How do I find out what regulations apply to my proposed building project?
Drop by your local Building Customer Service counter and discuss your proposal with our staff.
They will be pleased to answer your questions.
Click here to determine the appropriate Customer Service location for your inquiry.
I thought we were all one City, why am I still subject to the old zoning by-laws?
City staff are in the process of writing a single comprehensive zoning by-law for the entire City. When the City amalgamated in 1998; it inherited 7 official plans and 41 different zoning bylaws from the former municipalities.
Shortly after City Council adopted the new Official Plan for the City, work began in 2003 on a new zoning bylaw.
However, in analyzing the existing by-laws staff discovered:
The existing 41 zoning bylaws in the City have the same basic purpose but use many different ways to express their intent.
Most zoning bylaws are the same in what they regulate, the differences are found mainly in format, the language used and the standards in the various zones.
- there are 54 zones for single detached residential alone
- there are over 12,500 general provisions
- there are 1550 existing definitions
- the language between bylaws varies significantly and there are several definitions for even a simple term like apartment building.
There are 11 different definitions apartment building. Scarborough alone has 4 different definitions of apartment building.
For a full update on the status follow this link:
Why have I not been informed that my neighbour applied for a building permit?
The Ontario Building Code Act and municipal zoning by-laws allow construction to be carried out in accordance with the Ontario Building Code Act and applicable law.
This is not a public process where neighbours would be notified. Where the proposed construction would not comply with the zoning by-law, an application to the Committee of Adjustment for a 'variance' to the zoning requirements may allow the applicant some relief from the requirements.
This is a public process where neighbours within 30 to 60 metres would be notified, depending upon application type.
Do I have a right to access my neighbour's property while building?
A building permit does not include an inherent right to enter onto adjacent properties. Common law and City By-laws may provide for access onto adjacent properties. If you are unable to come to an agreement with your neighbours, it may be necessary for you to speak to your lawyer regarding access to neighbouring properties.
Are they are building too close to the property line?
The Zoning By-Law regulates setbacks and height of new construction. Permits are issued after it has been determined that the proposed construction complies with the Zoning By-Law. The inspector will check to see that the construction complies with the permit plans.
Is a Survey of my new construction required?
When a new building or addition is constructed, the inspector will visually confirm that the foundations are generally in the correct location on the lot. Often fences or hedges are not exactly on the property line and the precise location of the new construction must be confirmed by a survey from an Ontario Land Surveyor.
With all new infill houses, a survey must be undertaken of the location of the new house on the lot, including all setbacks and the first floor height. This survey must be provided to the inspector prior to scheduling a framing inspection.
If necessary, the inspector may also require surveys of other types buildings and building elements to determine things like building setbacks or height.
Is a Construction Fence required?
Generally, all construction and demolition sites must be fenced to deter entry to unauthorized persons, particularly young children. The site must be fenced as soon as demolition or construction commences. Click the following link to see the Municipal Code, Chapter 363, respecting Building Construction and Demolition. Article III contains the requirements for fencing construction and demolition sites.