Building

The Ontario Building Code is a regulation under the Building Code Act, 1992. The Building Code provides the technical requirements for the construction, renovation and demolition of buildings, altering the existing use of buildings where there is potential for an increase in hazard and the maintenance and operation of on-site sewage systems. The application of the Building Code with respects to the technical requirements does not apply to existing buildings other than the maintenance and operation on-site sewage systems and buildings which undergo a change of use where a change would result in an increase in hazard.

The purpose of the Building Code is to promote public safety through the application of appropriate uniform building standards. At its core, the Building Code is a set of minimum provisions that respect the safety of buildings with respects to public health, fire protection, accessibility, and structural integrity.

A building permit is required when you want to:

  • construct a new building or accessory structure greater than 10 square metres in area
  • renovate, repair or add to a building 
  • make any structural alterations to a building
  • demolish or remove all or a portion of a building 
  • change the use of a building or part of a building 
  • install, change or remove partitions and load-bearing walls 
  • make new openings for, or change the size of, doors and windows
  • build a garage, porch or balcony
  • build a heated or unheated sunroom
  • build a deck more than 10 metres square in area or more than 2 feet (0.61 metres) above adjacent grade
  • excavate a basement to increase headroom
  • construct a foundation 
  • underpin an existing foundation
  • install a basement walkout entrance
  • construct a chimney serving a solid fuel fired appliance
  • install or create a Second Suite
  • install or modify heating, plumbing, air conditioning systems or fireplaces 
  • install or reconstruct a chimney, wood burning stove or fireplace
  • do structural or mechanical fire-damage repair
  • install, replace or repair a private sewage system
  • install a pool
     

 You may not need a building permit to:

  • build a utility shed less than 10 square metres in area, subject to By-Law restrictions
  • replace existing, same-size doors and windows, subject to distance from property lines 
  • install siding on small residential buildings, subject to distance from property lines 
  • re-clad exterior walls with noncombustible material, excluding brick or stone veneer and subject to distance from property lines
  • build a roofless deck under two feet (0.61 metres) above adjacent grade that is not attached to a building, subject to By-Law restrictions
  • install a skylight in a Part 9 building, provided not more than one rafter, joist or similar structural member (excluding a truss) is cut or removed and multiple skylights are not less than 2 m apart
  • reshingle a roof, provided there is no structural work 
  • do minor chimney repairs such as the installation of a chimney cap, chimney line or repointing
  • install eavestroughs, provided that drainage is contained on your property 
  • replace or increase insulation, gypsum board or plaster 
  • damp-proof basements
  • paint or decorate 
  • install kitchen or bathroom cupboards without new plumbing 
  • erect a fence (except for swimming pools – outside pools require permits) 
  • do electrical work (the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), however, must inspect electrical installations)