Building permits regulate types of construction permitted in the community, and ensure the safety of the homeowner and community at large. Approved plans must comply with the Ontario Building Code, local zoning by-laws, and other applicable laws and regulations.
In most cases it is against the law to begin construction or demolition of a building without having a valid permit.
Building Services staff is available throughout the permit process to assist you with your application and answer any questions you may have.
Your designer or contractor will often obtain the permit on your behalf. However it is the property owner's responsibility for complying with all building requirements.
A General Guide for Residential Construction Projects
You need a building permit for:
- a new home
- any addition to a home
- sheds or other detached structures greater than 108 ft² (10 m²) in area. See our shed package for more details
- raised porches or decks. See our deck package for more details
- carports or garages
- structural alterations
- demolition or relocation of a house
- installation of a woodstove or fireplace
- creation of rooms in a basement
- addition of a basement entrance
- alteration or addition of any plumbing piping
- connections to water service or sanitary or storm sewers
- installation of a swimming pool fence enclosure. See our pool enclosure package for details
You do not need a building permit for:
- detached sheds and other structures less than 108 ft² (10 m²) in area. Note that zoning requirements still apply. Confirm the minimum location restrictions with Building Services staff before proceeding
- decks which are 24" (0.5 m) or less above grade
- replacement of windows, doors, roofing or siding
- finishes for new interior wall, floor or ceiling
- repairs to chimneys, porches, decks
- waterproofing repairs to a basement
- replacement of plumbing fixtures
- replacement of a heating system
- installation of most television antennae or satellite dishes
Obtaining a Building Permit
There are 3 steps to obtaining a building permit:
- Complete a permit application. Drop off your completed application to the City Development counter at the Pickering Civic Complex, or we will help you fill one out at the counter.
- Provide 3 copies of the proposed construction plans (2 copies for residential projects), including a site plan.
Application Forms, Checklists and Standard drawing details are available to assist you with your preparation.
Note: Applicants must hire an architect and/or professional engineer to design and prepare drawings for a residential building that is more than 3 storeys and for any specialized engineering that is outside the scope of part 9 of the Ontario Building Code.
Please make sure to read the important notice to building permit applicants and designers.
- Pay the permit fee:
- standard fee for most minor residential projects: $125.00
- additions or new houses: $11.50 for each square metre of new living space
Note: A Records Management Fee is applied to every Permit Application. Please refer to Schedule B of the Building By-law for a complete listing of building permit fees. As fees are subject to change, you should confirm the correct amount with our staff before submitting your application. A building permit will be issued once we have confirmed Ontario Building Code compliance.
Timeframe to Obtain a Building Permit
The City will issue building permits promptly for submissions that meet zoning standards, the Ontario Building Code, and the requirements of other agencies, such as the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, or the Region of Durham Health Department.
Construction may start any time within 6 months after obtaining your permit. Building Services staff will note inspection requirements on your permit drawings. Applicants must arrange inspections by calling Building Services at 905.420.4631 before physically covering any of their work.
Ontario One Call (ON1Call) is a corporation that was formed to establish a call centre that receives excavation locate requests and notifies registered owners of underground facilities within the vicinity of the proposed excavation. Any time you dig on or near your property, call Ontario One Call at 1.800.400.2255 or contact them online to get a locate in advance.
Please provide 48 hours notice and quote your permit number. Inspection requests must be received by 3:00 pm. You can schedule an inspection by:
Keep the approved permit drawings at the construction site where they can be accessed by the inspectors. Covering work prior to inspection may result in delays, the removal of finishes and/or prosecution under the Building Code Act.
Building inspections are required at the following stages of construction and must be arranged before physically covering any work.
Readiness to pour concrete footings.
Completion of foundation, dampproofing and subfloor prior to backfilling. An as-built survey must be submitted at this stage.
- Framing & Heating
Completion of all framing and heating rough-ins prior to installing insulation.
Completion of insulation and vapour barriers, prior to installing finishes.
- Air Barrier
Completion of air barrier systems.
- Final (Occupancy)
Completion of finishes, railings, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, heating, gas proofing and other required interior and exterior elements.
- Outside Services
Installation of building drains and water supply to building, prior to backfill.
- Inside Services
Installation of drains and water supply under basement floor.
- Rough In
Completion of drains, vents and water supply piping throughout the building.
- Final (Occupancy)
Installation of hot water tank c/w anti-scald mixing valve at outlet, all fixtures and finishing materials.
Electrical inspections are completed independently by Electrical Safety Authority. Call 1.877.372.7233 or contact them online to arrange one.
Information & Drawings
Check out the Information and Drawings page for further information, sample drawings and necessary forms and checklists.