Building Permits

Guide To Building Permits

What Is A Building Permit?
A building permit is a license which grants legal permission to start construction of a project. It means that the Township of Southgate has approved plans for any new structure, renovation, or addition. Approved plans must comply with the Ontario Building Code, local zoning by-laws, and other applicable laws and regulations.

Who Is Responsible?
Often the contractor will, as part of their contract, apply and obtain a building permit. Ultimately the property owner is responsible for works commenced/completed on the property. Any person found constructing or demolishing a building or causing the construction or demolition without a permit could be fined.

Why Is It Needed?
Building permits regulate types of construction allowed in the community and ensure that building standards, zoning by-law requirements and fire and structural standards are met.

What Projects Need A Building Permit?
The Building Code Act requires a building permit for the construction of any structure, which results in a building area of over 10 m² (107 ft²) including additions, alterations, and renovations, and includes plumbing not located in a structure and other designated structures. The following is a partial list of typical projects requiring a building permit:
- Decks 24 in+ above grade - Dormers or finishing of attic spaces
- Interior structural alterations - Carports
- New fireplaces or woodstoves  - Finishing basements
- Retaining walls > 1m (depends on location) - Plumbing and/or drains
- Excavate basements or construct foundations Sunrooms
- New or alterations (increasing opening size) to windows or doors - Porches/balconies
- Repair existing or installing new septic systems, tanks and/or beds - Adding or removing walls
- Attached or detached garages or sheds - Change of a building
- Demolition of all or a portion of a building - Conversion from septic to sewer
- Installation or repair of storm, sanitary or water services  

How Do I Apply For A Building Permit?
For the steps required to apply for a permit, please click here

What Projects Do Not Require A Building Permit?
A building permit is not required for a detached accessory structure that measures 10m² (107ft²) in area or less. Although a building permit may not be required, you must still comply with the requirements of the Zoning By-law and Building Code requirements. The following is a partial list of typical projects not requiring a building permit:
- Fences other than for swimming pools  - Replace existing forced air furnaces
- Decks not forming part of a principle entrance to a building and less than 24in above grade - Replace siding or windows subject to property use
- Air-conditioning units or heat pumps added to existing forced-air system - Painting and decorating
- Eaves troughs provided drainage is contained on a property - Roof shingles - provided no structural repairs
- Kitchen or bathroom cupboards without changes to plumbing - Landscaping – with proper grading
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All information on this website is provided as a public resource of general information. Every effort is made to ensure that the documents on this website are accurate and contain the latest amendments; however, the Township of Southgate does not guarantee or accept any responsibility for accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of information provided here.