Building permit application stubs can provide information about a property owner, building materials, architect, use, and cost of a structure.
Building permit application stubs are the records kept by the municipality after it issued a permit. They are not the actual building permit. They can provide information about property owner, building materials, architect, use, and cost of a structure.
To see building permit application stubs, you will need visit the Archives. Building permit application stubs are available on microfilm for the former City of Toronto for the years between 1882 and 1926, and in hard copy up to 1970.
For building permits issued after 1970 or by other former municipalities, please contact Toronto Building at 416-397-5330.
You can read more about building permits in the Archives database entry for Series 1186.
Examples of Information on Building Permits
This building permit index shows all the building permit numbers issued for each street in one year. The index does not give an address for each permit number. You must look at the building permits themselves to find the address.
In this example from the 1907 building permit index, J. Somers has been given building permit 6206. You must look at the building permit itself to find Somers’ address. Note: Even though all the names here begin with the same letter, they are not arranged alphabetically within the letter.
Not all building permits give as much information as this one. It shows that Leigh Todd had a permit to build a two-storey brick and stone house, with basement. The address is 5 Emerson Avenue. (‘E.S.’ stands for ‘east side’). He could afford to hire a professional architect as well as a builder. $2500 was an average cost for a brick house at the time. Wooden houses were much cheaper.
Using the Indexes
City of Toronto, 1891-1914
- Between 1891 and 1914, indexes are in hard copy volumes arranged by year. Names of streets are listed by initial letter, but are not arranged alphabetically within the letter.
- For most years, there is a second section where property owners are listed by initial letter of their last name.
- Look up the street name and/or property owner for your property, and write down the building permit number(s). Then view the permit stub on microfilm. You may have to look at several permit stubs to find the one for your property.
City of Toronto, 1915-1970
- Between 1915 and 1970, indexes are on microfiche. They are organized by year, and within the year by building type, for example, brick dwelling or frame (wooden) building.
- If you find your house in these indexes and the house was built between 1915 and 1926, write down the permit number and view the permit stub on microfilm.
- For houses built between 1927 and 1970, you will need to look at the hard copy building permit stubs in Series 1186. Please ask Archives staff to help you order them.