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.

Before you begin

Owner’s Duties

In Ontario, section 30 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires that a project owner identify designated substances on the project and provide a list to prospective constructors as part of the tendering information.

IHSA Owners Duties


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 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, Real Estate and Economic Development 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, Real Estate and Economic Development Department staff.

Development Information Officers

In order to provide effective service to clients, the Development Information service is changing, as of August 1, 2023, in-person service will be available by appointment only.  If you require the services of a Development Information Officer, please call 613-580-2424 ext.23434 or email, include the subject address, proposed use, and other pertinent information relevant to the inquiry.  Upon receipt of the inquiry, a phone call or an email response will be provided within 2 to 3 business days, in the event more information is required there will be options to allow for further discussion.

Cost and timeline

Approximate cost

Refer to Applicable Fees

Approximate timeline

Approximate timeline based on City Council approved enhanced service level:

  • First review - 10 business days

What you need

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.

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.


Building Code Service counters are open for personal services by appointment only. This includes the submission of permit applications, payment of fees and the issuance of permits. 

There are various methods for submitting applications.

Application Forms: Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish