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Building Permit Services

Link to Building Permit Documents

When do I need a building permit?

A building permit is required for the change of use, construction or demolition of any building or addition, alterations, signs, the installation of fireplaces and wood-burning stoves, sundecks, etc., as well as for new or modification of existing HVAC ducts and plumbing installations or alterations.

Building permits are not normally required for:

  • decks which are 600mm (24") or less from grade and have no roofs
  • replacement of windows, doors, roofing or non-combustible siding
  • replacement of unrated floor or ceiling finishes
  • non-structural repairs to chimneys, porches, decks or roofs
  • waterproofing repairs to a basement
  • replacement of plumbing fixtures
  • replacement of furnaces (natural gas, propane or oil) with no new or modified ductwork
  • detached structures with no plumbing and not exceeding 10 square metres (or 107 square feet). However, such structures must be constructed in compliance with other applicable by-laws and regulations
  • free standing renewable energy projects e.g. wind turbine not exceeding 3 kW and solar photovoltaic
  • demolition of a farm building on a farm.

 Note:  If in doubt, please contact our office at 905-436-5658.

What type of permit plans are required?

Permit plans must be drawn to scale and contain sufficient information to enable the Chief Building Official and his staff to determine whether the proposed work conforms to all applicable by-laws and regulations. Site plans must be referenced to a current plan of survey, certified by a registered Ontario Land Surveyor. A copy of such survey must be submitted with the permit application for a major project. Site plans showing outlines and dimensions of the property, driveways and existing and proposed buildings, may be accepted. Where required by the Ontario Building Code, plans must be prepared, sealed and signed by an Architect, Professional Engineer, or BCIN qualified Designer. Permit applications will not be accepted when the submitted plans are inadequate or incomplete unless a waiver is signed.

For more information in relation to specific projects, the applicant should obtain a copy of "Basic Building Permit Requirements" and "Building Permit Plans Requirements" from the Development Services Department, Building Permit & Inspection Services Branch.

When can I apply for a building permit?

A building permit application will not be accepted where it is determined that the proposal requires:

  • A rezoning or minor variance;
  • An amendment to the Durham Region or City of Oshawa Official Plan;
  • Entering into a site plan agreement or an amendment thereto; and/or
  • Entering into a subdivision agreement.

How long does it take to obtain a building permit?

The time required for the processing of a building permit application varies in accordance with:

  • The quality and completeness of the submitted plans;
  • The degree of compliance of the plans with applicable Regulations; and
  • Current workload of staff.

The Building Permit Services staff are prepared to provide reasonable assistance to the applicant, when requested to do so, but must refrain from assisting in the laying out of any work or acting in the capacity of an engineering or architectural consultant.

The Ontario Building Code has been amended to introduce time limits on decisions regarding complete applications, which will reduce delays in permit issuance.

How do I apply for a building permit?

The applicant must file an application, in writing, on prescribed forms. Every application must be signed by the applicant. The applicant must be the owner of a building or property or a person authorized, in writing by the owner, to apply for a permit on the owner's behalf. Every application must be accompanied by prescribed plans and specifications and the permit fee payable to the Corporation of the City of Oshawa.

Effective on July 1, 2005, applicants must complete and submit common application forms prescribed by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Who will review permit plans?

Permit plans will be reviewed by Building Permit Services staff for compliance with the Ontario Building Code, applicable law and other related standards and by-laws.  Engineering Services will review the proposal with respect to grading, drainage, refuse collection facilities, vehicle access and road design. The Oshawa Fire Services will examine the plans for compliance with fire safety provisions contained in the Ontario Building Code, the Ontario Fire Code (where applicable) and related standards.  Our Zoning staff will review the plans for compliance with Oshawa's Zoning By-law and Sign By-law.

Who will obtain the approvals from other agencies?

It is the responsibility of the applicant to secure required approvals from other agencies (where applicable) prior to the issuance of a building permit. The Building Permit Services staff will advise the applicant of the required approvals from other government agencies upon permit application (i.e. CLOCA, Oak Ridges Moraine, MTO).

What are the fees required when applying for a building permit?

In addition to the permit fees, other required fees such as municipal and education levies, road restoration deposits, cash-in-lieu of parkland dedication, sewer connection costs and other applicable fees, must be paid prior to the issuance of a permit. The permit fees are calculated in accordance with the Building By-law. The applicant may obtain a copy of the by-law by visiting "City By-laws" under "Quick Links" or from the Development Services Department, Building Permit & Inspection Services Branch.

When does an application become abandoned?

Where an application remains incomplete or inactive for six months after it is made, the application may be deemed to have been abandoned and notice will be given to the applicant, who may be entitled to a partial refund of the permit fee, as set out in the Building By-law.

How to process a building permit application?

The following outlines the building permit application process:

  • Pre-permit review;
  • Payment of required fees;
  • Permit application submission;
  • Zoning, parking and signs examination;
  • Plumbing examination;
  • Fire Services examination;
  • Engineering Services examination;
  • Building Code examination;
  • Approvals or permits from other government agencies;
  • Levies and service charges determined by school boards, Region of Durham and City staff;
  • Comments coordinated;
  • Revised plans submission, if applicable;
  • Plans examination completed;
  • Applicant notified;
  • Permits issued; and
  • Inspectors notified.
Manager: Kwan Lo
Location: 1st Floor, Rundle Tower, City Hall
50 Centre Street South
Oshawa, Ontario  L1H 3Z7
Phone: 905-436-5658 ext 2400
Toll Free: 1-800-667-4292
Fax: 905-436-3857
TTY: 905-436-5627