A building permit is your formal permission to begin the construction, demolition, addition or renovation on your property.

As part of the building permit process, Toronto Building staff must review your plans to ensure they comply with the Ontario Building Code, local Zoning Bylaws, and other Applicable Law.

Building permits regulate the type of construction allowed in a community and ensure that minimum building standards are met. The permit process protects the owner's interests, the community, and helps to ensure that any new construction is appropriate and safe

When is a Building Permit required and not required, visit the City of Toronto website.

  • a building permit is not required for a swimming pool itself - but is subject to zoning by-law setbacks

Application Submission
Available at Toronto Building Customer Services Counters. Applications may be submitted in person at the Customer Service Counter in the district office the project is located in, or certain applications may be submitted by email or at any customer service counter. Applications cannot be accepted without the appropriate fee (cheques are to be made payable to Treasurer, City of Toronto).

The following application types can be submitted by email or at any customer service counter:

  • partial occupancy permit
  • property information report
  • small resident (including related HVAC, plumbing and drains, and residential FASTRACK)
  • certified plans
  • zoning reviews
  • records disclosure
  • building addition -alteration for commercial Xpress
  • mechanical (standalone)
  • plumbing and drain (standalone)
  • alternative solutions
  • portable classrooms
  • fire security upgrade
  • designated structure
  • temporary structure
  • sign permits

FASTRACK applications must be submitted on a rewritable DVD, all drawings must be formatted for a page with the maximum dimension of 11" X 17" to facilitate scanning by Toronto Building, or by email. Information is available on the City of Toronto website.

Building permit applications can be found on the City of Toronto website.

Building permit submission requirements
The required drawings for any Building Permit application will vary depending on the specific and type of proposed construction for the project. As a reference, a list of the general drawing requirements may be found in Schedule D of Toronto Municipal Code 363 available online at the City of Toronto's website. Toronto Building also provides application guides on the City of Toronto website for certain projects.

Building Application Status can be found on the City of Toronto website.

Expired Building Permits
Re-submission of a new permit application is required. Re-opening of an expired building permit application is not possible.

Grading plans
A grading plan will be required for all single family infill (new) houses. You may be required to submit additional drawing showing existing and proposed finished grades, prepared by a qualified person.

Fees (there is no tax/HST)
According to municipal code 363 Building construction and Demolition's fee payment structure, you cannot delay paying your permit fees. For most permits, permit fees must be paid in full at the time of permit application.

Accepted methods of payment & limits

Building Permit Fees may be paid by cash, cheque, debit card and Visa or MasterCard.

  • Payment by Visa, MasterCard or Amex is limited to a maximum of $20,000.00. Any balance of payment may be paid by cash, cheque, or debit card by visiting one of Toronto Building's customer service counters.
  • Payment by personal or company cheque that is less than $2,000.00 must be certified.
  • Payment of any applicable Parkland Dedication, Development Charges, Educational Development Charges, or Planning Benefits, including other development related fees, must be made in person and paid by certified cheque only. All cheques are to be made payable to: "The Treasurer - City of Toronto."

No permit will be issued until all fees are paid. However, for projects with fees greater than $20,000, a partial permit for excavation and shoring may be issued if the required deposit is made on the building permit fee

Payments by phone
To use the Toronto Building Fee Payment Line, please call the payment line. Before you make your call, follow the Accepted Methods of Payment (above). Please ensure that you are an authorized cardholder and be prepared to provide an email address along with the application folder number (i.e., 13-123456 ABC 00) for which you are remitting payment. Toronto Building will process the payment for the authorized credit card holder and he/she will receive a receipt by email

Further information on payment methods and payments made by phone can be found on the City of Toronto website.

Building Permits & Approvals, requirements
Building permits are valid for the duration of construction provided construction is on-going. Where work has not started or has stopped, the permit is valid for up to 6 months (as per the Ontario Building Code). However, a Building Inspector may decide to provide you with an extension to your permit.

Upon issuance of your building permit, you may pick up the permit at the District Toronto Building Customer Service Office or call and request that it may be mailed. Building permits applied for after November 12, 2012 will be issued electronically.

Posting
The building permit document will include information setting out the requirement to print and post the permit card in a prominent area on your property. This requirement is also printed on the front of the permit card itself (directly above the permit number).

This requirement is under the Ontario Building Code, Division C, Part 1, Code Reference 1.3.2.1(1) and states:

"Where a permit has been issued pursuant to the Act, the person to whom it is issued shall have the permit or a copy of it posted at all times during construction or demolition in a conspicuous place on the property in respect of which the permit was issued."

Transfer
A Building Permit may be transferred to a new owner of the property. A new application must be completed for the new owner together with a proof of ownership and a fee. For the fee schedule please visit the City of Toronto website.

Building Permit Status
When your submission has been reviewed and is deemed to comply with all applicable law. You can check the status of your application on the online application on the City of Toronto website.

After a Building Permit has been issued:

  • Review your approved permit drawings before starting the work
  • Print drawings in colour and keep them on the project site
  • Post the permit card in a conspicuous place on the site prior to starting work
  • Contact any additional authority approvals for such as utilities
  • Arrange for inspections at appropriate construction stages

Construction activities for an approved Building Permit must begin within 6 months after its issuance.

Cancellation of a Building Permit
You need to submit a written cancellation request to the appropriate Toronto Building district office.

Refunds
You must submit your refund request to the Toronto Building Customer Service Manager within 1 year of withdrawal or abandonment. Depending on the stage of your application, the amount refund will vary. You can view the refund schedule in Municipal Code Chapter 363.

Note: Documents must be prepared by either the homeowner or a "Designer" qualified under The Ontario Building Code. Contact district office for further information.

The following is a list of information available about a building permit to any individual upon request to the district Toronto Building permit office:

  1. application and permit number
  2. date of application and permit issuance
  3. roll number
  4. project information such as: building number, street name, lot and concession number, postal code, plan number, area of work, name, address, postal code, phone numbers, e-mail addresses of companies, including the owner, builder, and applicant when we are sure they are companies (note: personal information on homeowner is not given)
  5. dates of declarations on application forms
  6. building plans in accordance with a Freedom of Information directive re: disclosure of building plans.

The Owner or the authorized agent of the Owner of the property where the proposed construction or demolition is taking place is required to apply for the Building Permit.

Important Information for Building/Demolition Permit Applicants
Homeowners who have applied for a building permit may be eligible for a property tax reduction, if their property was demolished, damaged or renovated during the year, please visit the City of Toronto website.

For information on Commercial Xpress see: Building permit - Commercial Xpress service