About Building Permits
A building permit is your formal permission to begin the construction, demolition, addition or renovation on your property.As part of the building permit process, Toronto Building staff must review your plans to ensure they comply with the Ontario Building Code, local Zoning Bylaws, and other Applicable Law. Building permits regulate the type of construction allowed in a community and ensure that minimum building standards are met. The permit process protects the owner’s interests, the community, and helps to ensure that any new construction is appropriate and safe.

When is a Building Permit Required?
You will need a building permit if you plan to:
- Construct a new building
- Construct an addition to an existing building
- Make structural alterations
- Renovate, repair or add to a building
- Demolish or remove all or a portion of a building
- Change a building's use
- Install, change, or remove partitions and/or load bearing walls
- Make new openings for, or change the size of, doors and windows
- Build a garage, balcony or deck
- Excavate a basement or construct a foundation
- Install or modify heating, plumbing or air-conditioning systems
- Install or reconstruct chimneys or fireplaces
- Construct an accessory structure larger than 10 square meters (108 square feet) in area
- Construct a deck more than 60
centimetres (24 inches) above ground
- Install a wood burning stove/fireplace
- Construct a basement entrance
- Add a Second Suite
- ​Install new or alter plumbing.


When is a Building Permit Not Required?

The following are examples of work which do not require a building permit and are not subject to the provisions of the Building Code. However, please note that this list is not exhaustive and judgment should be used depending on the situation and circumstances associated with the project. (iTi Building Permit Designer Inc. in Oakville specialises in house designs, house construction and Architectural Designs)

  1. An uncovered platform attached to a Part 9 residential building provided:
    • its finished deck level is not greater than 0.6 m above the adjacent finished grade; and
    • it does not form part of an exit required under the Building Code;
  2. Installing a skylight in an existing building provided:
    • the building falls within Part 9 of the Building Code; and
    • the installation does not require the removal of more than one rafter, joist, or other similar structural member (with the exception of a truss);
  3. Re-cladding of a Part 9 building with non-combustible material other than brick or stone veneer;
  4. Adding or replacing insulation;
  5. The replacement of windows or doors provided:
    • there is no increase in the percentage of unprotected openings;
    • the structural support for the opening (i.e. lintel) is not affected; and
    • an exit is not created;
  6. Furnace and boiler replacements in Part 9 residential buildings;
  7. The installation of additional cooling systems, gas fireplaces, air cleaners, in-line humidifiers, or hot water tanks in Part 9 residential buildings;
  8. Repairing and replacing plumbing fixtures other than toilets;
  9. Replacing existing roofing material provided no structural work is required;
  10. Finishing a basement of a residential Part 9 building provided:
    • the work does not include structural alterations;
    • no additional dwelling unit(s) is (are) created; and
    • the work does not include the installation of new plumbing; and
  11. Installation of cabinetry and millwork.


In many cases, your designer or contractor will get permits on your behalf. Remember, as the building owner, you are ultimately responsible for complying with all building requirements. Failure to obtain Building Permits can result in costly construction delays, legal action and/or the removal of work already completed.

Architectural Design Services

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