Each May, the building industry celebrates Building Safety Month to create awareness about safety and the importance of the Ontario Building Code.

This initiative helps educate individuals, and businesses alike to understand exactly what is needed to create safe and sustainable structures. The most important first step – a building permit.

A building permit is formal permission to begin construction, demolition, addition, or renovation on a property.

Building permits are required for the following:

• Construction of a new building larger than 10 sq. m (108 sq. ft.) in building area
• Addition to an existing building
• Structural alterations
• Finishing an unfinished basement
• Installation, change, or removal of load-bearing walls
• Creation of new openings for, or change in the size of doors or windows
• Construction of a balcony or deck
• Constructing a new foundation
• Installation or modification of heating, plumbing, or air-conditioning systems
• Installation of wood-burning stove/fireplace installation
• Installation or repair of a septic system
• Demolition of all or portion of a building
• Change of Use of a building (where no work proposed)
• Creation of a Secondary Dwelling Unit (SDU) or Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

Building Department staff review all plans to ensure that they comply with the Ontario Building Code, local Zoning By-laws, and other applicable regulations.

While designers or contractors often obtain building permits for clients, it is the responsibility of the building owner to ensure compliance with all building requirements.

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