Zoning Certificate of Occupancy

A Zoning Certificate of Occupancy is a permit that approves a new use or a change of use of a building or unit in accordance with the Zoning By-law.

For example changing from a retail store to a restaurant, or a vacant unit to a new use.

You are not allowed to change the use of any land, building or structure until you have a Zoning Certificate of Occupancy, according to subsection 1.1.13 of the Zoning By-law.

The certificate does not give permission to construct or occupy a building. A Zoning Certificate of Occupancy does not approve a change of use according to the Ontario Building Code.

Learn more about when a building permit is required.

Check property history

To learn more about the current approved use of a property, check the property history. If you’re still not sure, call 311 (905-615-4311 outside City limits).

How to apply

Submit your application online through our ePlans portal using the “Zoning Certificate of Occupancy” request type.

Learn more about the Zoning Certificate Process.

For more information please check ePlans help and support.


The application fee is $500. You can pay the fee online when you complete your application.

Required drawings and documents

You’ll need to upload the following drawings and documents when you apply.

View Zoning Certificate Sample Drawings

The site plan must include the following:

  • Address
  • Property lines (dimensioned)
  • Outline of existing building and other structures
  • Unit location and number, if applicable
  • Location of parking areas
  • Setback to adjacent property line(s)
  • Surface treatment
  • Typical regular and accessible parking spaces (dimensioned)
  • Aisles (dimensioned)

Site Statistics

  • Lot area
  • Lot frontage
  • Gross floor area (GFA) non residential figure (metres squared) with breakdown of each floor
  • Number of regular and accessible parking spaces required
  • Parking rate based on use of building
  • Number and dimension of parking spaces and accessible parking spaces provided

Floor plans must include:

  • Interior and exterior dimensions
  • Rooms labels indicating the use of each room. For example, “storage”, “office”

The Letter of Use must include details about the proposed business operation, such as:

  • What type of business you conduct
  • What product or service you provide
  • Who you provide this service to
  • Specify whether there will be any wholesale or retail sales or outdoor storage
  • List all combustible storage and quantities, if applicable
  • Name(s) of the tenant and/or agent with business address and phone number
  • Total occupant load, such as number of people, employees, patrons