This is a excellent question. Under the Building Code Act, below is a list of common projects where a building permit is required:

  • Constructing a new building or addition on your property
  • Demolition or altering an existing building’s structure or building system
  • Changing an existing building’s use (ex. from residential to an office)
  • Constructing a basement entrance
  • Adding new windows or doors where there were none before
  • Enlarging or relocating existing windows or doors
  • Building permits and municipal approvals are necessary to a city’s infrastructure and development. Without these regulations in place, people would be able to build whatever they wanted and wherever they wanted.

    The building permit and planning approvals process ensures that a building, or changes to a building are:

  • Constructed in accordance with building codes
  • Ensuring the safety of the public
  • Appropriate use of the land in a community
  • Maintaining certain building heights, building sizes or building use in communities.
  • Ensuring building systems (structure, heating, ventilation & air conditioning (HVAC), electrical, plumbing) and anything that could cause damage to someone’s property, are constructed properly and safely.
  • Who can prepare building permit drawings for a building permit? 

    Building permit drawings and documents can only be prepared by a licensed Architect with a certificate of practice issued by the Ontario Association of Architects. Also for certain types of projects, a professional engineer licensed by the Professional Engineers of Ontario can prepare these documents.

    While homeowners can apply for their own residential projects, we strongly recommend hiring a professional to provide guidance + assistance throughout the building permit and planning approval process.

    UNION architecture would be happy to meet with you to answer any questions you may have regarding the building permit and planning approval process.

    Helpful link:
    City of Toronto – Building Permits