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Building Permits "The what, why, when, where, who and how"

What is a building/demolition permit?

A building permit is a license issued under the Building Code Act which grants legal permission to construct or demolish a building.

Why is a building/demolition permit required?

A building permit ensures that the requirements under the Building Code Act, the Ontario Building Code, Municipal By-laws and any other applicable laws pertaining to the project are met. It is illegal to start work without a permit. It also ensures that Municipal Zoning requirements, fire and structural safety standards and other building standards are being met. Anyone who begins work prior to obtaining a permit is in contravention of the Municipality's Building By-law and the Ontario Building Code and is subject to legal consequences.

What is the Ontario Building Code?

The Ontario Building Code (OBC) is a regulation made under the Building Code Act (BCA). The OBC sets out technical requirements for the construction (including renovations) and demolition of buildings, the change of use of exisiing buildings and the maintenance and operation of on-site sewage systems. The OBC is a set of minimal provisions respecting the safety of buildings making references to public health, fire protection, accessibility and structural sufficiency. Its primary purpose is the promotion of public safety through the application of appropriate uniform building standards.

Who should apply for a permit?

The owner of the building is responsible for acquiring a permit. However the owner may authorize their contractor or designer to apply for the permit. The owner should ensure that they have a permit in place prior to the commencement of any work.

Where do you obtain a permit?

Permits are obtained from your local Municipal Office. There are standard application forms which must be filled out and a fee must be paid before a permit is granted. Depending on the project, plans may be required to accompany the application. These plans help the building officials determine the requirements of the OBC, BCA and by-laws are being met.

When is a building permit required?

Permits are required for new construction, additions, renovations, alterations, relocations and repairs of buildings and structures. Permits may not be required for some minor repairs.

What is required to apply for the permit?

When applying for a permit you must fill out all applicable fields and schedules on the prescribed application. Ensure that the application is dated and signed by the owner or authorized agent of the owner. That all attachments indicated as being attached to the application are submitted. That the application is accompanied by the types and quantity of plans and specifications that are prescribed by the applicable by-law and the required fee is paid.

How long does it take to obtain a permit?

If all requirements when applying for a permit are met, then generally the chief building official must issue or refuse the permit within ten (10) days. No work can be started prior to the issuance of the permit. If the permit is refused, then the chief building official shall inform the applicant of all the reasons for the refusal of the permit and do so within ten (10) days.

How long is the permit valid?

A permit is valid for twelve (12) months. If, in the opinion of the chief building official, the construction or demolition of the building is substantially suspended or discontinued then the permit may be revoked.

If after six (6) months after the issuance of the permit, the construction or demolition of the building has not, in the opinion of the chief building official, been seriously commenced, the permit may be revoked.

What projects require a permit?

  • The construction of a structure over 10m2 (108ft2)                          
  • Fences (maximum height 6ft)
  • The demolition of a structure over 10m2 (108ft2)
  • Decks, Sunrooms
  • Accessory buildings
  • Additions to the building
  • Weeping tile
  • Installation of a mobile home
  • Hunt camp
  • Cottage
  • Install or remove load bearing walls
  • "Sea-Can/Shipping containers
  • Swimming pools
  • Carports
  • Garages
  • Structural changes to the building
  • Outdoor wood burning appliances
  • Doors and windows (if being made larger/smaller)
  • Moving a building
  • Change of use to a building
  • Installation or alteration to the plumbing and fixtures

What projects do not require a permit?

  • Replacing roofing materials (no structural changes)
  • Replacing siding (no structural changes)
  • Painting
  • Eaves troughs
  • Replace or increase insulation
  • Landscaping
  • Demolition of a building located on a farm
  • A detached accessory building under 10m2 (108ft2)
  • Kitchen or bathroom cupboards (without plumbing)
  • Air conditioning units
  • Replace doors and window (remains same size)
  • Drywall
  • Sidewalks, driveways
  • Tent or group of tents if they are less than 60m2 (646ft2) in aggregate floor area


Applicable Commercial/Industrial Permit Fees

Building Permit Fee, 1st 1000 $80
Building Permit Fee, for every following 1000 $10
Standalone Demolition Permit $80
Demolition Permit with Building Permit $30


Planning and Zoning Fees

Consent Application $800
Zoning Application $1,400
Official Plan Amendment $1,400
Minor Variance $700
Subdivision Agreement $700
Subdivision Application $700
Subdivision Resubmission $500
Temporary Use By-law $100
Validation Certificate $200


Note: any legal or consulting fees over and above established rates (actual cost) will be added to all planning fees.



Contact the Building Department:Curtis Nicholson
429 Park Lane, Box 601
Matheson, Ontario
P0K 1N0
(705) 273-2313
Email: bylaw@blackriver-matheson.com