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Building

About Us

The Building Division is comprised of a Chief Building Official, a Deputy Building Official, eight Building Inspectors, a Supervisor of Enforcement Services,  a Property Standards Officer, a Sign By-Law Officer, a Property Maintenance/Pool Enclosure Inspector, two Permit Technicians, a Zoning Clerk and an Administrative Assistant. We are located in the lower level of the Carnegie Wing, City Hall, 500 George Street North, Peterborough.

Applying For a Building Permit

When is a Building Permit Required?

You must obtain a building permit before you do any of the following:

  • construct a new building
  • installation of a swimming pool (a pool enclosure permit)
  • 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 load-bearing walls
  • make new openings for, or change the size of, doors and windows
  • build a garage, balcony or deck or enclose an existing deck
  • build a building over 108 sq. ft. (10 sq. m.)
  • excavate a basement or construct a foundation
  • install or modify any life safety or fire suppression system such as fire alarms, sprinkler or standpipe or fixed extinguishing systems.
  • install or modify heating, plumbing, and air conditioning systems, fireplaces, fireplace inserts and woodstoves
  • install or renovate plumbing
  • construct or reconstruct a chimney
  • to finish a basement or convert a room to a bedroom

You do not require a building permit to:

  • replace existing, same-size doors and windows, subject to distance from property lines
  • install siding on small residential buildings, subject to distance from property lines
  • build a building under 108 sq. ft. (10 sq. m.), but must conform to the zoning setbacks
  • re-shingle a roof, provided there is no structural modification
  • install eavestroughs, provided that drainage is contained on your property
  • damp-proof basements
  • paint or decorate, including interior finishes, but excluding insulation
  • reinstall/replace kitchen or bathroom cupboards without plumbing
  • erect a fence (swimming pools and outside hot tubs do require special permits)

Permits are required from the Electrical Safety Authority for any electrical work.

If you are the owner of a property designated under Part IV or V of the Ontario Heritage Act, you will be required to complete the Heritage Applications process prior to obtaining a building permit.

Applications should be filed in person at the Building Division. Along with an application, you will be required to submit sketches, building drawings, plans and other documents to the City for processing. An application fee will apply.

For interior and exterior work, a complete set of construction drawings including a site plan will be required. For buildings over three stories or more than 600 sq. m., an architect and/or engineer may be required to design your building and prepare drawings and plans. 

Submitting Your Application

Building permit applications may be filed in person at the Building Division, City Hall, Lower Level, Carnegie Wing, 500 George Street North, Peterborough. Along with your fully completed application form, you will need to submit the following documents/drawings:

  • Two sets of building plans (site plan, floor plans, elevations and/or cross sections, HVAC and mechanical drawings). Plans must be prepared by a qualified designer with the appropriate BCIN qualification when required by the O.B.C.
  • If drawings are too bulky for folding, rolled drawings are acceptable. The maximum size of plan that will be accepted for permit application and review is 760mm x 1067mm (30” x 42”). Please ensure all plans are collated and in order of site plan, architectural, structural, HVAC/mechanical, electrical.
  • Applicable permit fee. See the current permit fee schedule.

NOTE: Incomplete applications or plans will not be accepted. At the Building Permit Counter, the Permit Technician will review your application to ensure that everything is in order.

Documentation

The following documents are required for most residential building permit applications:

  • Your completed Building Application Form.
  • A completed Schedule 1: Designer Information. (Schedule 1 is attached to the permit application).
  • If the drawings are prepared by someone other than the owner, the designer must have the qualification specified in the building code.
  • Energy Efficiency Design Summary Form (new homes & additions only).
  • Authorization to Act as Agent form or letter (if applicant is someone other then the property owner). A printable for is available here.
  • Drawings/Plans General Information
    • Two sets of plans are required
    • Plans must be drawn to scale and printed in ink.
    • Plans must be fully dimensioned either in metric or imperial, but not in combination.
    • Plans must include the following information:
      • Title
      • Municipal Address
      • Designers Name and BCIN Number
      • Date of Drawing
      • Scale
      • Dimensions
      • Extent of new and existing construction
      • Total area of work
    • Grading Plan
      • A scaled Lot Grading plan prepared by a grading consultant must be submitted for all new single-family and semi-detached dwellings.
How Are Permit Applications Processed?

Municipal Building Department staff review your application in terms of its completeness and compliance with the Ontario Building Code, the local zoning by-law and all other applicable laws. It may then be sent to other municipal officials for their consideration.

Applications that involve simple alterations or additions can usually be dealt with fairly quickly, while more complex proposals naturally take longer to process. If a zoning change or minor variance is necessary or if building plans must be altered to comply with the Ontario Building Code, the changes must be approved and in place before a building permit can be issued.

Where there are problems with your proposal, our building officials will discuss them with you in detail before considering refusal of a permit.

The Building Permit Process:

  1. Before Applying - Before submitting an application, consult with the Building Division.
  2. The Application - Submit application with supporting documentation to the Building Division, along with the required fee.
  3. Consideration - Application is reviewed for completeness and compliance with the local zoning by-law, Building Code and other applicable legislation.
  4. Consultation (Optional) - Comments on proposals obtained from other municipal officials. Other approvals may be required.
  5. Decision - Application may be approved or refused. Particular inspections required will be specified at time of permit issuance.
  6. Appeal (Optional) - Building Code Commission and/or Judge of Ontario Court (General Division)
  7. Inspections During Construction - Inspections are required during several stages of construction to occupancy and completion. It is the owner(s) responsibility to ensure calls for inspections have been made. A minimum of 48 hours notice is required when booking an inspection for your site.
  8. Construction Completed - Notice of satisfactory completion will only be issued upon request.

The Approval Process

Your application will be reviewed for compliance with the following:

  1. Other authorities having jurisdiction: e.g. Conservation Authority; Ontario Building Code and other applicable law.
  2. Municipal Zoning By-Law
  3. Ontario Building Code
  4. Site Plan Review

When the review of your application is complete, you will be notified by phone if there are any outstanding requirements or problems. If you need to inquire about the status of your application, please call permit inquiry at 705-742-7777 Ext. 1892. When all requirements have been met, you will be notified to attend at the office to pick up your permit.

Once you receive your permit, ensure that the permit and approved drawings are available on the construction site at all times.