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.

 Notice to Builders/Homeowners

It is your responsibility to maintain a clean and safe worksite. Please refer to the following Notices:

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

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

Additional Resources

Obtaining a Building Permit

There are 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. Provide 2 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 or more than 600 square metres, and for any specialized engineering that is outside the scope of part 9 of the Ontario Building Code.
  3. Pay the building permit fee and other applicable fees, deposits, and charges*
    • Building Permit Fee for most minor residential projects: $130.00
    • Building Permit Fee for additions or new houses: $13.00 for each square metre of new living space
    • Records management fee

    • Performance Deposit - Grading and Final Inspection (Refundable)

    • Damage Deposit - Development Services (Refundable)

    • Development Charges - City of Pickering

    • Development Charges - Regional Municipality of Durham

    • Development Charges - Education

    • Other charges, fees, and deposits may apply (e.g. curb cuts, sidewalk repair)

* Please refer to Schedule B of the Building By-law for a complete listing of current building permit fees as all fees, deposits, and charges are subject to change. It is 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. View an example of the approximate fees, deposits, and charges.

Required Inspections / Booking Inspections

Please provide 48 hours notice and quote your permit number.

For Residential Permits, you can schedule an inspection by:

For Institutional/Commercial/Industrial, 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.

Building Inspections

  • Footings Readiness to pour concrete footings.
  • Foundation 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.
  • 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.

Plumbing Inspections

  • 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

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.

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.

Utility Locates

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.