A Conditional Permit (CP) is a type of building permit that may be issued where not all of the approvals required for a building permit have been received. CPs are generally used for larger development applications.
A CP is issued at the discretion of the Chief Building Official (CBO) when the applicant can show that the outstanding applicable law approvals are in the process of being obtained, and the approval timeframes are causing unreasonable construction delays.
A CP application is not a fast track system nor does it circumvent the technical reviews necessary to ensure public health and safety standards are being met. Before a CP application can proceed, a request for a CP must be made in writing. This request and supporting documents will be reviewed to ensure that a development application meets the criteria for CP issuance.
This CP application guide is a reference document only. It does not include an exhaustive list of criteria required for the issuance of a CP and does not limit the discretion (set out in subsection 8 (3) of the Building Code Act, 1992) of the CBO in deciding whether to issue a CP.
CPs are permitted under subsection 8 (3) of the Building Code Act, 1992. No person is entitled, or has a right, to obtain a CP. The issuance of a CP is strictly within the discretion of the CBO and may only be issued if the following requirements have been met:
Commence discussions with the City’s Plan Review staff on the merits of requesting a conditional permit – please contact the Manager of Plan Examination in the Toronto Building District where the proposed development project is located to start the process.
Submit a written request for a CP. The written request should include:
Following review of the written request, the Plan Review Manager will notify the owner whether or not a CP application can be accepted.
If advised that the CP application can be accepted, complete and file a Building Permit Application Form for the CP.
Unreasonable Delay: The CBO must be of the opinion that the construction would be unreasonably delayed if the CP is not issued.
Consideration of Comments: The CBO will give consideration to the comments received from Toronto Water, City Planning and other reporting divisions/agencies, which may result in refusal of the CP request or the inclusion of specific conditions within the CP agreement.
Conditional Permit Agreement: The applicant must enter into a CP agreement, assuming all of the risk in proceeding without a building permit, including the removal of any construction under the CP and returning the site to its previous condition should a building permit not be obtained.
Timeframes: The CP agreement will set out a six-month timeframe in which the owner must obtain all outstanding approvals, a 60-day timeframe in which the proposed construction under the CP must be seriously commenced, and any other conditions, such as a timeframe for reaching grade if applicable.
Title: A CP agreement may be required to be registered on title to the property at the expense of the owner.
Fees: All necessary fees, including CP fees, must be paid before a CP is issued.
The CBO may refuse a request for a CP for any reason and is prohibited from issuing a CP unless the requirements of subsection 8 (3) of the Building Code Act, 1992 have been met. The CBO’s decision on whether or not to issue a CP is final and there is no appeal available.
Refusal of a CP could be the result of the following:
Work without permit: Construction was started without a required permit.
Failure to comply: Failure to comply with the requirements for an earlier CP for a previous stage of construction.
Zoning Compliance: The proposal does not comply with the applicable zoning.
Applicable Law Compliance:
No unreasonable delays: The CBO is NOT of the opinion that unreasonable delays in the construction will occur if the CP is not issued.
Site restoration: There are potential difficulties with restoring the site should the required approvals for a building permit not be obtained.
Payment of fees: Required fees are not paid.
CP Agreement: The applicant has failed to enter into a CP agreement on the terms set out by the Building Code Act, 1992 and the CBO.
Following the application for a Conditional Permit, there is an approximate 30-day processing time.
Requests for CPs will not be considered within 30 days of a scheduled increase to the City’s development charges rate or the educational development charges rate.
Notice of scheduled rate increases will be posted on the Development Charges web page.
Toronto Building Inspection Services will routinely monitor site conditions relating to CPs, including the following:
Site conditions: Confirm the site conditions that were provided by the applicant set out in the request letter;
Status of construction: Confirm whether construction is substantially complete for:
Timeframes: That construction authorized by a CP has seriously commenced within 60 days of CP agreement execution; and
Targets: That construction has reached milestone targets in accordance with the CP agreement.
Construction projects which have been authorized through a CP will be subject to CP revocation where the terms of the CP agreement have not been met. The terms include:
Where a CP is revoked, the construction must be removed and the site restored at the owner’s expense. Where the construction has not been removed, the CBO may cause the construction to be removed at the owner’s expense and the site restored.
The City shall have a lien on the property for any money incurred in removing the construction and restoring the site and the amount may be added to the tax rolls to the property.
If you are considering making a request for a Conditional Permit, please contact the Manager of Plan Examination in the Toronto Building District where the proposed development project is located to start the process.