The Town of Innisfil offers building permits for homeowners, housing developers, and industrial, commercial and institutional developers looking to start certain building and renovating projects.

Building permits are necessary to ensure that zoning requirements, fire and structural safety standards, and other building standards are met. These standards are primarily in place to ensure occupants' safety.

Zoning compliance

All building and development proposals must comply with the Town's zoning regulations. Many zoning provisions affect your property, such as overall lot coverage, setbacks, building height and type of zoning. Even if your project does not require a building permit, the Town's Zoning By-law still applies.

We encourage you to contact us at planningservices@innisfil.ca before preparing any complete construction plans to confirm that your proposed site plan meets local zoning standards.

Preparing to apply for a building or septic permit

We encourage you to review the following information before you begin your building permit application with the Town to make your application process easy and informative.

Do I need a building or septic permit?

Discover if your project requires a building permit from the Town. If you are not sure if your project requires a permit, contact us at buildingpermit@innisfil.ca.

Permits are required for the following projects:

  • A new building larger than 10 m² (or 107 square-feet)
  • A new building of any size that contains plumbing
  • An addition to a building where the new total is larger than 10 m² or contains plumbing
  • Decks (in many cases, even if not attached to the house)
  • Adding or filling in an exterior door or window
  • Many interior renovations, including:
    • Removing or adding walls
    • Adding or moving plumbing
    • Finishing a basement
  • Creating an accessory dwelling unit
  • In-ground and above-ground pools
  • Adding a solid fuel burning appliance, like a woodstove or wood fireplace
  • Any structural changes and repairs
  • A new on-site sewage (septic) system, or changes to an existing one
  • Connecting to municipal water and sewer services
  • Temporary tents for events, with a combined area larger than 60 m² (or 648 square-feet)
  • Damp-proofing measures that require excavation
  • Signs, including:
    • Pylon or ground signs
    • Billboard signs
    • Signs attached to a building

If your project requires a Town building a permit, there are a number of factors to consider before you start designing your project, including zoning, shoreline permits, site plan approvals, conservation, utilities, septic systems and design plans.

Zoning compliance

All building and development proposals must comply with the Town's zoning regulations. Many zoning provisions affect your property, such as overall lot coverage, setbacks, building height and type of zoning. Even if your project does not require a building permit, the Town's Zoning By-law still applies.

Shoreline property

If your property is on the Lake Simcoe shoreline, your project may require a Shoreline Permit before you can apply for a building permit.

Site plan approval

If your property is non-residential (commercial, industrial or institutional) or multi-residential (such as an apartment building), your project may require a site plan approval before you can apply for a building permit.

Conservation

Many properties in Innisfil are regulated by the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority or Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority. The Ontario Building Code requires all regulated properties to have written clearance from the appropriate conservation authority before applying for a building permit.

Visit the authorities' websites to check if your property is in a regulated area or contact us and our staff will let you know if your property and project is impacted by conservation regulations. Even if your project does not require a Town permit, you may still need permission from the appropriate conservation authority.

Utilities

We encourage you to contact Ontario One Call to determine where utilities exist on your property before completing your design. For example, you may be planning an addition where your gas line is!

Septic system

If your property is serviced by an on-site sewage system (i.e., septic system or holding tank), this could affect your project.

The Ontario Building Code sets minimum setbacks from structures to septic tanks and beds. As well, if you are proposing to add any plumbing fixtures, or any bedrooms, or a 15% increase in finished space, a septic analysis is required from a qualified septic designer for your building permit application.

Septic analysis

The septic analysis is a written document outlining the size of the system, existing and proposed items that contribute to septic sizing, and whether the existing system will support the increase. If your current system will not support the increase, you may choose to modify your plans, or adjust your system.

Design plans and application packages

Each permit type requires plans of some nature. Our application information packages outline the requirements for the most common permit types. If your project isn't listed, contact us and we can provide guidance on what is needed.

Our application information packages include:

For permits that are regulated under the Ontario Building Code, these plans must be prepared by one of the following:

  • A qualified designer registered with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
  • A professional engineer in Ontario
  • A licence holder with the Ontario Association of Architects
  • The property owner if they are knowledgeable and capable

Prepare your design drawings, to scale, which accurately describe the proposed construction. Drawings must be detailed enough so that anyone using them would be able to construct your project. If someone reading your drawings still has questions about how construction would occur, your drawings need more detail.

If you are engaging the services of another person to perform design and drawing activities, that person may be required to comply with the qualification requirements established by the Ontario Building Code. We do not assist or guide in the design process, or recommend a designer.

Once you have completed your design and all factors listed above have been reviewed and all applicable necessary steps have been taken, you are ready to apply for a Town building permit!

Applying for a building or septic permit

Before you submit your application, ensure all forms have been completed and you have obtained any applicable exterior approvals (such as conservation permissions, site plan approvals, shoreline permits, etc.).

As part of our current COVID-19 response, we are only accepting digital building permit applications at this time. Please view and complete the steps below when applying for a building permit and email your completed application to us at buildingpermit@innisfil.ca.

 How do I apply for a building or septic permit
 Follow these steps to apply for a building permit.
 Review the application information package
Depending on the type of building or renovation project, you may need include different information and approvals with your application. View each of our application packages and select the one that fits your needs:
 Complete the application form(s) related to your project

Please complete all necessary forms:

Under the Ontario Building Code, the owner is responsible for all construction on their property. If you want your contractor or designer to apply on your behalf, you must complete an Owner's Authorization Form for Agent to Make an Application. Although the contractor or designer is acting on your behalf, you are responsible for ensuring your agent is calling for necessary inspections and constructing in accordance with building permit drawings.

 Submit your application package

Submit your application package by email to buildingpermit@innisfil.ca. Please send us one copy each of your forms and one copy of your plans, as well as any other documents required. All attachments must be in PDF format and not locked (can be edited). Attachments must be clearly labelled (i.e., "Application", "Schedule 1", "Site plan", "Architectural, "HVAC", etc.).

If your files are too large to send via email, or you are a contractor submitting for multiple properties, please request access to our One Drive folder by contacting us at buildingpermit@innisfil.ca. You can also access our One Drive folder if you are a regular permit applicant (home builder, pool installer, septic installer, etc.).

 Application Review

Our staff will review your application. If it appears that you have provided us with everything we need, we will send you an email confirming we've accepted your application within two business days. If it looks like you missed something, we will send you an email letting you know within two business days. We cannot accept incomplete applications.

Many permit types have regulated timelines under the Ontario Building Code. This is the time in which we must conduct a review and notify the applicant of our findings. For most residential projects, this timeline is 10 business days.

As part of our review, our plans examiner will review the application and contact you if there are deficiencies with your plans. We will contact you and outline any issues and next steps. If everything looks good, we will send an email with directions on permit fee payment.

 Pay the permit fees and complete the process

Permit fees are payable at the time they are issued. These fees are reviewed annually and subject to change. View our current fees and charges, including building permit fees.

Once your application is approved and paid, we will email you the permit placard and a copy of the plans.

 

After your permit is issued

Your permit is considered "issued" once the fees are paid and you've obtained your copies of the plans. Make sure you display your permit placard in a prominent location and then you can get building!

Project timelines

Under the Ontario Building Code, construction must seriously commence within six months of the permit issue date, or your permit may be revoked. Your permit may also be revoked if construction stalls for more than one year. If you require an extension, please contact us at buildingpermit@innisfil.ca before this expiry timeline.

Inspections

You must request inspections at various stages of construction, either under the Ontario Building Code or by a Town by-law, depending on the project. Your permit placard will often tell you which inspections you need based on your project. Learn how to schedule an inspection. Be sure not to work beyond your required inspections, or you may be required to undo work (i.e., insulation, drywall, etc.) so the inspector can see.

Third-party reports

Sometimes, reports from third-parties are required, either because of the nature of construction, a general requirement, or because an inspector has requested it. Common reports include:

  • Electrical Safety Authority Inspection Report
  • Soil Engineer Report
  • Potable Water Report
  • Lot Grading Certificate
  • Structural Engineer Report

You can send all reports by email to buildinginspections@innisfil.ca. Staff will ensure your inspector is aware and the report is added to your file.

Closing the permit

A "Notice of Completion" inspection is the last required inspection. After we have received all required reports and the building exterior has received an acceptable inspection, the permit status will be set to "Final". If a permit is not "Final", it remains open and could impact your home insurance, and your ability to obtain financing and sell your property. 

Security deposit

If you have provided a security deposit to the Town directly for your permit, that deposit will be refunded after the permit is closed.

Permits for homeowners

Whether you are looking to renovate your existing home, create a second dwelling, fix up your basement or install a pool, there are many projects and instances where homeowners must apply for a building permit with the Town before starting work.

Responsibility and role

Whether you do the work yourself or hire a contractor, it is the homeowner's responsibility to ensure that a building permit is issued when required and that required inspections are scheduled, with any issues fixed. Starting construction without a permit is illegal and a provincial offence under the Ontario Building Code Act, so we advise all homeowners to acquire the permit before starting any work.

Permits for developers

Housing, industrial, commercial and institutional developers seeking to build in the Town must provide a range of documents and information as part of their permit applications, depending on the project.

Submitting design information

The Ontario Building Code requires all qualified and registered designers to include the following information when submitting documents to the Town:

  • Name and Building Code Identification Number (BCIN) of the registered firm
  • Name and BCIN of the qualified person
  • Signature of the qualified person
  • Statement that the qualified person has reviewed and taken responsibility for the project's design activities

Drawing specifications

  • If applicable, drawings must be stamped by an architect, or professional engineer or both. Stamps and signatures must be original on one set of drawings.
  • All drawings must be fully dimensioned, with all sizes and types of construction materials to be used and their respective locations included. Also include all finishes to walls, ceiling and floors, and all existing and proposed fire separations.
  • Alterations, renovations and additions must differentiate between the existing building and new work being done.

Attached plans, forms and information

The following plans, working drawings, information and forms may be required to accompany your application and fees, depending on the scope of work:

  • Architectural drawings
  • Building Code related reports
  • Building elevations
  • Electrical drawings
  • Exit capacity plans
  • Fire alarm drawings
  • Fire protection reports
  • Floor plans
  • Foundation plans
  • Framing plans
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning drawings
  • Key plan
  • Lot grading plan
  • Plumbing drawings
  • Reflected ceiling plans
  • Roof plans
  • Sections and details
  • Site plan
  • Spatial separation calculations
  • Sprinkler drawings
  • Structural drawings
  • Travel distance plans

Building permit records

We provide routine disclosure for certain building permit records. Depending on the age, nature and number of documents requested, your request may not be covered as part of a routine disclosure and may require a formal request under the MFIPPA.

How to request building permit records