Magnolia – Design & Build


Approval Process

Building Permit Approval Process

The city of Ottawa has a strict building permit process in place to ensure that all construction projects adhere to the city’s building codes and regulations. Obtaining a building permit is an essential step for any construction project, including building a new structure, making significant renovations, or adding an addition to an existing property. The building permit process in Ottawa is designed to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the residents and visitors of the city by ensuring that all construction projects are structurally sound, safe, and meet the city’s requirements. The process involves several steps, including submitting an application, obtaining approvals from various departments, and scheduling inspections throughout the construction process.

Applying for a building permit in Ottawa

1. Applications for a building permit must include:

  • Completed application form
  • Two sets of Plans – examples
  • Building Permit Fee payment
  • Specification documents if required (provide examples)

2. Permit review process and timelines

Your application will be reviewed to confirm that your project will comply with the Ontario Building Code(link is external) and applicable laws. The review process may include:

Zoning Plan Examination: staff will check for compliance with the regulations and provisions of the Zoning By-Law, such as proposed use, minimum setback requirements, lot coverage and building height, etc.

Building Code Examination: staff will review the proposed construction to ensure compliance with the Ontario Building Code and applicable laws.

Grading Approval: staff from the Infrastructure Approvals Division will review the grading plan for compliance with city specifications.

Processing times vary depending on available resources, the volume of applications and the completeness of your application. Technical staff at the counter will advise you of the projected time for providing you with a first response to your application.

Approximate timeline

Based on the streaming of applications and the category of the building as set out in the Ontario Building Code, targets for the first review of a complete submission are:

  • Small Homeowner project: 5 business days Council approved timeline (i.e. Deck/Porch/Shed/Garage)
  • House: 10 business days (i.e. detached, semi-detached, row house)

Permit Issuance

The approved permit is issued upon the payment of all outstanding fees and charges.

Only upon the permit issuance are you legally permitted to commence construction, including any demolition of existing buildings.

You must ensure that the permit is posted at the construction site and that the approved drawings are made available at the construction site for the Building Inspector to undertake the mandated inspections.

3. Inspections

The first step is ensuring that your building plans, drawings and specifications follow the Ontario Building Code(link is external) and other applicable laws. The Ontario Building Code mandates the City to provide building inspections associated with construction authorized by a Building Permit. The permit holder is responsible for arranging inspections at key stages of construction.

Note: The building permit is required to be posted in a visible location at all times.

Where construction is outside the building, all construction sites, especially locations next to sidewalks, residences, occupied buildings, and areas close to schools, parks, recreational or other public facilities, must be fenced or boarded to prevent access. Before you start construction, contact the Building Inspector for specific requirements or consult the Building By-law.

Magnolia Construction can help ensure that all necessary inspections are scheduled and conducted on time, so that your building project is completed successfully and in compliance with the Ontario Building Code.