Building Permits

Building Permits

A Building Permit is your formal permission to start construction, demolition or renovation on your property.  Before renovations, the municipality’s staff must review your plans to ensure compliance with the Building Code, local Zoning By-laws, and other applicable regulations. 

Building Permits regulate various types of building construction that are allowed in the community and ensure that they meet all building standards. The building permit process protects both the owner's interests and those of the community at large. Failure to obtain proper Building Permits can result in costly construction delays, legal action and/or the removal of work already completed. 

In many cases, your designer or contractor will get permits on your behalf. Remember, as the building owner, you are ultimately responsible for complying with all building requirements.

When do I need a Building Permit?

  •  New Building (residential, commercial, industrial and institutional)
  •  Building alterations and renovations (almost always, including decks)
  •  Pools (deeper than 18 inches)
  •  Fences
  •  Signs (all signs require a permit)
  •  Septic Systems (new and modified)
  • Change in use of a building
  • Second dwelling units
  • Conversion of a garage to living space
  • Relocation of an existing structure
  • New, replacement or repair of septic systems
  • Basement and main floor walkouts
  • New or structural alterations to windows, doors or roofs
  • Retaining walls exceeding 1 m,
  • New gas or wood burning fireplace
  • Floor layouts for commercial/industrial units
  • New fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, suppression systems for hoods
  • Signs as per OBC
  • Tents as per OBC
  • Spray booths
  • Installation of magnetic locking devices
  • Satellite dishes attached to a building
  • Communication towers
  • Pedestrian bridges appurtenant to buildings
  • Crane runways
  • Exterior storage tanks and its supporting structures

Applying for a Building Permit: Essa Township

All Building Permit Applications are brought in to the front counter on the lower level of the Administration Building. 

(1)  All permits applications will be reviewed for the completeness of their content at the counter.  If the permit is not complete, it will be handed back to the applicant and they will be requested to bring in the outstanding material.  **Please note that planning approval must be obtained prior to a permit being deemed a complete application; the permit may be taken in but a notice of incomplete will be given at the counter for the missing planning approval.  The Planning Department will receive the permit and the applicant will be notified by the Planning Department if anymore information is required.

(2)  When the permit is accepted at the counter, it will be given to a zoning administrator who will check for compliance with the zoning by-law.   

(3)  After it has been given approval from zoning, the application proceeds to plans review to ensure the requirements of the Ontario Building Code are met.  Should the examiners at that time discover outstanding items, they will fax, mail or e-mail a "Notice of Incomplete" application form to the applicant listing all the items that are outstanding.  The permit will be placed into a holding file awaiting the additional submissions.  

(4)  If the permit application appears to comply with the regulations, it is handed to the Chief Building Official who will review prior to approval for issuance of the permit.  The permit applicant is informed by phone that the permit is ready for pickup and the cost of the permit.  The permit may be picked up on payment of the fees between the hours of 8:30 to 4:30, Monday to Friday.

Fees for Building Permits: Essa Township

For the fees associated with necessary building permits in Essa Township Click Here for Building Permit Fees


For more information you can phone the Essa Township directly at 705-424-9770 or you can phone 705-424-0770 to speak with a HomeLife Emerald Realty Ltd. Agent who will be happy to provide you with more information about building permits.

Bill Forsyth
Sales Representative/Owner

Jenna Forsyth
Broker of Record/Owner