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Services & Departments

Building Permits

Projects That Require a Building Permit

Under the Ontario Building Code Act, a building permit is required to construct, demolish, renovate, alter, install or change the use of a building. The following is a list of typical projects or situations that require the issuance of a building permit prior to construction:

  • New buildings or structures greater than 10 square metres (108 ft²) in total floor area, measured by the outside dimensions, or any size if they include services. This includes sheds, sleeping cabins or other accessory buildings or structures, including sheds and shed packages purchased from a store.
  • Additions to existing buildings or structures.
  • Renovations that involve structural framing.
  • New or replacement decks.
  • Wood burning appliances, including new or replacement of existing components.
  • Replacement of windows or doors if the rough opening size is enlarged.
  • Relocation or addition of plumbing fixtures.
  • Replacement of interior water supply or drain pipes.
  • Docks.  If the dock area is 15 square metres (161 ft²) or more, approval is also required from the Ministry of Natural Resources.
  • Docks greater than 10 square metres including covered docks.
  • Wind turbines that generate more than 3 kW of electricity.
  • Solar panels on new or existing structures that did or would require a permit.
  • Permanent structure greenhouses. Portable green houses & garages with a total area greater than 60 square meters.
  • Quonset huts and pre-engineered metal buildings.
  • Repair or replacement of all types of building foundations.
  • Note that load bearing cement slabs for all houses, or for garages greater than 576 sq ft require engineered design.
  • an outdoor pool

Projects that DO NOT Require a Building Permit

It isn’t necessary to obtain building permits to perform the following work. However, you must still comply with the requirements of the Municipality of Hastings Highlands Zoning Bylaw and, if applicable, the Ontario Building Code.

  • Accessory buildings with a total floor area of 10 square metres (108 ft²) or less.  Note: Zoning Bylaw requirements must be followed.
  • Fences** but still must be 30 m from water body
  • Replacement of plumbing fixtures (toilet, sink, bathtub, shower, hot water tank) in their original locations.
  • Replacement of windows or doors provided the rough opening size does not change.
  • Replacement of shingles or other roofing material unless you strip to the sheathing.  If you’re replacing or adding new roof trusses or rafters, a building permit is required.
  • Installation of photovoltaic (PV) panels on a pole.  However, an electrical permit may be required – check with an electrician or the Electrical Safety Authority.
  • Docks less than 10 square metres.
  • Wind turbines that generate 3 kW or less of electricity.
  • Tarped vehicle, boat shelters that are less than total of 60 meters square for all tents on the property.

If the above lists do not include specifics related to your project, or if you’re not sure whether a permit will be required, please contact the Building Department

How do I get a building permit?

Submit a completed application form, along with the appropriate fees plus the building plans and all other required information as specified in the information sheet, Requirement to be followed when Building.

How long does it take to get a building permit?

The Ontario Building Code requires that a complete building permit application for small projects and houses will be processed within 10 days. You will be advised at the time of application or within 2 days, if the application is incomplete.

More information on permits is available at:




How much does a building permit cost?

Building Types Fee payable per square foot
Single family dwelling/cottage/addition/camp $ 1.00 per square foot
Commercial/industrial/institutional $ 0.60 per square foot
Garage/boathouse/accessory building $ 0.40 per square foot + $150
Deck, porch or dock $ 0.40 per square foot + $150
Demolition permit $ 100.00 flat rate
HVAC system $ 100.00 flat rate
Plumbing $ 100.00 flat rate
Re-inspection, additional or misc. inspections $ 100.00 flat rate
Installation of wood-burning appliance/chimney $ 150.00 flat rate
Construction of a temporary tent over 60 sq. meters $ 100.00 flat rate  
Septic Permit new $ 600.00
Septic Permit alteration or repair $ 250.00
Building Permit Renewal (inactive 1 year or 3 yrs old) $ 100.00 flat rate

Minimum fee for building permit $150


What happens if I build without a permit?

As a property owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that a building permit is obtained, even if you’re hiring a builder or contractor. If you’re unsure whether you need a permit, contact the Building Department to find out. The Building Bylaw and the Ontario Building Code Act have penalties of up to $50,000 upon conviction for illegal construction. We charge an additional $400 administration fee on permits if you have started construction without a permit.
We also have a $1000 Provincial Offences Ticket for infractions. This is an extra charge for penalty in addition to permit fee.

Other Permits & Approvals

  • Electrical permits and inspections fall under the jurisdiction of the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA). It’s the responsibility of the homeowner or builder to contact the ESA for proper approvals.
  • Septic system permits and approvals are treated as Building Permits under the jurisdiction of the Municipality. Fees are $600 for a new septic, $250 for a repair.
  • An entrance permit is required to install a new entrance on your property, to change the location of an existing one, or to install a second entrance. Entrance approvals are handled by the Roads & Public Works Department.
  • New civic addresses (9-1-1 numbers) for vacant lots are acquired through the Roads & Public Works Department. Contact Cathy Bujas, Planning Clerk at ext. 222


Building Permits Documents