When is a Building Permit Required?

Building permits are usually required for:

  • new building construction
  • garages, carports and boat houses
  • pole buildings (post-frame) or log buildings (must be designed under NBC Part 4)
  • decks or raised platforms with any walking surface over 600 mm (24”) above grade
  • RTM, modular or manufactured/mobile homes (note: mobile homes are now called modular homes)
  • renovations or alterations affecting structural members or life safety (e.g. egress windows for bedrooms)
  • addition to an existing building
  • basement development in a dwelling
  • secondary suites (cannot exceed 80 m²) (860 ft²)
  • accessory buildings, greenhouses, or gazebos greater than 10 m² (107 ft²)
  • sunrooms (wood-framed and manufactured enclosures)
  • fireplaces and wood stoves
  • retaining walls (if their collapse could affect a structure or are built near a property line)
  • foundation repair or replacement
  • roof repair or replacement
  • solar panels (roof mount) and ground mount panels if built near a property line
  • change of building use or occupancy type
  • tenant/leasehold improvements in commercial buildings
  • temporary buildings or structures (e.g. fabric buildings, construction trailers, bleachers for public events, etc.)
  • relocation of an existing building
  • work to remedy an unsafe condition or fire official’s order
  • demolition of an existing building

Building permits are not usually required for:

  • fences
  • driveways, sidewalks and parking lots
  • cosmetic upgrades or replacement not affecting structural or life safety
  • accessory buildings, greenhouses, or gazebos not greater than 10 m² (107 ft²) in area
  • some farm buildings (varies by rural municipality - check local municipal bylaws)