The City of Toronto is transforming and modernizing how it delivers services to the public. For building and sign permit applicants, this client-centric transformation is intended to provide a clear, consistent and predictable experience and timely processing of applications by the City.

On January 9, 2023, the City began a phased pilot rollout of its new service delivery model, with the launch of the first phase of a new Express Services Program city-wide. Through this pilot program, Toronto Building staff work directly with permit applicants who are proposing smaller, less complex projects within a defined scope, in order to move their applications swiftly through the approvals process, reducing the amount of time for a permit to be issued.

Express Services will replace the existing Residential FASTRACK, Commercial Xpress and Sign Bylaw Unit services. The new Express Services program is being implemented in two phases. The Residential FASTRACK and Sign Bylaw Unit services were the first to be integrated into this new model. Commercial Xpress projects will be phased into the Express Services stream on April 17, 2023.

Graphic showing the merging of the previous Residential Fast Track, Commercial Express and Sign Bylaw permit services into the new Express Services stream

Through Express Services, applications move through the approval process more quickly as staff work with permit applicants to tailor services to their specific needs and project scope and resolve application issues minimizing the overall time it takes to receive a permit. Permit applicants will also have access to clear guidelines and information to strengthen transparency, reduce guesswork and improve submission quality. This service is intended to help experienced applicants who are familiar with the process acquire the permit quickly, and new permit applicants who will benefit from the one-on-one consultation with City staff.

Benefits of Express Services

  • A streamlined process with less red tape to minimize the wait time for building permit approvals.
  • Greater flexibility to meet diverse client needs with options for virtual and in-person consultations with City staff.
  • A collaborative and tailored customer service experience delivered through a specialized unit of City staff.
  • Improved guidance, support and facilitation to help applicants ensure projects meet applicable laws and requirements.
  • Enhanced technology including application intake portal and remote video inspections (coming soon).

How This Process Helps You

  • Applications can be submitted via email to
  • Once an application is submitted and reviewed, a consultation (either by telephone, virtual, or in person) may be booked by the examiner to discuss the application if further clarification is needed before the application is accepted.
    • This consultation enables Express Services staff to clarify requirements and advise the applicant of any missing information so the wait time between the submission and review is minimized.
  • Once the application is deemed complete and accepted, a plans examiner will review it for compliance with the Building Code and all applicable laws.
  • If further clarity or information is required following the technical review of the application, the examiner will schedule a consultation (either by telephone, virtual, or in person) with the applicant to review the outstanding issues.
  • Following the consultation, where possible, the examiner will mark up the drawings to issue the building permit.
  • Once the permit is issued, applicants will be able to book an inspection request online or via the telephone booking service.

Scope of Residential Express Services* projects currently eligible in the Pilot Phase

  • Decks, sheds, porches
  • Garages and carports
  • Residential ancillary structures
  • Interior alterations
  • Basement walkouts and underpinning
  • Work impacting a party wall
  • Minor fire damage repair
  • One- to two-unit conversions,
    • No more than two dwelling units per building
  • Stand-alone plumbing and drain permits
  • Sign permit applications


Scope of Express Services projects, starting April 17:

Small Residential Projects Small Commercial Projects Sign Permits
  • Decks, Sheds, Porches
  • Garages and Carports
  • Residential Ancillary Structures
  • Interior Alterations
  • Basement Walkouts and Underpinning
  • Work impacting a party wall permitted with enhanced submission requirements
  • Minor fire damage repair
  • 1 to 2 unit conversions (no more than 2 unit dwellings per building)
  • Stand alone plumbing and drain permits
  • Interior Alterations to Assembly, Business, Industrial, Office and Retail Uses
    • Up to 300 square metres
    • Up to 600 square metres for office, retail uses and restaurants with less than 30 seats (Group D and E)
    • No change in use
    • No change in patron area
    • No active permits for building shell
  • Tents (including certified tents)
  • Minor fire damage repair
  • Stand-alone maglocks
●   First Party Signs
●   Third Party Signs

* Please note that permit applications for additions to residential dwellings, will now proceed through the permit stream for housing, as well as permit applications for laneway suites and garden suites.

For further information, please contact