Skip to main content

Do I need a building permit?

Building Permit Projects

Under the 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). The following list provides examples of common projects that require building permits. If the scope of your project does not appear on the list below or you are unsure of the permit requirements please contact Building Code Client Service Centre or 3-1-1 for more information. 

Other Projects requiring building permits

  • Change over from septic to sanitary sewer
  • Green building initiatives, such as:
    • Storm and grey water use
    • Roof top storm water retention systems
    • Structures used in the support of a wind turbine generator with a rated output of more than 3kW
  • Interior and exterior structural alterations, such as:
    • adding or removing walls, i.e., creating different room sizes and/or uses
    • one- and two-storey additions
    • new windows where there were none before
    • enlarging or relocating a window or door
  • Plumbing - Alterations, additions or extensions to a plumbing system (except replacing existing fixtures)
  • Structural foundation repairs and drain tile replacement
  • Structural repairs or alterations

Rural Projects

  • Hoop structures (i.e. fabric covered buildings)
  • Farm use buildings - barns, silos, manure storage structures (excluding earthen structures)
  • Riding Arenas

If the scope of your project does not appear on the list above or you are unsure of the permit requirements please contact Building Code Client Service Centre or 3-1-1 for more information. You can also email buildingpermits@ottawa.ca.

Where to apply: Building Code Client Service Centre

Application Forms: Application to Construct or Demolish

Adding an apartment

Adding a single, self-contained rental apartment to your home provides your family with an additional source of income and provides your community (or a member of your family) with another source of affordable housing. These apartments – technically called secondary dwelling units  – are regulated by the Zoning By-law.

Important things to consider before adding a unit to your home

  • If you are adding and/or building a unit in an existing dwelling, you need a building permit before proceeding. The construction may include alterations of existing walls, enlarging any window, adding a new exterior door or an internal shared entrance, or even include an addition however, even if there is limited or no work proposed, the proposed “Change of Use” must be reviewed to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Ontario Building Code and other applicable law. 
  • No more than an amount equal to 40 per cent of the gross floor area of the principal dwelling may be developed for a secondary dwelling unit, except where a basement unit is created, in which case, there is no maximum size. 
  • The new unit must have a separate access on the ground floor of a principal dwelling (unless building or fire codes allow something else). However, the separate access is not allowed in an exterior wall facing the front yard. An internal shared lobby or entrance hall with a common entrance in the exterior wall facing the front yard is permitted.
  • A maximum of one unit is permitted in a detached dwelling, one in each half of a semi-detached building and only one for the whole of a duplex dwelling. 
  • The new unit must be on the same lot as the principal dwelling unit and must not change the streetscape character along the road on which it is located. 
  • No additional parking space is required but where a new one is provided, it cannot be located in the front yard. Tandem parking in the existing driveway is permitted.

Exceptions

  • Secondary dwelling units are not permitted in the former Village of Rockcliffe Park. Also, secondary dwelling units are not allowed in duplex dwellings in the Queensway Terrace North neighbourhood
  • Prior to 2005, secondary dwelling units were permitted in the following former municipalities. All units that existed before 2005 in these areas must comply with the Ontario Building Code and Fire Code:
    • Cumberland-Urban
    • Gloucester
    • Nepean-Urban
    • Osgoode
    • Goulbourn
    • West Carleton

Financial considerations

  • Your property taxes, as determined by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation, may change as a result of adding a secondary dwelling unit in your home. 
  • Rent counts as additional income under the Income Tax Act, so adding a secondary dwelling unit will affect your income taxes
  • Notify your insurance company or broker as early as possible about your plan to build a secondary dwelling unit. Your policy may need to be adjusted to reflect the changes in liability and the adjusted value of your home after the addition is completed.
  • Financial assistance is available through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Homeowner Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program for certain secondary dwelling units.

Approximate Cost: Refer to Applicable Fees

Approximate Timeline

Approximate Timeline based on City Council approved enhanced service level:
• First review - 15 business days

Submission Requirements:

Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish
Applicable Fee
• Two complete sets of plans that are legible and drawn to conventional scale

Required Inspections
At key stages of building construction, your work must be inspected to ensure that the applicable stage of completed construction complies with the Ontario Building Code. The permit plans and specifications must be on site and made available to the Building Inspector at the time of inspection. To ensure the availability of a Building Inspector, you should book inspections 48 hours in advance. The Building Inspector's name and phone number are identified on the building permit. Failure to have the appropriate inspection performed may result in your having to uncover and expose the work for inspection, or other Orders issued etc.

Who to contact: Building Code Client Service Centre buildingpermits@ottawa.ca or 3-1-1

A Development Information Officer (DIO) can advise on zoning regulations impacting your accessory building design such as setbacks to lot lines, building height and lot coverage.

Adding a Coach House (Secondary Dwelling Units in an Accessory Structure)

Secondary Dwelling units in accessory structures, termed Coach Houses in the City of Ottawa, were approved by Council on October 26, 2016.

A Coach House means: A separate dwelling unit that is subsidiary to and located on the same lot as an associated principal dwelling unit, but is contained in its own building that may also contain uses accessory to the principal dwelling. These new housing units are permitted in Ottawa's urban, suburban and rural areas subject to Section 3.1 of the Official Plan and Section 142 of the Zoning By-law

The City has created a document, titled: How to Plan Your Coach House in Ottawa [ PDF 6.1 MB ] . This document helps to understand the process and costs associated with building a coach house. This guide also provides answers to many questions associated with constructing a coach house.

Important things to consider before adding a Coach House

If you are adding or retrofitting an existing accessory structure to create a Coach House, you need a building permit before proceeding. For the urban area, the coach house must have servicing from the primary homes municipal water and sewer connection and for lots in the rural area with private servicing they must first proceed with a Site Plan Control Application to confirm on site water suitability for the Coach House before applying for a building permit application.

Only lots with a single family dwelling, semi-detached dwelling, duplex dwelling or in certain circumstances a townhome (which has road frontage on two public roads or a laneway and a road) are permitted to apply for a Coach House.

Lots which already have a Secondary Dwelling Unit (separate apartment) within the primary residence, a garden suite or rooming units, do not qualify to build a Coach House. There are maximum unit size restrictions for the urban and rural area which are tied to the size of your lot and the size of your principle dwelling unit, as detailed in Section 142 of the Zoning By-law.

No additional parking is required, but where provided it must meet the related parking Zoning By-law provisions. Parking in tandem in the existing driveway is permitted. 

Exceptions

Secondary dwelling units are not permitted in the former Village of Rockcliffe Park 

Financial Considerations

Your property taxes, as determined by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation, may change as a result of adding a coach house in your home. Rent counts as additional income under the Income Tax Act, so adding a coach house will affect your income taxes. Notify your insurance company or broker as early as possible about your plan to build a coach house. Your policy may need to be adjusted to reflect the changes in liability and the adjusted value of your home after the addition is completed.

City Costs for Constructing a Coach House

City Costs for Constructing a Coach House
Type Where Applicable Fees
Building Permit Everywhere $
Development Charges Everywhere $
Rural Site Plan Control Rural un-services areas $
Committee of Adjustment As needed $

Note: only the transit portion of a development charge applies to a coach house. To find your applicable fee, you need to find your area (for example inside the greenbelt, outside the greenbelt, rural serviced or rural unserviced) and then select the fee that corresponds to the size of your coach house (for example a one bedroom apartment or a two + bedroom apartment).

City Processes

A number of City processes must be completed before starting construction of a coach house. In all circumstances, a building permit is required. There may also be situations that require a Site Plan Control application and/or a Committee of Adjustment Minor Variance application. These processes are described in more detail below.

Building Permit 

All applications require a building permit. Should the homeowner move forward with building a coach house, all building permit applicants must arrange for a service consultation meeting prior to applying for a building permit by calling 3-1-1 and asking to speak to the Building Code Services office assigned to your property address.

Building permit applicants should review the following information:

Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish 

Applicable Fee

Site Plan Control

All applications that have a private septic system and well are required to apply for a Site Plan Control application. Site Plan Control applicants must arrange for a Pre-Application Consultation Meeting with City Planning Staff by calling 3-1-1 and asking to speak to the Development Review, Rural Services, or by going to ottawa.ca and searching "information for development applications".

Site Plan Control By-law, Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment Proposal Summary

Site Location:  The proposed amendments will affect residential lands City wide.

Details of Proposed Site Plan Control By-law, Official Plan & Zoning Bylaw Amendments:

The proposed amendments are housekeeping items that clarify the intent of the recently-approved Coach House policy and zoning frameworks and associated provisions. A number of issues with the implementing Site Plan Control By-law, Official Plan policy and Zoning By-law performance standards have come to the City’s attention and require clarification. The proposed amendments will adjust a number of policies and implementing provisions to reflect the intended coach house residential permissions and apply them to residential lands city-wide.

Site Plan Control By-law Amendment Summary:

The proposed Site Plan Control By-law amendment will adjust an existing clause within Section 5 of the Site Plan Control By-law to allow Coach Houses to proceed without needing a Site Plan Control application where a lot has a municipal service connection. The proposed amendment addresses this clarification issue that has come to the City’s attention since the Coach House package was approved.

Proposed Site Plan Control By-law Amendments

Section 5, Policy 1 (i) 

Amend the following clause with regards to coach houses:

A coach house, where the coach house is connected to public or communal water and wastewater services.

Amend this clause so as to not require any lot with a municipal water connection to go through a Site Plan Control application. The intent of the Site Plan Control requirement is to require lots in the rural area which have private servicing to obtain City review and approval of the water quality and quantity before proceeding to the building permit application. Where a lot has municipal water, this planning process is not needed.

Official Plan Amendment Summary:

The proposed Official Plan amendments adjust existing policy in Section 3.1 of the Official Plan to allow Coach Houses as an appropriate form of secondary infill housing. The proposed amendments address three clarification issues that have come to the City’s attention since the Coach House package was approved.

Proposed Official Plan Amendments

Section 3.1, Policy (1)(b):

A coach house in conjunction with a townhouse dwelling will only be permitted where the lot containing the townhouse has direct frontage on two public streets, or on a public street and a travelled public lane.

  • Amend this policy to allow all townhouse lots that can provide direct pedestrian access from a coach house to a public road to qualify
Section 3.1, Policy (1)(c)(ii) and (d):

A lot that is 0.8 ha or greater in size and is located in the rural area or village and where: (i) the primary dwelling is serviced by a private water and wastewater system  and the coach house will share either the water or wastewater system with the main dwelling; or (ii)  the primary dwelling is serviced by one public or communal service (water or wastewater) and one private service, and the coach house will share the public or communal service with the main dwelling; (d) A coach house serviced in accordance with c.ii. will be subject to site plan control.

  • Amend this policy to allow rural lots that have municipal water service to not require a rural Site Plan Control application. The purpose of the rural Site Plan Control is to confirm that the onsite water quality and quantity is sufficient for the primary home and the coach house. Where municipal water is provided, this planning process step is not required.
Section 3.1, Policy (1)(i):

The Zoning By-law will limit the coach house to a height of one storey for lots in the urban area. An application to allow a height of up to two storeys through a minor variance may be considered where, in addition to the considerations noted in h. above, the coach house is proposed to contain all of its habitable space above a garage.

  • Amend this policy to allow two-storey coach houses to contain habitable space on the main level. Where a two-storey coach house is provided, maintain the requirement that a garage is required on the main level, however additional habitable space may be included on the main level within the footprint of the structure.

Zoning By-law Amendment Summary:

The proposed Zoning By-law amendments adjust existing performance standards within Section 142 of the Zoning By-law to allow Coach Houses as an appropriate form of secondary infill housing. The proposed amendments address clarification issues that have come to the City’s attention since the Coach house package was approved.

Proposed Zoning By-law Amendments

Where Permitted, Section 142, (4)

Clarify that a coach house in the rural area on lots that are 0.8 hectares or larger may locate anywhere on the lot, provided the unit meets minimum setbacks, and not be restricted to the rear yard.

This proposed amendment addresses the reality that larger rural lots are configured differently than smaller urban lots and a coach house could locate in a variety of spots on the lot. In most circumstances the location of the new coach house will be restricted based on the existing and proposed locations of the private services. Allowing the coach house to locate anywhere on a rural lot that is 0.8 hectares or larger addresses these varying needs. Further, the intent of this provision is most applicable to the urban area, where community character is being protected. Larger rural lots have the ability to locate coach houses without affecting community character.

Where Permitted, Section 142, (5)(d)

Clarify that a coach house on a townhouse dwelling lot must only provide direct pedestrian access from the coach house to a public street and will not require direct access to two public roads.

This proposed amendment builds on the above proposed Official Plan amendment. The current Zoning By-law provision is worded to prohibit any end unit townhouse dwelling from being permitted a coach house, where it does not have access to two public streets or a public street and a rear lane. There are several scenarios that have come to the attention of the Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department where large end unit townhouse lots exist, which can provide direct pedestrian access from the new backyard coach house unit to a public street, however do not have access to two public streets to meet the qualification provision.

Maximum Size & Accessory Uses, Section 142, (9)

Clarify the maximum permitted size of a coach house when paired with an accessory use.

The current Zoning By-law provision is worded to require any future one-storey coach house that contains an accessory use within the footprint of the same building, to be counted toward the maximum permitted size. It is not the intent of the maximum permitted coach house size to include an accessory use to the principal dwelling unit. Accessory uses are regulated by the Section 55 of the Zoning By-law and Section 142, provision 10 provides further maximum yard coverage’s for both the rural and the urban area.  The proposed clarification will exclude an accessory use for the primary dwelling from being included in the maximum permitted coach house size calculation.

Maximum Height, Section 142, (7)(b)(ii)

Adjust the maximum wall height provision in the urban area.

The current coach house maximum height provisions for properties in the urban area includes a maximum wall height, this provision requires amendment as it does not work for any roof type except a flat roof. For example if the following roof types: gable, mansard, gambrel and shed roof, were built to the maximum permitted height of 3.6 metres, measured to the mid-roof line, it results in two elevations having a wall the extends from the ground to the highest peak in the roof thus exceeding the current maximum permitted wall height of 3.2 metres on these two walls. These roof types would therefore be in contradiction with the current Zoning By-law provision as written, or the proposed building would have to have an outermost wall height that is significantly lower than 3.2 metres. A lower interior wall height than 3.2 metres was not the intent of the provision and would significantly affect the construction practices and livability of the coach home interior. However, the intent remains to restrict non-peak walls to 3.2 m in height and the new zoning provision will clarify this.

Setbacks: Rear and interior lot line, Section 142, (8)

Remove the application of a maximum setback in the rural area.

The current setbacks for the rear yard and/or interior side yard include a maximum setback of 1 metre where no windows are proposed on a wall that faces the interior or rear lot line. This provision is appropriate for the urban area where lots are small, however in the rural area there should be flexibility for the rear and interior setbacks of a coach house.

Driveways, Section 142, (12)

Clarify the driveway permissions to allow a driveway to extend to a coach house.

Currently the extension of an existing driveway to a coach house is not permitted. Clarify this permission to allow an existing driveway to be extended, within its width, toward a coach house.

Approval Timelines & Authority:

The target date the proposed amendments will be considered by Committee are:

  • Planning Committee – May 9, 2017
  • Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee – May 4, 2017.

Further Information:

Please contact the undersigned planner.                                                                                                  

Notification and Submission Requirements:

If you wish to be notified of the adoption of the proposed Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments, or of the refusal of a request to amend the official plan, you must make a written request (i.e., return the attached comment sheet) to the City of Ottawa.

If a person or public body does not make oral submissions at a public meeting or make written submissions to the City of Ottawa before the proposed Official Plan amendment is adopted, the person or public body is not entitled to appeal the decision of the Council of the City of Ottawa to the Ontario Municipal Board.

If a person or public body does not make oral submissions at a public meeting or make written submissions to the City of Ottawa before the proposed Official Plan and/or Zoning By-law amendments are adopted, the person or public body may not be added as a party to the hearing of an appeal before the Ontario Municipal Board unless, in the opinion of the Board, there are reasonable grounds to add the person or public body as a party.

Please provide any comments to the undersigned planner by March 16, 2017.

Emily Davies, Planner
City of Ottawa
Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department
110 Laurier Avenue West, 4th floor
Ottawa, ON  K1P 1J1
613-580-2424, ext.23463
FAX:  613-580-2459
Email: emily.davies@ottawa.ca

Committee of Adjustment

Applications that cannot meet the Zoning By-law performance standards must be redesigned to comply. In cases where circumstances peculiar to a property prevent you from developing your coach house in a way that strictly conforms to the Zoning By-law, you may apply to the Committee of Adjustment for a minor variance. Minor variance applicants should arrange for a Pre-Application Consultation Meeting with City Planning Staff by calling 3-1-1 and asking to speak to a planner in the Planning Infrastructure and Economic Development Branch. More information on a minor variance with the Committee of Adjustment can be found on ottawa.ca.

For further information on Coach Houses or how one can be built on your property call the City of Ottawa help line at 3-1-1 and ask to speak to a Development Information Officer (for pre-planning questions) or a Building Code Client Service Representative (for building permit related questions).

 

Addition

Under the 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).

The following are examples of additions:

  • Sunrooms
  • Solariums
  • Attached Garages
  • Porches
  • One and two storey additions

The Ontario Building Code outlines the minimum requirements for various elements, such as framing and foundation requirements, and can be viewed on the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website.

Approximate Cost

Refer to Applicable Fees

Approximate Timeline

Approximate Timeline based on City Council approved enhanced service level:
• First review - 10 business days

Submission Requirements:

Required Inspections

At key stages of building construction, your work must be inspected to ensure that the completed construction complies with the Ontario Building Code. The permit plans and specifications must be on site and made available to the Building Inspector at the time of inspection. To ensure the availability of a Building Inspector, you should book inspections 48 hours in advance. Failure to have the appropriate inspection performed may result in your having to uncover and expose the work for inspection, or other Orders issued, etc.

The Building Inspector's name and phone number are identified on the building permit. For a list of required inspections that may apply based on the proposed addition, please refer to the table below.

Inspection Description
Sewer Lateral Prior to backfill of sanitary and storm sewers and water service. These inspections can be arranged by contacting the following:
Kathy Heath (Development Review Services) 613-580-2424 Ext 33246
The following inspections are undertaken by your Building Inspector
Excavation Required prior to placement of concrete footings. The geotechnical soils report confirming soil-bearing capacity may be requested by the Building Inspector, if warranted by on site soil conditions.
Plumbing - Underground Required prior to covering underground plumbing. (Test required)
Foundation Required prior to backfill of foundation.
Plumbing – Rough-In Required at completion of plumbing rough-in, which includes drains, waste, vent and water piping system. (Test Required)
Framing and Mechanical Rough-In Required at completion of structural framing, stairs, including components of fire separation and fire stopping. Completion of rough-in for electrical system, fireplace, ductwork for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Exterior of building must be weather proofed.
Insulation/Vapour Barrier Required at completion of insulation, air barrier and vapour barrier installation.
Plumbing – Final Required at completion of plumbing system, fixtures and appliances. (Test required)
Occupancy A person may occupy a dwelling provided that an Occupancy Permit fhas been issued by the Building Inspector. To be eligible there must be no outstanding Building Code Orders and certain building components and systems must be complete and inspected under Division C 1.3.3.
Final Inspection Required at completion of the building. 

Who to contact: Building Code Client Service Centre buildingpermits@ottawa.ca or 3-1-1

A Development Information Officer (DIO) can advise on zoning regulations impacting your addition design; such as setbacks to lot lines, lot coverage, and building height. Please call 3-1-1 for assistance.

Where to apply: Building Code Client Service Centre

Backwater Valves

All new single, semi detached, rowhouse and townhome dwelling units in the City of Ottawa require the installation of backwater valves (BWVs) on sanitary service laterals (sanitary building drains). The requirement for additional protection against sanitary sewer back-ups (back flooding) was introduced after many homes to experienced basement backups due to surcharging of sewer systems during significant rainfall events. A comprehensive review of storm and sanitary service BWVs was undertaken at the request of City Council. Report ACS2010-ICS-INF-006, item 2, approved by Council, which recommended expanding the Installation of BWVs by amending the sewer design guidelines per Technical Bulletin ISD-2010-1to include mandatory installation of BWVs on sanitary services for new home construction.

Approximate Cost

Refer to Applicable Fees

Approximate Timeline

Approximate Timeline based on City Council approved enhanced service level:

  • House – First review 5 business days

Submission Requirements

 Required Inspections

Your Building Inspector must confirm that a normally open BWV is installed on the Sanitary Building Drain for each dwelling unit in accordance with Ontario Building Code, Division B, section 7.4.6.4.2(a)(b) and the referenced CAN/CSA standards. The BWV must be located within the dwelling unit and accessible for inspection and maintenance purposes. Where applicable, the inspection of the sanitary BWV installation may be combined with the existing inspection practice for the storm BWV which occurs at underground plumbing rough-in and final interior inspection stages.

The permit plans and specifications must be on site and made available to the Building Inspector at the time of inspection. To ensure the availability of a Building Inspector, you should book your inspection 48 hours in advance. The Building Inspector name and phone number is identified on the building permit.

Who to contact: Building Code Client Service Centre or 3-1-1 buildingpermits@ottawa.ca
Where to apply: Building Code Client Service Centre
Application Forms: Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish

Decks

Under the 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).

  • Regardless of the deck’s walking surface area, if the deck is adjacent to or attached to the house and its walking surface is more than 600 mm (24 in.) above the adjacent grade, a permit is required.
  • Regardless of the deck’s walking surface area, if the deck is an elevated deck providing principal access to a building a permit is required. 
  • If the deck is independent from the house (eg. is in the middle of the yard) and has a walking surface greater than 10 square metres (approximately 108 square feet) in area and its walking surface is more than 600 mm (24 in.) above the adjacent grade, a permit is required.

The Ontario Building Code outlines the minimum requirements for various elements, such as joist size, beam size, foundation requirements, guard requirements, and can be viewed on the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website.

Approximate Cost

Refer to Applicable Fees

Approximate Timeline

Approximate Timeline based on City Council approved enhanced service level:

  • First review - 5 business days

Submission Requirements

Required Inspections

At key stages of building construction, your work must be inspected to ensure that the completed construction complies with the Ontario Building Code. The permit plans and specifications must be on site and made available to the Building Inspector at the time of inspection. To ensure the availability of a Building Inspector, you should book inspections 48 hours in advance. Failure to have the appropriate inspection performed may result in your having to uncover and expose the work for inspection, or other Orders issued, etc.

The Building Inspector's name and phone number are identified on the building permit. For a list of required inspections that may apply based on the proposed sundeck, please refer to the following table.
 

InspectionDescription
Excavation/FoundationsFooting and Foundation – For in-situ piers and pads prior to backfill, the Building Inspector will confirm that the foundation system is constructed as per the Ontario Building Code and permit plans.
FramingRequired at completion of structural framing and guards.
FinalRequired at completion of the deck framing, stairs and guards.

Who to contact: Building Code Client Service Centre buildingpermits@ottawa.ca or 3-1-1

A Development Information Officer (DIO) can advise on zoning regulations impacting your sundeck design; particularly set backs to lot lines. Please call 3-1-1 for assistance.

Where to apply: Building Code Client Service Centre

Demolition

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 applicable law, including the Ontario Heritage Act, the Zoning By-law and in some areas, the Demolition Control By-law. The review will also identify any legislative or safety requirements that may need to be adhered to during or after the demolition of the structure.  Clearance authorization from utilities confirming services have been appropriately disconnected or capped must be obtained as well..

The demolition of certain building types (silos, and barns) and non-load bearing interior partitions does not require a demolition permit.

Any person who commences demolition prior to the issuance of a Permit to Demolish shall, in addition to any other penalty imposed under the Act or Building Code, pay a non-refundable administrative surcharge fee as set out in Schedule "A" of the City of Ottawa, Building By-law 2014-220.

Approximate Cost:

Refer to Applicable Fees

Approximate Timeline

Approximate Timeline based on City Council approved enhanced service level:

  • First review - 10 business days

Submission requirements

 

Encroachment

It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that the appropriate Encroachment Permit is obtained prior to undertaking a demolition requiring the use of the City road allowance in order to store materials and/or stage the work. Please call 613-580-2424, extension 16000 – Right of Way Permits and Applications Section.

Wells and septic systems

Abandonment of a well shall be done in accordance with the Ontario Well Water Regulation #903. You can print a copy of the regulation from ServiceOntario’s www.e-laws.gov.on.ca. For more information, call the Ministry of Environment Public Information Centre at 1-800-565-4923. 

Abandoning a septic system requires pumping out of the tank, filling it with sand and capping it.

Demolition Control

Where the building to be demolished is located within the Area of Demolition Control as defined in the attached Schedule 1 and includes the demolition of a residential unit and no replacement building permit has been issued, Demolition Control approval from the Planning and Growth Management Department is necessary. As well, Demolition Control approval will be required if the building is designated under Part IV or Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act. Application forms are available at all Client Service Centres or online, together with the requirements for submissions. Before making an application, you should discuss your proposal with Planning and Growth Management Branch staff.

 

Property tax adjustment

Tax adjustments are not automatic. You must apply for a property tax adjustment after the demolition has occurred. Applications must be filed with the City prior to February 28th of the year following the year of demolition. For details regarding the application process please refer to cancellation, reduction or refunds of property or call 613-580-2444. Section 357 of the Municipal Act provides the authority by which to apply for an adjustment of property taxes after a demolition has occurred.

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. Thus someone who demolished a building on or before December 31, 2013 will have no entitlement to a credit as of January 1, 2019.

Required Inspections

Inspections are an integral part of the permit process and are required at commencement of demolition.

  • Contact your Building Inspector after issuance of the building permit to schedule your inspections. The contact information for the Building Inspector will be noted on the building permit.
  • To ensure the availability of a Building Inspector, you should book inspections 48 hours in advance.
  • Have the permit, plans and specs available for the Building Inspector to review.

Who to contact: Building Code Client Service Centre or 3-1-1 buildingpermits@ottawa.ca

Where to apply: Building Code Client Service Centre
 

Detached garages and sheds


Construction of an accessory building (detached garages and garden sheds), including pre-fabricated buildings, occupying an area greater than 10 square metres (108 square feet) requires a building permit.

The Ontario Building Code outlines the minimum requirements for various elements, such as framing and foundation, and can be viewed on the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website.

Approximate Cost

Refer to Applicable Fees

Approximate Timeline

Approximate Timeline based on City Council approved enhanced service level:

•  First review - 5 business days

Submission Requirements:

Required Inspections

At key stages of building construction, your work must be inspected to ensure that the completed construction complies with the Ontario Building Code. The permit plans and specifications must be on site and made available to the Building Inspector at the time of inspection. To ensure the availability of a Building Inspector, you should book inspections 48 hours in advance. Failure to have the appropriate inspection performed may result in your having to uncover and expose the work for inspection, or other Orders issued, etc.

The Building Inspector's name and phone number are identified on the building permit. For a list of required inspections that may apply based on the proposed accessory building, please refer to the table on the next page.

Inspection Description
Sewer Lateral Prior to backfill of sanitary and storm sewers and water service. These inspections can be arranged by contacting the following:
Kathy Heath (Development Review Services) 613-580-2424 Ext 33246
The following inspections are undertaken by your Building Inspector
Excavation Required prior to placement of concrete footings.
Plumbing - Underground Required prior to covering underground plumbing. (Test required)
Foundation Required prior to backfill of foundation.
Plumbing – Rough-In Required at completion of plumbing rough-in, which includes drains, waste, vent and water piping system.  (Test Required)
Framing and Mechanical Rough-In Required at completion of structural framing, and is satisfactory as required by the Ontario Building Code.
Insulation/Vapour Barrier Required at completion of insulation, air barrier and vapour barrier installation.
Plumbing – Final Required at completion of plumbing system, fixtures and appliances.  (Test required)
Occupancy Inspection to confirm minimum Ontario Building Code requirements prior to occupying the space.
Final Required at completion of the building.  Final Occupancy Permit for a fully completed building will be issued by the Building Official.

Who to contact: Building Code at Client Service Centre or 3-1-1 buildingpermits@ottawa.ca

A Development Information Officer (DIO) can advise on zoning regulations impacting your accessory building design such as setbacks to lot lines, building height and lot coverage.

Where to apply: Building Code Client Service Centre
Application Forms: Permit to Construct or Demolish

Driveways and Laneways

If you plan to establish a new driveway, widen or close your driveway, you need to apply for a Private Approach PermitPrivate Approach Permit applications are available at Client Service Centres and online.

You do not require a building permit to establish a new driveway or widen your driveway; however, zoning regulations and/or site plan control may impose restrictions on the width and location of your driveway. You can obtain this information from a Development Information Officer for your area. You may also wish to review the deed of transfer of your property (title documents provided by your solicitor following the purchase of your home) as the deed may include restrictions that will also apply, particularly if your home is part of a cooperative development, a condominium development or a multi-residential project.

Approximate Cost

Refer to Private Approach Application form for applicable fees

Who to contact: Client Service Centre or 3-1-1
Where to apply: Client Service Centre
Application Forms: Private Approach Permit Application

Finishing a basement

Under the 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).

The Ontario Building Code outlines the minimum requirements for various elements, such as framing and materials, and can be viewed on the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website.

Approximate Cost

Refer to Applicable Fees

Approximate Timeline

Approximate Timeline based on City Council approved enhanced service level:

  • First review - 5 business days

Submission Requirements

Required Inspections

At key stages of building construction, your work must be inspected to ensure that the completed construction complies with the Ontario Building Code. The permit plans and specifications must be on site and made available to the Building Inspector at the time of inspection. To ensure the availability of a Building Inspector, you should book inspections 48 hours in advance. Failure to have the appropriate inspection performed may result in your having to uncover and expose the work for inspection, or other Orders issued, etc. 

The building Building Inspector's name and phone number are identified on the building permit. For a list of required inspections that may apply based on the proposed finished basement, please refer to the table below.

InspectionDescription
ExcavationWhere required - pier footings, underpinning
Plumbing - UndergroundRequired prior to covering underground plumbing. (Test required)
Plumbing – Rough-InRequired at completion of plumbing rough-in, which includes drains, waste, vent and water piping system.  (Test Required)
FramingRequired at completion of structural framing.
Insulation/Vapour BarrierRequired at completion of insulation and vapour barrier installation.
Plumbing – FinalRequired at completion of plumbing system, fixtures and appliances. 
FinalRequired at completion of the basement’s alterations.

Who to contact: Building Code Client Service Centre buildingpermits@ottawa.ca or 3-1-1

Where to apply: Building Code Client Service Centre 

Fireplaces and Woodstoves

A Building Permit is required for the installation of a:

  • Masonry fireplace /masonry chimney
  • Woodstove and chimney
  • Pellet stove (wood, corn, grain, etc)
  • Fireplace insert /chimney liner
  • Pre-manufactured fireplace and chimney

The Ontario Building Code outlines minimum requirements for various elements, these can be viewed on the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website.


Approximate Cost

Refer to Applicable Fees

Approximate Timeline

Approximate Timeline based on City Council approved enhanced service level:

  • First review - 5 business days

Submission Requirements

 Required Inspections

At key stages of building construction, your work must be inspected to ensure that the completed construction complies with the Ontario Building Code. The permit plans and specifications must be on site and made available to the Building Inspector at the time of inspection. To ensure the availability of a Building Inspector, you should book inspections 48 hours in advance. Failure to have the appropriate inspection performed may result in your having to uncover and expose the work for inspection, or other Orders issued etc. The Building Inspector's name and phone number are identified on the building permit.

Who to contact: Building Code Client Service Centre or 3-1-1 buildingpermits@ottawa.ca

A Development Information Officer (DIO) can advise on zoning regulations impacting your accessory building design such as setbacks to lot lines, building height and lot coverage.

Where to apply: Building Code Client Service Centre
Application Forms: Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish

Septic Systems

The Ottawa Septic System Office(OSSO) of the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority coordinates the review and approval of any septic system installed, altered or repaired, anywhere in Ottawa. Pick up an information package (which includes the required application forms) from OSSO, or from the City's Client Service Centres

Refer to the Ottawa Septic System Office's website for fees, to download application forms and for more information.

Application Forms: Permit to Construct or Demolish

Solar Collector Systems

A building permit to install solar collector systems with a face area equal to or greater than 5 m² on any building except as provided below. Solar collectors consist of either photovoltaic systems used in the production of electricity or solar thermal collectors used for air or water. “Face area” of a collector system is considered the aggregate area of all panels or modules, either in a series or an array, mounted on a building.

A building permit is required to ensure that the building is capable of supporting the additional weight of the panels and connection systems, wind and applicable snow loads. The design of solar collector systems and the on-site field review of their installation must be undertaken by a professional engineer licensed in the Province of Ontario.

Solar collector systems used for electrical / heat generation mounted on low rise residential buildings may be exempt from obtaining a building permit provided;

  • the system is flush mounted and installed within close proximity of the roof surface (ballast or non-fixed racking attachments to the roof are not permitted),
  • the existing roof has been assessed by a Professional Engineer licensed in the Province of Ontario and is deemed to be in good structural condition, without deterioration, missing or broken members and is capable of supporting the panels and connection system in all directions including the additional weight of the solar panels, wind loads and snow loads as applicable.

Although a building permit may not be required it is important to ensure that the solar panels are installed using a pre-engineered fixed connection racking system in compliance with the manufacturer’s installation instructions for the specific use and roof type and that the installation is reviewed by a professional engineer.  Steps should be taken to reduce the uncontrolled sliding of snow and ice from panels in close proximity to roof edges.

Mounting

You can install solar collectors to your building using a variety of configurations:

  • Panels may be flush-mounted using brackets or racks that attach directly into the wall or roof framing system.
  • Angled supporting systems may also be utilized to further optimize the orientation of the panel to the sun using engineered racking structures.
  • Elevated racking systems may also be used on flat or low-slope roofs attached to the roof using fixed or ballast connections.

Approximate Cost

Refer to Applicable Fees

The building permit fee is based on valuation of the proposed construction, which includes the total cost of all materials, labour, equipment, overhead and related services (ie. design and consulting services) assigned to the supply and installation of the system and any building modifications.

Approximate Timeline

Approximate Timeline based on City Council approved enhanced service level:
• First review - 5 business days for residential buildings
• First review - 10 business days for large residential and commercial buildings

Submission requirements

The design and on-site general review of all solar collector systems shall be undertaken by a Professional Engineer licensed in the Province of Ontario. All submissions for permit shall include the following:Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish

  • Application form for a Permit to Construct or Demolish
  • Applicable Fee
  • Two complete sets of plans and specifications that are legible and drawn to conventional scale
  • A roof plan or wall elevation indicating the layout and spacing of the solar collectors
  • Typical cross-section including but not limited to panel dimensions, row spacing, overall system height, tilt angle and other pertinent information
  • Type and location of ballast and / or anchorage points, including anchorage details to existing structure
  • Framing reinforcing details for the building structure where applicable
  • Confirmation that all existing structural members and connections affected by the proposed solar system installation have been reviewed for all applicable loads (including lateral loads) and meet (with upgrading works where applicable) the objectives of the Ontario Building Code
  • Confirmation that the solar panels and their connections (to include manufacturer and model number) are structurally adequate to resist all the applicable loads
  • Confirmation that the racking system (to include manufacturer and model number) is structurally adequate to resist the applied loads
  • Solar panels used for the production of heat for water must include mechanical drawings (plumbing schematic) detailing any connection to the potable water system
  • Completion of supplementary checklist Solar Collector Checklist for Part 3 Buildings [ PDF - 32 KB ] for the installation of solar collector systems on large buildings. Electrical permits and or inspections are available from the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) may also be required where there are electrical connections as part of the system

Required Inspections

When the installation is complete, then your work must be inspected to ensure that the construction complies with the Ontario Building Code. The permit plans and specifications must be on site and made available to the Building Inspector at the time of inspection. To ensure the availability of a Building Inspector, you should book your inspection 48 hours in advance. The Building Inspector name and phone number is identified on the building permit. Failure to have the appropriate inspection performed may result in Orders issued.

Who to contact: Building Code Client Service Centre, buildingpermits@ottawa.ca or 3-1-1

A Development Information Officer (DIO) can advise on zoning regulations impacting your addition design; such as setbacks to lot lines, lot coverage, and building height.

Where to apply: Building Code Client Service Centre

Application Forms: Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish

Solar Hot Water Systems

The Ontario Building Code distinguishes between Solar Domestic Hot Water (SDHW) systems that are factory-packaged and non-packaged systems.

A factory-packaged SDHW system generally consists of a complete series of assembled components which provide solar pre-heated water to a domestic hot water storage tank through the use of solar thermal collectors, heat transfer exchangers (utilizing a liquid heat transfer media and potable water) and includes all appropriate plumbing and electrical controls to affect the transfer. Non-packaged systems refer to the series of individual components that make up a SDHW system not specifically produced to be used in a proprietary system.

Approximate Cost

Refer to Applicable Fees

The building permit fee is based on valuation of the proposed construction, which includes the total cost of all materials, labour, equipment, overhead and related services (ie. design and consulting services) assigned to the supply and installation of the system and any building modifications. 

Approximate Timeline

Approximate Timeline based on City Council approved enhanced service level:

  • First review - 5 business days for residential buildings
  • First review - 10 business days for large residential and Commercial commercial buildings

Submission requirements

Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish
Applicable Fee
• Two complete sets of plans and specifications that are legible and drawn to conventional scale

Non-packaged SDHW systems

A professional engineer licensed in the Province of Ontario must certify that the proposed non-packaged SDHW system conforms with the intent of CSA F379.1-09, the referenced standards applicable to SDHW components listed in Table 1 of the standard and the intent of the requirements for SDHW systems in the Ontario Building Code. Building permit submission documents must include a statement of compliance to the above reference documents.

Factory-packaged SDHW systems

Packaged SDHW systems in possession of a Certificate of Compliance from CSA International in accordance with CSA F379.1-09, Solar Domestic Hot Water Systems (liquid-to-liquid heat transfer) are exempt from the requirements above.

Installation requirements for all SDHW systems

  1. Installation of the system must be undertaken by a qualified installer certified by the Canadian Solar Energy Industry Association. As an interim measure to obtaining installer certification from CANsia the installation must comply with item 2 below.
  2. Compliance of the installation to “good engineering practice” must be confirmed by a professional engineer licensed in the Province of Ontario.

Required Inspections

When the installation is complete, your work must be inspected to ensure that the construction complies with the Ontario Building Code. The permit plans and specifications must be on site and made available to the Building Inspector at the time of inspection. To ensure the availability of a Building Inspector, you should book your inspection 48 hours in advance. The Building Inspector name and phone number is identified on the building permit. Failure to have the appropriate inspection performed may result in Orders issued.

Who to contact: Building Code Client Service Centre buildingpermits@ottawa.ca or 3-1-1

A Development Information Officer (DIO) can advise on zoning regulations impacting your addition design; such as setbacks to lot lines, lot coverage, and building height.

Where to apply Building Code Client Service Centre
Application Forms: Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish

Projects Not Requiring Building Permits

Some projects are exempted from having to obtain a building permit, however, your project must still comply with the Ontario Building Code and any applicable law, such as the Zoning By-law.

A detached accessory structure (gazebo, tool shed, etc.) that measures less than 10 square metres (approx.108 square feet) does not require a building permit.

Designated Heritage Buildings or buildings located within a Heritage District Overlay are not subject to exemptions and require that you contact a Building Client Service Centre representative for specific information.

The following is a list of projects that are exempt from having to obtain a permit:

  • Installing asphalt shingles on a roof
  • Re-dampproofing of existing basements
  • Replacing doors or windows (provided they are in the same size opening)
  • Replacing kitchen or bathroom cabinets (provided plumbing fixtures remain in same location)
  • New flooring
  • Installation of air conditioning units or heat pumps
  • Replacing an existing hot water tank
  • Fences (not enclosing a pool - see Pool Enclosure By-law 2013-39)
  • Pool heaters
  • Painting and decorating
  • Landscaping
  • Deck less than 24 inches above grade, except main entrance

If you are unsure that the scope of your project does not require a building permit please contact Building Code Client Service Centre or 3-1-1 for more information. You can also e-mail buildingpermits@ottawa.ca.

Where to apply: Building Code Client Service Centre

Application Forms: Permit to Construct or Demolish, Pool Enclosure, Permanent Sign on Private Property, Access to Building Permit Records, 911 Blade