Determine If Your Project Requires A Building Permit

If you’ve decided that 2014 is the year your house goes under the saw and gets a renovation – keep reading!  Before you start in on ANY project you need to decide whether you require a Building Permit from the City of Toronto. Failing to get the proper permission can lead to costly construction delays or (perhaps even worse!)  having to remove work that has already been completed. Ultimately, as the building owner, YOU are responsible for getting permits and complying with all City of Toronto By-laws.  If your designer or contractor offer to get the Building Permit on your behalf, make sure they do! So, you may ask, what projects require obtaining a Building Permit? Below you will find two lists, both from the City of Toronto’s website, listing  projects that require and don’t require a Building Permit.  I hope they help, but if you find yourself confused, pick up the phone and dial 311.  This number will connect you directly to the City of Toronto where they can help you with any additional questions you might have.

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 metres (108 square feet) in area.
  • Construct a deck more than 60 centimetres (24 inches) above ground.
  • Install a wood burning stove or fireplace.
  • Construct a basement entrance.
  • Add a Second Suite.
  • Install new or alter plumbing.

When is a Building Permit Not Required

You do not require a Building Permit for the following: 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.

  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. 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.
  11. Installation of cabinetry and mill work.

If you need more information you should contact the City of Toronto Building Department directly.

Speak Your Mind