The BCA explains permits are required to ensure the health and safety of all occupants. Structures must meet the minimum requirements of the Ontario Building Code and other regulations/standards.
Building permits are necessary to ensure the design and construction of buildings meet objectives such as fire protection, structural capacity, accessibility, resource conservation from a health and safety perspective. Building permits also confirm the project follows local zoning by-laws and other applicable legislation.
It is the responsibility of the owner and every person who causes a building to be constructed to ensure a building permit is issued prior to construction or demolition starting.
To find out what types of projects require or do not require a building permit, contact your local municipal building department or visit your local municipal building department’s website for building permit requirements.
- If construction has started prior to issuing a building permit, consequences may include:
- Costly repairs may be required to gain compliance.
- Delays due to non-compliance of enforcement actions, zoning infractions and other external authorities.
- Removal of work not done in compliance with the Ontario Building Code and/or other applicable law.
- The building permit fee may be increased, in addition to other administrative charges.
- This may affect insurance and/or pending real estate transactions.
- Legal action may be initiated by the building department to gain compliance.
Many aspects factor into the time frame for building permit approval. Scope and complexity of the proposed structure, quality of submission and resubmissions, and the timing of resubmissions by owners and applicants.
The total fee depends on the type and size of the project. Check your local municipal building department to confirm permit fee requirements. Permit fees must be paid at the time of building permit application.
This all depends on the scope, complexity and the quality of submissions. Seasonal issues within the relative building department may also affect the building permit process.
Applications for a simple alteration or addition can be processed fairly quickly, but more complex proposals may take longer.
The Building Code requires that a municipality review a complete building permit application within a certain timeframe where the application meets the criteria set out in the Code.
Division C of the Ontario Building Code refers to time periods ranging from 10 days to 30 days to issue a building permit or provide in writing all the reasons for the refusal to issue.