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Building Permits

A building permit is your formal permission to begin the construction, demolition, addition or renovation on your property. As part of the building permit process staff must review your plans to ensure they comply with the Ontario Building Code, local zoning by-laws and other applicable law.

Under the Building Code Act, a building permit is required for the construction and/or demolition of a new building, an addition, or material alteration of any building or structure. The following is a list of common projects that require or do not require a building permit.

Do you need a building permit?

A building permit is required before starting a construction, demolition or renovation project, other than the exceptions listed below. This is provided for general guidance and is not an all-encompassing listing. For advice on whether your project requires a permit, contact the Building Department at 705-474-0400 x 2415. 

Who should apply for a permit?

It is the property owner's responsibility to ensure that a building permit is obtained when required.

You may authorize your contractor or designer (for example) to apply for the permit, but as the owner you must ensure that you have the permit prior to starting work. 

What projects require a permit?

New Construction:

  • Any new building greater than 10m2 (108 ft2) in size (the area of the building's footprint)
  • Any new building that contains plumbing, irrespective of size
  • Any addition to an existing building, irrespective of size
  • Concrete porches
  • Decks (exceptions may apply)
  • Detached or attached garages and carports
  • Solariums
  • Addition of a dormer
  • Sunrooms
  • Installing or changing a swimming pool fence enclosure
  • Tents (645 sq. ft / 60 m2 more ground area)

 Demolition and Alterations:

  • Demolishing any building greater than 10m2 (108 ft2) in size
  • Adding, removing or altering a structural wall or column
  • Adding, removing or altering a non-loadbearing partition
  • Changing the use of a building
  • Installing a basement entrance
  • Relocating a Building
  • Changing a fireplace from gas to wood or solid fuel burning
  • Roughing in a bathroom or washroom
  • Installing a fireplace or wood stove
  • Renovating a dwelling to provide a full basement
  • Constructing separate rooms in a basement
  • Installing an accessory apartment
  • Installing any new plumbing piping
  • Repairing or installing an on-site sewage system
  • Connecting to municipal sanitary and storm sewers
  • Installing a new furnace utilizing a new fuel source
  • Installing an exterior sign
  • An underground sprinkler system connected to building plumbing
  • Installing a solar hot water system
  • Recycling grey water to reduce water use
  • Roof-mounted solar photovoltaic panels
  • Replacing an exterior wall or cladding
  • Replacing windows or doors

A building permit is required for construction whether the work is on the interior or the exterior of the building or dwelling.

There is no exemption for a building permit when performing construction solely within or inside a dwelling.

You don't need a Building Permit for the following residential projects:

  • Constructing detached accessory buildings less than 15m2 (161 sq. ft.) in area (*no matter the size of the project, if it contains plumbing a permit is required)
  • Decks not adjacent to a building entrance that are less than 10m2 (108 sq. ft.) in area
  • Damp-proofing basements
  • Replacing plumbing fixtures or water heaters
  • Replacing a furnace or adding air conditioning units or a heat pump
  • Electrical projects (Consult the Electrical Safety Authority)
  • Kitchen or bathroom cupboards
  • Painting and decorating
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Replacing roofing or shingles
  • Retaining walls less than 1 meter in height
  • Sidewalks, planters and landscaping
  • Garden pergolas and gazebos that do not have a solid roof


Preparing for your Project & Building Permit Application:

Step 1

  • Contact the Building Department at (705) 474-0400 x. 2415 to determine which documents you will require or to make an appointment to visit our department

The Planning & Building Department is on the (Second Floor) City Hall at 200 McIntyre Street East


  • Send an email to with your project ideas and any applicable information to determine what you will require

Submitting Building Permit Applications:

Step 2

  1. Submit all your completed documents to (.pdf is the preferred formatting as most permits are submitted electronically)


  1. Contact the Building Department at (705) 474-0400 x. 2415 to make an appointment to submit your documents in person


The permit application requires information about the project. You will be asked to document who will perform the work, what work will be done, where the work will be done, and how the work will be done.

Scaled drawings, plans or other documentation of the proposed work will have to be submitted for review.

Included with the submission, the plans must have the designer's B.C.I.N. registration number, except when a homeowner is preparing their own drawings or for accessory structures under 30m2 (538 sq. ft). When necessary, an architect or engineers design may also be required. 




Once you submit your permit application, the following process takes place:

1. Review for completeness

Building staff will review your application to ensure that all required information has been included.

2. Zoning Review

The Zoning By-law sets out rules governing land use and the placement of buildings on a lot. It states exactly:

  • Land and building uses
  • Building size or density
  • Location of buildings and other structures on a lot
  • Minimum lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements and building height

The Zoning Administrator and/or Building Staff will also confirm that your application complies with Applicable Law. These include:

  • Conservation Authorities Act
  • Planning Act
  • Environmental Protection Act

If you are unable to comply with the provisions of the Zoning By-law, you may submit an application to the Committee of Adjustment for a minor variance. If the Committee of Adjustment approves the variance, you may submit a Building Permit application, subject to the terms established by the Committee of Adjustment.

3. Building Code Review

Building staff will review your building plans, in order to determine compliance with the requirements of the Ontario Building Code.

The Ontario Building Code is a set of minimum provisions regarding the safety of buildings:

  • Health and Safety
  • Fire protection
  • Structural sufficiency
  • Construction materials
  • Plumbing and Mechanical system

4. Mechanical Plans Examination

If applicable, your plans and drawings are reviewed to ensure compliance with heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, drainage and private sewage system requirements of the Ontario Building Code.

5. Fire Prevention Examination

In the case of some multi-family residential, commercial, industrial and institutional applications with fire protection systems, these will be reviewed for compliance with the Ontario Building Code in conjunction with the applicable NFPA Standards.

6. Receive results of the review process

If compliance with the building code, zoning and other applicable regulations is determined, the application is approved and a permit is issued.

If compliance is a problem, building staff will contact you to let you know why your project does not comply.


Approximate timeline

Based on the streaming of applications and the building category as set out in the Ontario Building Code:

  • Small Homeowner project:  First review 5 business days
  • Tenant Fit-up:  First review 10 business days no matter the building category
  • House:  First review 10 business days
  • Small Building:  First review 15 business days
  • Large Building:  First review 20 business days
  • Complex Building:  First review 30 business days

Each major phase of construction must be inspected by our Building Officials to make certain the work conforms to the Building Code, the building permit and the approved plans.

Once your Building Permit has been issued, the mandatory inspections required for your project will be indicated on your signed Schedule C document. It is your responsibility to ensure that either you or your contractor contacts the city to request an inspection at least 48 hours before work proceeds from one inspection stage to the next.  Please click here for a description of inspections! 

Note: Please have your building permit # accessible!

You can request an Inspection by: 

  1. Contacting the Building Department at (705) 474-0400 x. 2415
  2. Emailing
  3. Completing our Online Inspection Request Form

Permit Application Forms:

Permit Application Checklists:

Information to accompany Permit Application:

Sample Drawings:

Additional Resources:

Links to External Resources

North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority

(705) 474-5420


North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit

(705) 474-1400


Service Locates - Call Before You Dig

Ontario One Call

(800) 400-2255


North Bay Hydro

(705) 474-8100



(888) 774-3111


Electrical Safety Authority

(877) 372-7233


Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

(866) 220-2290


Ministry of Labour

Health and Safety Contact Centre

(877) 202-0008


Ministry of Transportation

(800) 268-4686


Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks

(800) 565-4923


Spills Action Centre

(800) 268-6060

The majority of permit fees are based on either a square feet method or value of construction method.

Additional Fees incurred by the zoning/planning department and engineering department may apply.

In addition to the fees calculated below, a Construction Water Fee may also be required. If required the Construction Water Fee is calculated based on the value of construction at a rate of $1.00 per $1,000.00 value of construction up to the first $500,000 value, and $0.25 per $1,000.00 value of construction for the remaining value of construction or part thereof.

New Construction:

  • Group “A” Assembly Occupancies - Schools, libraries, theaters, churches, restaurants, etc.
  • Group “B” Institutional Occupancies - Hospitals, nursing homes, care homes, etc.
  • Group “D” Business and Personal Services Occupancies - Offices, banks, medical clinics, etc.
  • Group “E” Mercantile Occupancies - Retail stores, supermarkets, department stores, etc.
  • Group “F” Industrial Occupancies - Warehouses, factories etc

$11.23 per $1,000 of construction value. Minimum fee shall be $765.

Additions, Renovations or Alterations of Group “A”, “B”, “D”, “E” or “F” 

$11.23 per $1,000 of construction value. Minimum fee shall be $765.

New Construction:

  • Group “C” Residential Occupancies - Single family dwellings, semi-detached dwellings, duplexes, apartments, hotels, motels, etc.

$1.36 per square foot of finished gross floor area

Renovations/Alterations to  Group “C” 

$11.23 per $1,000 of construction value. Minimum fee shall be $765

Group “C” Residential - Garages, carports, accessory buildings, etc.

$190.00 flat fee

Addition to Group "C"

$1.36 per square foot of finished gross floor area Minimum fee shall be $765.

New Construction of Farm Buildings

$2,732 for buildings up to 10,000 ft2 and $0.25/ft2 for buildings with a floor area over 10,000 ft2

Additions to Farm Buildings 

$683 for buildings up to 10,000 ft2 and $0.25/ft2 for buildings with a floor area over 10,000 ft2

Staged Permits:

  1. Excavation and Foundation Stage
  2. Structural and Architectural Stage
  3. Mechanical and Electrical Stage

Permit fees associated with the entire construction project shall be collected prior to the first stage of a staged permit being issued.

The permit fee will be collected for each of the three staged permits


Fees for temporary tents and air supported structures


Demolition permit


Minor amendments to permits


Change of Use Permit where no construction is required


To authorize partial occupancy of building or occupancy of a partially completed building


To construct a fence


Blasting permit


Transfer of permit


Miscellaneous request for inspection under City By-Laws


Re-inspections on interior of final inspections where the work is not complete for the requested inspection



Septic System permits are processed by the North Bay Mattawa Conservation Authority (NBMCA) under Part 8 of the Ontario Building Code - Private Sewage Systems.  As such all Sewage Permit applications will be submitted directly to the NBMCA. 

The NBMCA is located at 15 Janey Avenue, North Bay and can be reached at:

Telephone: 705-474-5420

More information is available on the North Bay Mattawa Conservation Authority Website.

In order to make a complaint about construction-related issues you will need to determine whether your concern is an emergency or non-emergency.

Nature of Concern

Who to Call

Possible danger to someone or a property 9-1-1
Dangerous plumbing, fire sprinkler, or sewer condition 9-1-1
Dangerous electrical condition North Bay Hydro at 705-474-8100
Smell Natural Gas Leave the area and call Union Gas at 1 877 969-0999 or 9-1-1

Nature of Concern

Who to Call

No permits for construction that is in progress or completed

Messy construction sites

Unsafe construction or building conditions

Hazardous materials coming from a demolished building

Concern about vibration resulting from construction

Dust or air quality complaint on a construction project



Contact Planning and Building Services


Blocked streets and sidewalks

Construction messes in streets and lanes

Construction noise