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Building permits and renovating

Building permit to construct

Under the Ontario Building Code Act, a building permit is required for the construction of a new building, an addition, or alteration of any building or structure with a building area of over 10 square metres (approximately 108 square feet).

Approximate cost

Approximate timeline

Based on the streaming of applications and the building category as set out in the Ontario Building Code (Refer to Table 1.3.1.3 in Division C): 

  • Small Homeowner project:  First review 5 business days
  • Tenant Fit-up:  First review 10 business days no matter the building category
  • House:  First review 10 business days
  • Small Building:  First review 15 business days
  • Large Building:  First review 20 business days
  • Complex Building:  First review 30 business days

Approximate timeline based on City Council approved enhanced service level:

  • Small Homeowner project:  First review 5 business days
  • Tenant Fit-up:  First review 10 business days no matter the building category 

Permit requirements

Additional information

Who to contact

 Building Code Client Service Centre or 3-1-1 

Where to apply

Building Code Client Service Centre

Building permit to demolish

You need to obtain a building permit to relocate or demolish an existing building or structure.  Your demolition application will be reviewed to ensure compliance with safety requirements that may need to be adhered to during or after the demolition of the structure, as well as with applicable law (e.g., Demolition Control By-law and the Ontario Heritage Act) Clearance certificates from utilities confirming services have been severed and capped must be obtained as well.  

Approximate cost

Approximate timeline

Based on the building category as set out in the Ontario Building Code:  House, Small Building, Large Building and Complex Building:

  • House:  First review 10 business days
  • Small Building:  First review 15 business days
  • Large Buildings:  First review 20 business days
  • Complex Buildings:  First review 30 business days

Permit requirements

  • Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish
  • Application Fee:  see fee schedule for more information
  • Demolition Permit Application Guidelines completed in full
  • Demolition Review Form completed in full
  • Demolition Permit Clearances Form completed and authorized by each of the appropriate authorities, must be submitted pursuant to Section 4(3)(b) of Building By-Law 2014-220
  • A current Plan of Survey or Site Plan (fully dimensioned) indicating:
    • Dimensions of property and lot size; and
    • Location of building(s) proposed to be demolished and all other building on the lot

Development charge credits

A municipal redevelopment credit may be available if demolition of an existing structure occurs within 10 years of the issuance of a building permit for a new building. After this period, no credit is possible. The time limit was set at 10 years with the enactment of the City's 2014 development charges by-law (Section 9 Redevelopment of Land Credits). Beginning January 1, 2019, the time limit will be limited to development that occurs within a five year period.

Who to contact

Building Code Client Service Centre or 3-1-1 

Where to apply

Building Code Client Service Centre

Building retrofit water and/or sewer service connections

Is the existing water and sewer services adequate for their proposed business or building use? If no, or if you are uncertain, contact City of Ottawa, Right-of-Way Information and Approvals Unit for verification.

Approximate cost

Dependent on requirements

Approximate timeline

Dependent on requirements

Permit requirements

Description of current building use

Description of proposed building use

Estimated water consumption needs

Type of fire suppression installation if applicable

Who to contact

City of Ottawa, Right-of-Way Information and Approvals Unit, 100 Constellation Drive, 6 East, Phone: 613-580-2424 ext 13629

Where to apply

City of Ottawa, Right-of-Way Information and Approvals Unit, 100 Constellation Drive, 6 East, Phone: 613-580-2424 ext 13629

Access to building permit records

The City of Ottawa’s Access to Building Permit Records, (also previously known as View and Release), allows general access to building permit records, while ensuring that the access to the information requests respect the intent of the Copyright Act, without the necessity of a formal request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Approximate cost

Approximate timeline

  • 10 business days – dependant on the complexity of the search

Permit requirements

Who to contact

buildingrecords@ottawa.ca or 3-1-1

Where to apply

Building Code Client Service Centre, or by mail, sent to:  Building Codes Services, 101 Centrepointe Dr, Nepean, On, K2G 5K7

Heritage grant program for building restoration

A heritage grant of up to $5,000 is available on a matching basis to assist owners of heritage buildings designated under Part IV or Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act with restoration work. An owner can apply for grant funding once every two years. The grant program is based on availability of funding which is approved by City Council as part of the annual budget.

Approximate timeline

Applications are accepted from January 1 until the last business day in March.

Permit requirements

You should first discuss your proposal with staff in the Heritage Section of the Planning and Growth Management Department. Staff will be able to assist you in determining the information required to process your application. Applications should be submitted in hard copy to the Heritage Section, Planning and Growth Management Department. A heritage planner will contact the applicant if further information is required.

Who to contact

Anne Fitzpatrick, Heritage PlannerPlanning and Growth Management Department,City of Ottawa613-580-2424 ext. 15203

Where to apply

You should first discuss your proposal with staff in the Heritage section of Planning and Growth Management.  More information is available at the Client Service Centre or by calling 3-1-1.