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The Chief Building Official will review your permit applications to ensure that your plans meet the requirements of the Ontario Building Code. He is available to work with you to ensure your build meets all requirements and is approved and completed in an efficient time frame. Please contact our Chief Building Official for information on any of your building needs.

Jacques Benoit
Chief Building Official/Inspector
613-623-4231 Ext. 1828

Building Department

  • Our Building Department provides information to the public on a variety of building issues related to the Ontario Building Code and various By-Laws enforced by the Chief Building Official.
  • We enforce the Ontario Building Code, the Ontario Building Code Act relating to construction with regards to health, structural standards and fire protection.
  • We receive and review building and septic permit applications and prepare the issuance of the permits.
  • We ensure different stages of inspections are carried out in accordance with the Town’s Building By-Law and the Ontario Building Code.

“Building” means,

  1. a structure occupying an area greater than ten square meters consisting of a wall, roof and floor or any of them or a structural system serving the function thereof including all plumbing, works, fixtures and service systems appurtenant thereto,
  2. a structure occupying an area of ten square meters or less that contains plumbing, including the plumbing appurtenant thereto,
  3. plumbing not located in a structure,
  4. a sewage system; or
  5. structures designated in the building code;

Construct is defined as to do anything in the erection, installation or extension or material alteration or repair of a building and includes the installation of a building unit fabricated or moved from elsewhere and “construction” has a corresponding meaning.

Building Permits

The Why, When and How

What is a Building Permit?

A Building Permit is a license which grants legal permission to undertake the construction, alteration, repair or change of use of a building or structure, on private property.

Requirements for Permits
Building Permits are typically required for the following:
 New Buildings
 Additions to Existing Buildings
 Repair, Renovation and Alteration of Existing Buildings
 Prefabricated and Relocated Buildings
 Building Systems (heating, fire protection, etc.)
 Various Structures (decks, retaining walls, towers, pools, etc.)
 Installation of Plumbing, Drains and Sewers
 Demolition
 Change of Use of a Building
Check with your local Building Department for specific requirements and details.

The Purpose of Permits
The permit process involves the examination of the plans and details of construction projects against the requirements of the Ontario Building Code and applicable laws, followed by the inspection at various stages of construction of the project. The plan examination and inspection by the staff of the municipal Building Department is undertaken to reduce the risk to the health and safety of the public and the people who use and occupy buildings.

The Use of Permits
Permits are an essential part of Code enforcement. All of us have a major investment in our home or business, which we may wish to construct or renovate. When that home or business does not comply with the Code or other requirements, then the value of our investment could be reduced, and it is possible that we, or family and the other occupants could be at risk if there is improper construction. Obtaining a permit helps to protect that investment and reduce the risk of improper or unsafe construction.

Why bother with a permit?

There are several good reasons including:

  • The Building Permit process helps you to understand, not only what the Ontario Building Code requires, but also the other local requirements, such as zoning, which apply to your particular project.
  • Building Permits provide the means for the local building officials to review the design and to inspect the construction, against the requirements of the Code, other applicable laws and local bylaws.
  • Building Permits provide the means for the local building officials to ensure minimum standards are met and thus help to reduce the risks to the health and safety of the public and building occupants.
  • It’s the law…

The Permit Process, Step-by-Step.

  1. Visit or contact your local Building Department.
    The Building Department, responsible for the issuance of Building Permits for your property, is usually located in the local Municipal Office or Town Hall or City Hall.If your are unsure of the requirements, it is useful, at minimum, to take a basic written outline or sketch etc., when you visit the Building Department. Telephone enquiries can be made but are limited in scope, since any plans or sketches that you may have cannot be viewed by the person you are dealing with. Personal contact is preferable, although the use of technology such as fax and email is quite popular.The initial contact will provide you with some of the information that you will need to make your application so that you can proceed with your project, without undue delay.
  2.  Submit Application
    You can make the application personally or it can be made, on your behalf, by another person such as your contractor or qualified designer. The permit application form and the information required to submit an application is prescribed in the Ontario Building Code and includes such information as the location of the project, the people involved (owner, contractor, designer, etc.) and the plans, documents and specification of the construction, amongst other things.Timeframes for the issuance of a permit is also prescribed in the Ontario Building Code and the majority of complete permit applications are processed with the minimum of delay. The application is checked against the requirements of the Ontario Building Code and local zoning and other applicable requirements.You are required to post the Building Permit in a prominent location on the construction site and you are also required to keep a set of the plans, on the basis of which the permit was issued, on site. The building official may require you to produce these plans at any stage of the inspection process. Any changes to the reviewed plans should be submitted, for further review, to the Building Department before the construction, involving those changes, takes place. Click here for permit applications.
  3.  Receive results of Review Process.
    If the application is determined to be in general compliance with the Code and other applicable requirements, then the permit is issued.
    If the application is determined not to be in compliance, then you will be advised that the permit cannot be issued and provided with the reasons for this. It may be possible for you to take the necessary steps to amend the application and re-apply.
  4. Receive Permit.
    The Building Permit is the document granting permission for the proposed construction to be undertaken. You must proceed in accordance with the application and plans submitted and in compliance with any conditions that have been noted on the plans or application by the building official. The permit fee and any associated fees must be paid before any permit can be issued and these fees help to defray the cost incurred by the municipality in the administration and enforcement of the Ontario Building Code.
  5. Arrange Inspections.
    You will be advised, when the permit is issued, at what stages of construction the Building Department is required to be notified, for purposes of inspection and of the amount of advance notice that is required to be given.It is the responsibility of the permit holder to make the necessary arrangements.
    If a Building Official finds that any of the construction does not conform with the Code or the plans submitted, then you and/or the person performing work will be notified either verbally or in writing. An Order to Comply may be issued and if the necessary remedial action is not undertaken, then a Stop Work Order may result, and construction would have to be suspended until the required corrections have been made. This, however, does not happen in the vast majority of cases and construction is usually completed successfully

The Ontario Building Code

How it affects you

What is a “Code”?
A Code is a collection of requirements, policies, rules or guidelines pertaining to a specific subject or activity, to set standards which pertain to that subject or activity. A Code may merely be a guideline or a series of principles, as in a code of conduct of an organization, such as a dress code, or it may be a series of laws and regulations, such as the Criminal Code of Canada. A Building Code is a compiled list of requirements for construction of new buildings and additions or alterations to existing buildings, developing and expanding over time. Such a Code sets the standards for the various components of a building, including the structure, type of materials, plumbing, fire protection systems, occupant load, and the other systems installed in a building.

A Brief History of Building Codes
Building Codes are not a product of modern society, but rather have evolved from the distant past. In biblical times, the Code of Hammurabi (the ruler of Babylonia) was decreed and one of the articles in this Code stipulated that in the event of the collapse of a house, in which the householder was killed, then “the builder shall be slain”. Rather drastic! An example of further code development was in England, during the reign of King Charles II in the 17th century, as a result of the great fire of London, which engulfed most of the city and caused considerable loss of life and the destruction of most of the houses in the city. In North America, the first building regulations were developed in the latter part of the 19th century as a result of fires in buildings which caused many fatalities. In the early 20th century, codes were developed, which laid the basis for testing methodology, specifications and the various formats, which can be found in the codes of today. The prime purpose was to reduce fire hazards but other principles of a more humanitarian nature also emerged and those were to protect the health, welfare and safety of the public. The Ontario Building Code has embraced and enhanced the above philosophy. In addition, the Government of Ontario took an additional step, to create uniformity across the Province, by making this Code mandatory across Ontario and by creating a process to reflect current technology in the methods and materials used in construction.

The Purpose of the Ontario Building Code
The prime purpose of the Ontario Building Code, as indicated above is protection of people, to allow them to enter, occupy and leave buildings safely. The principles on which the standards in the Code are based are Health, Safety, Accessibility and Energy Efficiency. The Code is an evolutionary document, which is regularly updated to respond to technological advances and the ever changing needs of society. The most recent edition of the code takes a step further by incorporating objectives into the code and permitting a process to allow enhanced flexibility in meeting code requirements.

How does the Code Help You?

  • The implementation and use of the Ontario Building Code helps to minimize the risk to the health, welfare and safety of the public.
    We all need protection from tragedy caused by fire, structural collapse and general deterioration of the structures that surround us: our homes, schools, offices, stores and factories. The Ontario Building Code provides protection by reducing potential hazards to building occupants – ourselves and families.
  • It keeps construction costs down.
    The Ontario Building Code provides for uniformity in the construction industry. This uniformity allows builders, suppliers and manufacturers to do business on a larger scale, Province-wide, than if construction was either unregulated or if the requirements were different between municipal jurisdictions. Larger scale gives rise to cost savings, which are ultimately passed on to the customer.
  • It provides for consistent construction standards across Ontario.
    The Ontario Building Code has established predictable and consistent minimum standards, which are applied to the quality and durability of construction and the materials used in construction.
  • It contributes to the well-being of a community.
    The preservation of life, health and safety, as well as the maintenance of property values over time, are a direct result of the application and enforcement of the Ontario Building Code and its predecessors.

The Purpose of the Ontario Building Code
Since 1976, the Ontario Building Code has set the minimum standard for the design and construction of all new buildings and for additions, alterations and change of use of existing buildings in the Province of Ontario. The Code is a mandatory document used by architects, engineers, designers, builders, suppliers and manufacturers with regard to construction projects which are regulated by the Code. The purpose of the Code is to set minimum standards for construction to minimize the risk to the health and safety of the occupants of a building and to provide for the barrier-free accessibility into a building and the energy efficiency of that building.

Provincial Responsibility
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing of the Province of Ontario is responsible for the development of, and the amendments to, the Building Code Act and the Code, which came into effect as a regulation of that Act. The other responsibilities of the ministry include the Building Code Commission, which rules on disputes involving interpretations of the Code and the issuance of permits within prescribed time frames, and the Building Materials Evaluation Commission, which adjudicates on materials and systems, which are not included in the Code. The Ministry may be contacted at 416.585.6666 or at its website: www.mah.gov.on.ca

Municipal Responsibility
Every municipality in Ontario is given the responsibility for the enforcement of the Building Code Act and the Code. It requires them to appoint a Chief Building Official and inspectors to issue permits and perform inspections. Municipalities may charge fees to defray the cost of Code enforcement and pass by-laws which include requirements for application, plan and document submission, classes of permits, inspection notification stages and various other associated
requirements. Details can be obtained from the local Municipal Building Department.


Building Permit Fees – As Per the User Fees and Charges By-law, as amended

Schedule B – Development Charges

Regulation of Private Swimming Pool (By-Law 4551-97)

Check List for Building a Residential Addition or Renovation

Checklist for Decks    Deck Details

Check List for Building a House

Application Forms

Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish

Energy Efficiency Design Summary: Performance & Other Acceptable Compliance Methods

Energy Efficiency Design Summary: Prescriptive Method

Plumbing Application

Residential Mechanical Ventilation Design Summary

Pool Permit Application

Sign Permit Application

Completed forms and required documents can be dropped off at Town Hall, 2nd floor,  105 Elgin Street West or e-mailed to jbenoit@arnprior.ca .

For specific information on any of the above matters, our Chief Building Official would be pleased to assist you.

Jacques Benoit
Chief Building Official/Inspector
613-623-4231 Ext. 1828

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