• Building Permits

A building permit gives you the legal authorization to start construction of a building project in accordance with approved drawings and specifications. Building permits are issued by Planning and Building Services and are reviewed for compliance with the Ontario Building Code, the applicable municipal zoning by-law and other applicable provincial and municipal regulations, Building permits are necessary to ensure that zoning requirements, fire and structural safety standards, and other building standards are met.

Building Permit Image

When are Building Permits Required? 

In general, a building permit is required to erect, install, extend, alter, or repair a building. A demolition permit is required to demolish all or part of a building. It is the property owner's responsibility to ensure, when necessary, that a building permit is obtained before beginning any construction or demolition.

If you are unsure if a permit is required, please review the details of the work with our customer service representatives prior to construction or demolition.

Construction and renovation projects that require a permit:

  • Home renovations, including additions; finishing of basements;  alterations such as enlarging windows or door openings, skylights, patio doors; and removing or adding walls
  • Construction of garages, both attached and detached, or carports
  • Additions to garages or carports, including enclosing a carport
  • Decks more than 600 mm (23 5/8") above ground
  • Demolition of any structure occupying an area greater than 10 square metres
  • Installation of new plumbing systems
  • Alteration of existing plumbing systems
  • Installation or alteration of HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems
  • Retaining walls 
  • Accessory buildings, such as sheds, over 10 square metres
  • Some signs such as billboards, see the City sign by-law
  • Installation of masonry or factory-built fireplaces, wood stoves or chimneys
  • Structural alterations
  • Installation of swimming pools, hot tubs, ponds and related enclosures
  • Tents or groups of tents exceeding 60 square metres
  • Any tent located closer than three metres to another structure

A building permit may be required for:

  • Home repairs or renovations
  • Replacement of windows
  • Roof replacement, including reshingling

Applying For a Building Permit

A completed Permit Application must be filed, along with two sets of complete construction drawings, drawn to scale, with Planning and Building Services.

For commercial projects three sets of complete construction drawings, signed and sealed by a professional, must accompany all applications.

Temporary Procedures for Submission of Documents

Please note that while City Hall is closed to the public, the following procedures for submission of documents will apply:

Submissions can be made in a number of ways:

  1. Via Canada Post;
  2. Via courier service;
  3. Via the mail slot adjacent to the entrance off James Street (mail slot opening is limited to 7" x 1 1/4").
  4. For situations where the mail slot is not large enough to receive submissions, please call 905-688-5601 ext 1660 to make arrangements for a time to drop off the document on the bench under the awning.  At this point you are asked to practice social distancing by keeping at least a 2-metre distance from the Administration Clerk at all times. 

Note: 1. In all cases of submissions received by Building staff, documents will be quarantined for a period of 3 days after which time processing will continue.

         2.  Due to provincial emergency order, mandated timelines under the Building Code have been suspended.  However, we will make every effort to process building permit applications in a timely manner as current circumstances allow.     

Site plot plans can be found here.

A permit must be obtained before the start of any construction or demolition.

 Inspections

The Building Services division carries out inspections in conjunction with building permits and also responds to customer requests to determine if a permit is required. The staff assists both property owner and contractor to complete their projects in accordance with building code regulations and applicable zoning requirements. 

When voluntary compliance is not forthcoming, enforcement is initiated.

Upon obtaining a building permit, a contractor or property owner is required to arrange inspections during the various phases of construction. The required inspections are listed on the permit. Appointments can be made by contacting the Planning and Building Services Department by phone at least 48 hours in advance for the following types of inspections:

  • Footings, piers, and slabs on grade, prior to pouring concrete
  • Foundation prior to backfilling
  • Framing / structural
  • Plumbing
  • Heating/ventilation
  • Insulation / vapour barrier
  • Fire separation
  • Exits
  • Fire protection systems
  • Occupancy
  • Final

Private sewage systems, approvals and inspections, must be completed by Niagara Region Public Works Department in accordance with the provisions of the Ontario Building Code.

If any deviations from the by-law are observed, appropriate action will be taken by the inspection staff to gain compliance to any by-laws under their jurisdiction.

 Fees

Permits may require additional fees and are reviewed based on an individual permit basis.

Additional fees may include, but are not limited to, site servicing, drainage/grading, sidewalk damage deposit, curb cuts, curb infills, construction, water, etc. 

See the 2020 Schedule of Rates and Fees. Go to pages 40 - 51 for Planning and Building Services.

Previously Issued Permits

2020

2019

Copyright © 2014 The Corporation of the City of St. Catharines