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Submitting Building Permit Applications and the Issuance of Building Permits

Building Code Service counters are open for personal services by appointment and walk-ins at the following four locations . This includes the submission of permit applications, payment of fees and the issuance of permits. 

Ben Franklin Place – 101 Centrepointe Drive: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

City Hall – 110 Laurier Avenue West: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Kanata – 580 Terry Fox Drive: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Orleans – 255 Centrum Boulevard: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm 

The following Building Code Service Counters are open one day a week between 8:30 am to 4 pm (no appointment necessary):

Metcalfe - 8243 Victoria Street (open Tuesday)

West Carleton - 5670 Carp Road (open Wednesday)

North Gower - 2155 Roger Stevens Drive (open Thursday)

The following are various methods for submitting applications:

1. Contactless Curbside Drop-off / Pickup (101 Centrepointe Drive)

A curbside drop-off/pickup service is available for clients only at 101 Centrepointe Drive. Hours of operation are Monday – Friday from 9 am to 10 am. We are unable to accept drop-offs or pickups outside of this time.

2. Electronic Building Permit Applications (in printable PDF format)

Smaller building permit applications, such as pool enclosures, sundecks, accessory structures, patio tents, finished basements, additions, plumbing only, and secondary dwelling units may be submitted electronically if they are submitted with a maximum drawing size of 11” x 17” (recommended scale of 1/4”=1’-0”). Building permit applications can be submitted electronically via buildingpermits@ottawa.ca. The payment for all electronic building permit applications will be arranged upon submission.

Fee schedule.

Building permit applications for houses, semi-detached, duplexes, and large construction projects will not be accepted electronically. See hard copy requirements above for submission requirements.

Requirements for electronic applications are to be submitted as one-package and include the following:

  • A completed and signed building permit application form
  • A completed and signed Schedule 1
  • Electronic set of scaled drawings for the proposed construction project (minimum recommended scale of 1/4”=1’-0”).

Submission requirements and examples for residential building permit applications can be found at the following:

3. Hard Copy Applications - courier or mail

Clients can submit their complete permit application submission packages with payment (cheque) via courier to:

City of Ottawa - Building Code Services
101 Centrepointe Drive
Ottawa, ON K2G 5K7

Please note that only official couriers will be accepted. All in person deliveries must use either the curbside drop-off or in-person appointments.

Refer to submission requirements below.

Mail - Clients can mail their complete permit application submission packages with payment (cheque) to:

City of Ottawa - Building Code Services
101 Centrepointe Drive
Ottawa, ON K2G 5K7

Submission requirements: hard copy applications are to be submitted as a single package and include the following:

  • A completed and signed building permit application
  • A completed and signed Schedule 1
  • Two complete copies of the drawing package for the proposed construction project. Hard copies must be drawn and printed to a legible scale (minimum recommended scale of 1/4”=1’-0”).
  • Payment of application by cheque

All permit submissions will be reviewed for completeness upon receipt. Applications deemed incomplete will not be processed.

Applicants will be advised of the status of their submission within approximately two business days of receipt. This may include a request for additional information. Once an application is deemed complete, the applicant will be notified of their application number and processing will begin.

4. In-person appointments 

Building Code Service counters are open for personal services by appointment and walk-ins. For clients wishing to submit applications, make payments or pick up permits a scheduled appointment is recommended. Select the link below to access the appointment scheduler. Submitting applications electronically is still the preferred method at this time.

The following Building Code Service Counters are open one day a week between 8:30 am to 4 pm (no appointment necessary):

  • Metcalfe Client Service Centre, 8243 Victoria Street (open Tuesday)
  • West Carleton Client Service Centre, 5670 Carp Road (open Wednesday)
  • North Gower Client Service Centre, 2155 Roger Stevens Drive (open Thursday)

Masks are no longer mandatory at City facilities.

Fee schedule

Helpful tips in completing the building permit application form as a homeowner

Building Permit Application form 

Section F of the application form

As a homeowner, Tarion warranty requirements outlined in Section F are not applicable and can be checked as “No”.

Section G (Schedule 1) of the application form

The Ontario Building Code, under Part C article 3.2, allows for a homeowner to take design responsibility for design activities and drawings related to:

  • The construction or alteration to the house owned by the person or
  • An ancillary building (garage or shed) that serves the house owned by the person.

The Schedule 1 requirement for this exception must be acknowledged under Section D- Declaration of Designer, 3rd sentence, under the basis for exemption-insert “homeowner”.

Building Permit Application-Section H of the application form - Completeness and compliance with applicable law

Under Section H, any declaration labelled as “No” will not permit the application from being processed. Exception during the COVID-19 situation, payment is not being requested at time of application, therefore the second line may be checked as “No”.

Application/Permit Fees and Payments

Currently the only method of payment for Building Code Services applications and permits is by cheque, Interac or etransfer.

Issuance of Permits

Permit applicants will be contacted when the permit is ready.

Clients may contact Building Code Services at 613-580-2424, ext. 29312 or email buildingpermits@ottawa.ca for questions regarding their permit application.

Building Inspections

For public and inspector safety, Building Code Inspections staff will not enter occupied areas of the following building types for the purposes of carrying out their duties:

  • Long-term care facilities, seniors’ residences and retirement homes
  • Hospitals
  • Daycare facilities.

Permit holders are encouraged to speak directly with their assigned inspector regarding options for an in-person inspection. Inspectors are currently practicing enhanced health and safety protocols, including physical distancing, while on site.

Development Information Officers

If you require the services of a Development Information Officer, please call 613-580-2424 ext. 23434 or dioinquiry@ottawa.ca

For up-to-date information regarding building and renovating in Ottawa, please continue to visit Ottawa.ca.

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). Minor exceptions may apply to one storey storage sheds – see Detached Garages and Sheds for further detail. 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

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 (e.g., detached garage, gazebo, pool house/change room) that measures less than 10 square metres (approx. 108 square feet) does not require a building permit.

A one-storey detached storage shed, that measures 15 square metres or less in gross area, is ancillary to the principal dwelling and without plumbing, 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
  • Damp proofing 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