detached or attached garages and carports
  • Solariums
  • Addition of a dormer
  • Sunrooms
  • Installing or changing a swimming pool fence enclosure
  • Tents (645 sq. ft. / 60 m2 more ground area)

Demolition and Alterations:

  • Demolishing any building greater than 10m2 (108 ft2) in size
  • Adding, removing or altering a structural wall or column
  • Adding, removing or altering a non-loadbearing partition
  • Changing the use of a building
  • Installing a basement entrance
  • Relocating a Building
  • Changing a fireplace from gas to wood or solid fuel burning
  • Roughing in a bathroom or washroom
  • Installing a fireplace or wood stove
  • Renovating a dwelling to provide a full basement
  • Construction separate rooms in a basement
  • Installing an accessory apartment
  • Installing any new plumbing piping
  • Repairing or installing an on-site sewage system
  • Connecting to municipal sanitary and storm sewers
  • Installing a new furnace utilizing a new fuel source
  • Installing an exterior sign
  • An underground sprinkler system connected to building plumbing
  • Installing a solar hot water system
  • Recycling grey water to reduce water use
  • Commercial roof-mounted solar projects
  • Replacing an exterior wall or cladding

You need a building permit whether the work is on the interior or the exterior of the building or dwelling. You can’t get an exemption if you’re only doing construction inside a dwelling.

You don't need a Building Permit for the following residential projects:

  • Constructing detached accessory buildings less than 10m2 (108 sq. ft.) in area*
  • Decks not adjacent to a building entrance that are less than 10m2 (108 sq. ft.) in area
  • Decks less than 600mm (24 inches) above existing grade at all locations
  • Interior damp-proofing basements
  • Replacing plumbing fixtures or water heaters
  • Replacing a furnace or adding air conditioning units or a heat pump
  • Electrical projects
  • Kitchen or bathroom cupboards
  • Painting and decorating
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Replacing windows or doors
  • Replacing roofing or shingles
  • Fences other than a pool enclosure fence
  • Retaining walls less than 1 meter in height
  • Sidewalks, planters and landscaping
  • Garden pergolas and gazebos that do not have a solid roof
  • Ground or roof mounted solar photovoltaic panels