Building Services and Permits

busy downtown square

If you're doing any construction or renovations, you will need to check whether you need a building permit before you can start on the project.

Types of projects that require a building permit

  • Constructing a new building that's more than 10 square metres (108 square feet)
  • Installing a swimming pool (Pool Enclosure Permit)
  • Demolishing or removing all or part of a building
  • Changing a building's use
  • Installing, changing or removing partitions and load-bearing walls
  • Making new openings for, or changing the size of, doors and windows
  • Building a garage, balcony or deck or enclosing an existing deck
  • Excavating a basement or constructing a foundation
  • Installing or modifying any life safety or fire suppression system, such as fire alarms, sprinklers, standpipe, or fixed extinguishing systems
  • Installing or modifying heating, plumbing, and air conditioning systems, fireplaces, fireplace inserts, or woodstoves
  • Installing or renovating plumbing
  • Building or reconstructing a chimney
  • Finishing a basement or converting a room to a bedroom

Types of projects that don't require a building permit

  • Replacing existing, same-size doors and windows, subject to distance from property lines
  • Installing siding on small residential buildings, subject to distance from property lines
  • Building under 10 square metres (108 square feet), but must conform to zoning setbacks
  • Re-shingling a roof, provided there is no structural modification
  • Installing eaves troughs, provided that drainage is contained on your property
  • Damp-proofing basements
  • Painting or decorating, including interior finishes, but excluding insulation
  • Reinstalling/replacing kitchen or bathroom cupboards without plumbing
  • Erecting a fence, except for swimming pool and hot tub enclosures

Building forms and application process

Building Services staff review your application for compliance with the Ontario Building Code, the zoning by-law, site plan, and other applicable laws. It may be sent to other municipal officials for consideration.

If you're applying for a simple alteration or addition, it can usually be dealt with fairly quickly. It takes longer to process more complex proposals.

If there are concerns with your proposal, our building officials will discuss them with you before considering refusal of a permit.

When your application review is done, we will notify you by e-mail or phone if there are any outstanding requirements or concerns. If you want to ask about the status of your application, please call 705-742-7777 ext. 1892. If your application is approved and there are no outstanding requirements, we will let you know through e-mail or by phone that you can receive your permit through e-mail or pick up the permit at the Building Services office at City Hall.

There are two options available to apply for a building permit:

  • email a completed application for signs, residential or commercial permits to either  or
  • Hand deliver a completed application to Building Services Division and drop in the bin with a submission form filled out and attached to application. Location: north end of City Hall, 500 George St. N., red brick building, Carnegie wing. Entrance on George Street.

If you have received an invoice for payment for your building permit application, you can pay online or mail in a cheque to:

City of Peterborough, Building Services Division
500 George St. N.
Peterborough, ON  K9H 3R9

Building permit application forms and supporting documents

  • Two sets of plans
  • 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
    • Designer's name and BCIN Number
    • Date of drawing
    • Scale
    • Dimensions
    • Extent of new and existing construction
    • Total area of work
  • A scaled lot grading plan prepared by a grading consultant must be submitted for all new single- and semi-detached dwellings

The building permit process

  1. Before applying – Before submitting an application, consult with the Building Services Division.
  2. The application – Submit an application with supporting documentation to the Building Services Division, along with the required fee.
  3. Consideration – Application is reviewed for completeness and compliance with the 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 denied. Particular inspections required will be specified when the permit is issued.
  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 48 hour notice is required when booking an inspection for your site.
  8. Construction completed – Notice of satisfactory completion will only be issued upon request.

Building forms, documents and applications for signs

Building forms

Building permit fees

Note: All building areas determined as gross area in the Ontario Building Code. Minimum fee $225, unless otherwise noted.

2021 Building Permit Fees
Construction type2021 fee
All new residential construction including single & multi units, row house, apartments, etc. (including additions) $20.29/m² of gross floor area min. $225
Residential Alterations without identifiable gross area $23.41/$1,000 construction value, min. $225 
Change of Use $218/permit
Conditional Permit Full Fee
Occupancy Permit No charge if final permit complete; $414 if building is unfinished
Re-Inspections $176 flat rate
Transfer Ownership $215/permit
Construction Commenced Without a Permit $215 flat rate
General Information: Property Standards By-law (Chapter 611) of the City of Peterborough Municipal Code Available at Office Only (No Charge)
Construction Requirements for Guards (SB-7) Available at Office Only (No Charge)
Industrial Commercial Institutional (ICI) fees
Construction typeFee
Shell $15.69/m² of gross floor area, min. $225
Tenant fit-up and alteration 

$22.07/$1,000 construction value, min. $225

Finished $20.91/m² of gross floor area, min. $225
ICI Alterations without identifiable gross area $22.07/$1,000 construction value, min. $225
Miscellaneous Categories Fixed Fee
Construction typeFee
Demolition of Building up to 600 m² or up to 3 storeys $238/permit
Demolition over 600 m² or 3 storeys $445/permit
Designated Structures & Stand Alone Works $223/permit
Plumbing/Mechanical Permit 10 fixtures or less $118/permit
Plumbing/Mechanical Permit more than 10 fixtures $218/permit
Pool Enclosure Permit $250/permit
Solar Panel Permit $275/permit
Change of Use $218/permit
Conditional Permit Full Fee
Occupancy Permit No charge if final permit complete; $414 if building is unfinished
Re-Inspections $176 flat rate
Transfer Ownership $215/permit
Construction Commenced Without a Permit $215 flat rate
General Information: Property Standards By-law (Chapter 611) of the City of Peterborough Municipal Code Available at Office Only (No Charge)
Construction Requirements for Guards (SB-7) Available at Office Only (No Charge)
Cancelled Building Permit Refund Refund in accordance with Building By-law 10-048

Building documents

Sample plans

Signs – forms

Listing of forms and applications for signs

Encroachment agreement

Permanent sign permit application

Portable sign permit application

Development charges

Properly planned growth is good for our community, but it comes with costs. New development can lead to new infrastructure, including roads, sidewalks, sewers, community facilities and fire services. Development charges help cover the costs associated with growth.

Lodging or rooming houses

A lodging or rooming house is a dwelling that has 5 to 30 bedrooms and is not a single house-keeping unit. A single house-keeping unit is a dwelling where the occupants live together for a short period of time and for economic reasons.

There are two types of lodging houses:

  • Small lodging house: a dwelling that contains between 5 and 10 bedrooms
  • Large dwelling house: a dwelling that contains between 11 and 30 bedrooms

Both types of lodging houses need to follow the proper zoning compliance and the property owners need to receive a Licenced Rental Premises business licence from the Clerk's Office in order to rent out the bedrooms, as per By-law 17-067. Licenced Rental Premises Frequently Asked Questions.

Code of Conduct

The City of Peterborough's building officials are subject to the Corporate Code of Conduct as required by the Building Code Act. If you have any questions or wish to file a complaint pertaining to the Code of Conduct and staff of the Building Division, please contact the City Clerk at 705-742-7777 ext. 1799.