Building Permits regulate all types of construction permitted in the community, and ensure the safety of the property owner, professional contractors and our community at large.

Approved plans must comply with the Ontario Building Code, local zoning by-laws, and other applicable laws and regulations.

Don't have the time or experience to manage your project alone? You can authorize a qualified designer or contractor to obtain the permit on your behalf.

When Are Permits Required

As the building owner/constructor, you are ultimately responsible for complying with all building requirements. Failure to obtain building permits can result in costly construction delays, penalties, legal action, and/or the removal at your cost of work already completed.


The following is a list of common projects that may require a building permit.


The list is not exhaustive, If you have questions please contact Building Services.

New Building Construction or Additions including:

  • New Buildings or Structures
  • Any Plumbing
  • Additions, Ground floor and/or additional storeys
  • Garage, Carports, or porte-cochère
  • Tenant Interior Alterations
  • New Tenant improvement 'fit-up' work.
  • Live work tenant spaces
  • Sunrooms, Solariums, Saunas
  • Chimney or fireplace
  • Wood burning stove or fireplace
  • Heating and/or plumbing systems
  • Backwater valve
  • Plumbing and backflow prevention device

Changing the use of a room or building including:

  • Additional tenant spaces or units
  • Garage Conversions
  • Finishing a basement
  • Adding or removing walls
  • Even if no construction is proposed, if a change of use is proposed a building permit is required. (i.e. Basement Den to Bedroom, or Office Space to Retail)

Accessory Structures or Buildings including:

  • Decks, Covered or Uncovered
  • Garden Shed
  • Greenhouse
  • Porches, Platforms (raised and/or attached)
  • Gazebos
  • Workshop
  • Pool house or Cabana
  • Store bought Kit or Prebuilt Sheds or Trellis Structures
  • Accessory structure larger than 15 square metres* (161 square feet)
  • Shipping containers (Seacan’s)

Demolition, Renovation, or Interior Alterations to Existing Buildings including:

  • Relocation of any Structure
  • Finishing a basement
  • Structural or material alterations
  • Adding or removing walls (i.e., changing room sizes and/or uses)
  • New windows or doors where there were none before
  • Enlarging or relocating existing windows or doors
  • Enclosing an existing deck, porch or patio of any size
  • Installing or modifying heating and or plumbing systems
  • Excavating and/or constructing foundations
  • Basement underpinning
  • Constructing a basement entrance (P. Eng. Required)
  • Adding a second suite
  • Green roofs or Solar Panels, roof top water retention systems
  • Solar Collectors/Heating Systems

Other Structures including:

  • Wind Turbine Generator (rated output more than 3kW)
  • Construct a deck more than 60 centimetres (24 inches) above ground
  • Construct a retaining wall** more than one metre (3 feet 3 inches) in height.
  • Tents
  • Signs (Building or Ground)
  • *Note: If you are constructing an accessory structure and it is attached to an existing building and/or has plumbing, regardless of its size, a building permit is required.
  • ** Retaining walls providing it is on or adjacent to public property (including streets), building entrances, and on private property accessible to the public.

Material Information:

  • Fibreglass Rebar is not yet authorized for use in Pickering, please contact Building Services staff at 905.420.4631 if you have any questions or need clarification.
  • Shaftwall use in a Horizontal application is no longer under BMEC ruling approval, an Engineered Alternate Solution Proposal (ASP) may be required. 

When Are Permits Not Required

The following are examples of work which do not typically require a building permit and are not subject to the provisions of the building code. However, please note that this list is not exhaustive and judgment should be used depending on the situation and circumstances associated with the project. Even if a building permit is not required, compliance with the Zoning By-law is required.


As the building owner/constructor, you are ultimately responsible for complying with all building requirements. Failure to obtain building permits can result in costly construction delays, penalties, legal action, and/or the removal at your cost of work already completed. Please call our knowledgeable Building Services staff at 905.420.4631 if you have any questions or need clarification.

Replacement or Repair of the following (like-for-like Materials):

  • Roofing or Roof Covering (No structural work)
  • Hot water tanks or Humidifiers in a house
  • Furnace or boiler replacement in a detached house
  • Doors (house) provided no size, lintel, or location change
  • Windows (house) provided no size, lintel, or location change
  • Waterproofing Repairs to a basement
  • Re-cladding a house or small building (3 storeys or less) with same projection, non-combustible material, other than brick or stone veneer
  • Replacing or Increasing exterior wall or attic (non-combustible) insulation

Interior Building Renovations, Modifications & Repairs including:

  • Cabinetry and Millwork (without plumbing)
  • Basement waterproofing repairs
  • Sump pumps
  • Cooling systems, gas fireplaces, air cleaners
  • In-line humidifiers and hot water tanks

Buildings, Structures, and Accessory Buildings including:

  • Structures less than 10 M² (108 ft²) without Plumbing *
  • Garden Storage Sheds less than 15 M² (161 ft²) without plumbing *
  • Ancillory Function Storage Sheds less than 15 M² (161 ft²) without plumbing *
  • Plastic Sheet Covered Accessory Structures (i.e. snow canopies, driveway tents, automotive canopy) do not require a building permit if installed on or after October 15th and are removed on or before April 15th. *
  • Constructing a retaining wall that is on private property, not accessible to the public and/or where the height is less than 1 metre in height at any location.*
  • Compliance with the Pickering Zoning By-law may still be required.

Before you Apply

Please ensure that you read through all the required documents and forms and have all documents ready to upload in an unlocked, flattened, PDF format for submission.



Some properties within the City of Pickering have additional requirements that must be fulfilled prior to the issuance of a building permit.


The following list (not exhaustive) provides additional information on some approvals agencies that may require consultation and/or approvals prior to applying for a Building Permit or receiving occupancy for a building:



Build Smart. Build Safe. Read our list of Expectations for Construction Site Maintenance before you start your project.

Application Process

Welcome to Pickering’s Building Services Department. The majority of our services are now available online and through virtual communications.


We have made the switch to a fully electronic process for the application and issuance of Building Permits. The submission of printed, hard copies of any forms, documents or drawings is no longer accepted at our counter.


Applicants should first review the website and contact Building Services staff to confirm the Digital Submission Requirements for their project type.


To apply for a Residential or Non-Residential Permit, applications can now be made online directly through our Website's Permit Submission Portal.


To apply for a Demolition or Sign Permit, our staff will provide a link to our digital permit system, where an applicant must submit all required documents and drawings.


Thank you for your patience, as we continue to evolve our systems in order to better serve you. Our City Development front counter at the Civic Centre is available for walk-in service, or enquiries can be made by phone 905.420.4631 or email us at  Please note: digital drawings sent to this email box will not be accepted or reviewed.


If a home or structure was recently damaged or razed by a fire, please let us know at the time of your new permit application. Note: Fire damage may also qualify for a tax reduction. Please contact the tax office at 905.420.4614 or to request more information.

Apply Online Now

Please ensure you have all the required documents ready for upload.


To begin a Small Residential Building Permit Applications click Online Application Portal.


For all other Building Permit Applications please contact Building Services at 905.420.4631 to begin the process. All applications are online, see Application Process tab for more info.

Fees & Review Timelines


A full list of all potential charges is provided in Schedule B of the Building By-law. Be aware that all fees, deposits, and charges are subject to change. We recommend that you confirm all rates with our staff before submitting your application.


An initial minimum permit fee is billed at the time of submission. Once your application is reviewed we assess the full building permit fees due, and subsequent bills will be emailed to the applicant for payment at each stage of review. Payments can be made online through the online application portal.


A building permit will be issued once all fees, deposits, and charges have been paid, and we have confirmed compliance with the Ontario Building Code. For a list of current permit fees view our Schedule of Application Fees and Information Price List. See this link for information on Development Charges. The Pickering Civic Complex (City Hall) is open to receive cheques at our Building Services counter, or make credit card payments. Credit Cards are accepted both online and in person.


Note: Credit card payments made through our online application portal are subject to a 2.65% convenience fee, added at the time of payment processing (some limitations apply).

Note: Permit applications submitted prior to January 1, 2024 may not be eligible for payment through the online portal system. 


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 (if applicable). The more complete the permit submission is, the quicker we are able to review the application for compliance and issue the permit. Once the permit is submitted, the Building Clerk can give you an honest estimate of time to issue the permit.


Once the Building Permit is issued, construction may start any time within 6 months from the date of issue. Construction should never start before the Building Permit is issued. Construction without benefit of a permit is a provincial offense. 

Permit Revisions

If you wish to make changes to a permit that has already been issued, then a revision will be required to update the permit application.


Please reach out to discuss with a Building Services Clerk at 905.420.4631 or to assist you in this process.


Permit Submission Forms:

News & Updates

May 1, 2024
Major Ontario Building Code Update Coming

CodeNews Issue 354 - Numéro 354 CodeNews:

Ontario has released a new Building Code to reduce regulatory burdens for the construction industry, increase the safety and quality of buildings, and make it easier to build housing. The 2024 Building Code streamlines processes for the building sector and increases harmonization with the National Construction Codes by eliminating at least 1,730 technical variations between the provincial and national requirements.


The updated 2024 Ontario Building Code (OBC) becomes effective for all ‘Complete’ Building Permit Submission received after Tuesday December 31, 2024, as such any submissions received by the City of Pickering prior to this date will be reviewed and processed under the 2012 Ontario Building Code. To ensure your application is deemed complete and in compliance, we recommend submission a minimum of 30 days before the end of the year (and holidays) to ensure that sufficient time is available to resubmit any additional information. The province has provided a three-month transition period that extends until March 31, 2025 for the Municipalities processing of complete permit applications already received prior to the December 31, 2024 deadline.


All Building Permit submissions including revisions received on or after January 1, 2025 will be reviewed under the 2024 Ontario Building Code (NBC & Ontario Amendments).

The links to the 2020 National Building Code (NBC) and the Ontario Amendment document that constitutes the entire new 2024 Ontario's Building Code can be found as follows:


Updates to the Ontario Building Code are available here:


Certified Model (CM) Program:

Due to the significant changes to the Ontario Building Code, The City of Pickering is suspending the review of Certified Models submitted after October 1, 2024.

October 1, 2024:
Deadline for submission of Certified Models to be reviewed under the 2012 Ontario Building Code.

December 31, 2024:
Deadline for submission of CM Siting Building Permit Applications, utilizing a CM submitted prior to October 1, 2024.

January 1, 2025:
2024 Ontario Building Code will be used for all Certified Model or Permit Application Sitings submissions. 

March 2024
Intern Notification 

In response to the government’s More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 and changes to the Building Code Act, 1992 Pickering has created its own internship program for Building Officials under the guidance of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

The program has been designed to provide opportunities to those who have faced obstacles in obtaining the qualifications to become a building official. The program is in line with Standard Operating Procedure: Intern Inspector – Building Services.

We appreciate everyone’s interest in the program. To view current opportunities, please visit the City of Pickering’s career page.

For general questions, please contact Human Resources.

Effective June 28, 2023:
Online City Permit Application Portal is Live for Small Residential Building Permits. 


January 1, 2023
The Temporary Patio Program is closed

All requests for new, temporary or seasonal patios are now subject to review under standard Site Plan and Building Permit approval processes. Please contact our Planning Department at 905.420.4617 or for more information, or to speak to a Planner.

November 28, 2022 Bill 23:
New regulations for Additional Dwelling Units

View our Additional Dwelling Units (ADU) page

Effective January 1, 2022:
New OBC requirements including Stairs, Guards & Handrails

On January 1, 2022, changes to the Ontario Building Code (OBC) related to Stairs, Guards, & Handrails came into effect and may have significant impact to the construction and/or design of proposed projects or buildings.

Complete building permit applications and developer Certified Models with sitings, submitted for OBC review prior to Friday, December 31, 2021 will be reviewed and processed under the previous OBC provisions.  Applications received after Friday, December 31, 2021 will be reviewed under the new OBC provisions.

If you have any questions about this Code change, we encourage all applicants, designers, and developers to consult Building Services staff prior to submitting your application.