The City of Pickering wants you to 'Build Smart. Build Safe'.  Whether you're a homeowner with a DIY project, or a professional contractor with years of experience, our friendly, knowledgeable Building Services staff is here to help you.

Remember: "Measure twice, cut once; 15 minutes now saves 2 hours later", so call us first before you make that first cut.

Notice: Building Permit applications and Building Permit inspections

The Building Services Department is still open for business.  We have established a fully electronic process to accept new applications and the department remains fully staffed in order to review all permit applications and conduct all required inspections once the Building Permit has been issued.

For information on submitting new applications for Building Permits, or to enquire about your current Building Permit, contact us at 905.420.4631 and speak directly to a Building Services Clerk.

Building Permit inspections for issued permits will be limited to unoccupied buildings only. Inspections for outside decks, sheds or accessory structures will be conducted maintaining the required 2 metre social distancing, and at the discretion of the Building Inspector. If you feel the inspection request is critical or time sensitive, please contact our Building Services staff to discuss the request.

The Building Services Department is responsible for administering the issuance of Building Permits, including the application process, the review of plans for all new construction, and the inspection of building and plumbing systems during construction.  We also provide zoning by-law interpretation and zoning compliance checks/approvals for lawyers, letters, applications and building permits.

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 designer or contractor to obtain the permit on your behalf.

Already have a Building Permit? Book an Inspection here.

Building Services staff will note inspection requirements on your permit drawings. Building Inspectors cannot come out to inspect construction unless an approved Building Permit has been issued for the work.

Applicants must arrange inspections by contacting Building Services before physically covering any of the work to be inspected.

Requests for building permit inspections are accepted Monday to Friday, between the hours of 8:30 am to 3:00 pm only.

To book an inspection:

The approved permit drawings must be 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.

Electrical Inspections

Electrical inspections are completed independently by Electrical Safety Authority. Call 1.877.372.7233 or contact them online to arrange one.

Expectations for Construction Site Maintenance

The City of Pickering is serious about job site safety and cleanliness.

To protect the safety and continued enjoyment of our community, the City of Pickering developed a list of Expectations for Construction Site Maintenance. Building Permit applicants are expected to read and acknowledge their understanding of these expectations before taking possession of their Building Permit.

Many of these expectations are legally required by either a municipal by-law, provincial code, or provincial/federal Act. Other expectations are just good, common sense and being a good neighbour.

Build Smart. Build Safe. Read our list of expectations before you start your project. 

When do you need a building permit?

In general, the following projects require an approved Building Permit:

  • a new home
  • a new commercial or industrial building (even when there are others already on the site)
  • any addition to a home, commercial or industrial building
  • sheds or other detached structures greater than 108 ft² (10 m²) in area. See our Shed/Garage Construction Guide
  • raised porches, or decks of any size if they are attached to a building. See our Deck Construction Guide
  • carports or garages (either attached, or detached from the home or building)
  • structural alterations to any existing building
  • demolition or relocation of a house or any existing building of other uses
  • installation of a woodstove or fireplace
  • creation of rooms in a basement
  • addition of a basement entrance
  • creation of a Second Unit within a home (aka additional dwelling unit or basement apartment)
  • alteration or addition of any plumbing piping in any building type
  • connections to water service or sanitary or storm sewers from any building type

 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 with your project.
  • decks that are 24" (0.5 m) or less above grade, and are not attached to a building
  • replacement of window or doors, provided the same width of opening is maintained
  • roofing or siding
  • finishes for new interior wall, floor or ceiling
  • repairs to chimneys, porches or decks, provided the same design/layout is maintained
  • waterproofing repairs to a basement
  • replacement of plumbing fixtures
  • replacement of a heating system
  • installation of most television antennae or satellite dishes

Still not sure? Contact Building Services staff at 905.420.4631 between the hours of 8:30 am to 4 pm, or email us at

How to Apply for a Building Permit - Homeowner or Residential Project

Applications for Building Permits are accepted Monday to Friday, between the hours of 8:30 am to 3:45 pm only.

There are generally 3 steps to obtaining a building permit:

1.  Complete a building permit application. Drop off your completed application to the City Development counter at the Pickering City Hall, or we will help you fill one out at the counter.

2.  Together with the completed building permit application, provide 2 copies of  the proposed construction plans (2 copies for residential projects), including 2 copies of a site plan showing the proposed size and location of the new construction.

Permit applications for small projects such as decks, sheds and small buildings like garages, will undergo apreliminary review at the Building Services counter, to ensure there is enough information on the drawings to support a complete permit review. If the information is not enough to conduct a review, the applicant will be given advice on how to complete the permit submission and asked to return and apply when the correct information has been gathered.

3.  Pay the building permit fee and other applicable fees, deposits, or charges that may apply.

Permit Fees

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 recommended that you confirm all rates with our staff before submitting your application.

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.

The minimum permit fee is $144.00, taxes included. Typically, decks, sheds and minor alterations fall under this minimum fee.

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 (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 will 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.

Building Permit Application forms

Snow Load Mapping

Call Before You Dig ! Utility Locates

The City is not responsible for locating public utilities on your property such as hydro, natural gas, water or sanitary services.

Before you dig, Build Smart. Build Safe. and call Ontario One Call (ON1Call at 1.800.400.2255 or contact them online to get a locate in advance. Failure to locate your utilities can result in personal or property injury or delays in construction.

If you're on septic - be sure you know where you septic tank and septic bed are located.