News Release
May 3, 2021

In May 2021, the City of Toronto will participate in its 40th annual Building Safety Month to promote building safety. The campaign highlights the importance of the Ontario Building Code and the City’s role in upholding the standards that make our buildings among the safest, healthiest, most accessible and sustainable in the world.

This year’s theme, “Build Safe”, focuses on what residents need to know about building permits and how obtaining them helps to ensure that they build safely.

Building permits allow the City to confirm that construction projects are structurally sound and follow the Ontario Building Code, municipal zoning and other applicable laws. The City’s building officials have an essential role reviewing plans, inspecting projects, and enforcing bylaws to ensure the resulting construction project is safe and legal for present and future occupants.

Each year, the City issues more than 45,000 building permits, completes 165,000 building inspections, and conducts more than 2,800 annual investigations in response to complaints about construction.

Generally, building permits are required for:

  • a new building or structure larger than 10 square metres,
  • additions to an existing building,
  • renovations that change the structural design of a building (e.g.: adding a new window), impact safety (e.g.: adding a second suite), and
  • changes to mechanical or plumbing systems (e.g.: installing a new bathroom).

Residents can find a list of projects that require a building permit on the City’s website, or they can call Toronto Building Division Customer Service at 416-397-5330, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Building permit applications can be made via email to  Preparation is essential to ensuring an efficient permit issuing process. Learn more about building permits at


“On behalf of City Council, I am proud to proclaim May as Building Safety Month in Toronto. The City’s Building division ensures that all Torontonians can live, work and play in safe, healthy, and accessible buildings. This is essential for a growing city like ours and I want to thank the building team for the work that they do.”
– Mayor John Tory

“I can’t emphasize enough the importance of taking the proper steps when undertaking a renovation or construction project, no matter how big or small. It’s imperative that property owners determine if a building permit is required and to obtain that permit prior to beginning any construction. If you aren’t sure, Toronto Building is here to help. I am proud of the team in the City of Toronto Building Division, and all that they do to keep our residents and visitors safe.”
– Will Johnston, P.Eng., Chief Building Official and Executive Director, Toronto Building

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media Relations