Check your zoning
Before you start a new project, check the zoning of your property to find out if there are any restrictions on what you can build.
Gather forms, drawings and documents
Different forms, drawings and other documents are required depending on the type of your project. You’ll need to submit these when you apply for your permit.
Find out if you need additional approvals
Depending on the type of project you’re working on and where your property is located, you may need other approvals before your building permit can be issued.
If your property is located on land that’s regulated by a conservation authority you’ll need to get written approval from one of the following, depending on where your property is:
Each conservation authority has a screening map that shows which properties need approval.
If you own a listed or designated heritage property, the Ontario Heritage Act may limit the types of construction or changes you can make.
You can check the heritage status of your property online.
Learn more about heritage properties and approvals.
Properties near provincial highways
If your property is close to a provincial highway you may need approval from the Ministry of Transportation.
Site plan approval
Building or development in certain parts of the City is subject to “site plan control” which means that your application may need to be approved by the City’s Planning Division before you receive your building permit.
If your property is located in the site plan control area identified in the Site Plan Control By-law, you may need to apply for a development application. For more information call at 311 (905-615-4311 outside City limits).
Committee of Adjustment approval
If you’re planning to build or make changes to your property that will not meet current zoning by-law requirements, you may need to apply for approval from the Committee of Adjustment.
All building permit applications must be submitted online through our ePlans portal.
Online application process
1. Create account and make permit request
2. Upload drawings
Shortly after submitting your permit request, you’ll receive an email from the City that includes your temporary project number and an invitation to upload drawings and supporting documents.
3. Prescreen review
After you upload your drawings and documents, we’ll do a “prescreen” review to ensure the minimum requirements are met. This process usually takes three to five business days.
Make corrections or provide missing information
If we still need more information, you’ll be sent a “prescreen corrections” email. All prescreen corrections will need to be made by you in order to move ahead with the application process.
4. Fee payment
Once your request passes the prescreen review, we’ll send you an email to let you know what additional fees you need to pay. You can reference the Fee Schedule for a general idea of the charges.
You must pay fees under $30,000 using the applicants account in ePlans. You must pay fees over $30,000 by electronic payment.
5. Your application is created
Once you have paid the required fees, your application will be created and we’ll send you a new application number via email.
6. Department review
Your application will then be sent for a detailed review by the relevant review groups to make sure it meets the building code, zoning by-law and other applicable approvals.
Learn more about building permit cost and time frames.
When the review is complete each review group will mark your application as either “approved” or “withheld.”
Resubmit revised or more information
If any of the review groups have “withheld” your application you will need to resubmit revised or additional information. You can view our feedback in your “Project status report” in ePlans. We’ll send you an “applicant resubmit” email telling you what to do next.
Each resubmission cycle could add two or more weeks to the process.
7. Permit issued
Once your application is approved by all the review groups, you’ll be notified via email that your permit and approved drawings are available to download in ePlans.