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Building Accessory Building

Accessory Buildings/Structures

When is a Building Permit required?


Section 8 of the Building Code Act states that "No person shall construct or demolish a building or cause a building to be constructed or demolished unless a permit has been issued therefore by the Chief Building Official.”


Prior to submission of a Building Permit application, please consult with the Building Services Department @ 905-871-1600 Ext. 5510.


According to the Building Code Act, “building” means:


(a) a structure occupying an area greater than 10.0 square metres (108.00 square feet) consisting of a wall, roof and floor or any of them or a structural system serving the function thereof including all plumbing, works, fixtures and service systems appurtenant thereto,

(b) a structure occupying an area of 10.00 square metres or less that contains plumbing, 

(c) plumbing not located in a structure, (a sewage system) or

(d) structures designated in the Building Code.


Revisions to the Ontario Building Code in Spring of 2022 made changes to Article of Division C, by adding the following sentence:

A shed is exempt from the requirement to obtain a permit under Section 8 of the Act and is exempt from compliance with the Code, provided that the shed,

(a) is not more than 15 square metres in gross area,

(b) is not more than one storey in building height,

(c) is not attached to a building or any other structure,

(d) is used only for storage purposes ancillary to a principal building on the lot, and 

(e) does not have plumbing. 

Rules & Regulations for Accessory Buildings/Structures

Accessory Buildings/Structures are required to be: 

  • Located either 'in-line' with or 'behind' the front face of the dwelling;
  • Setback a distance of 1.0 metre (3'-3") from the rear and side property lines;
  • Located no closer to any exterior street than the setback required in the applicable zone;
  • Located no closer than 6.0 metres (19'-7") to the exterior side property lot line when a detached garage or carport faces an exterior side property lot line;
  • A size that does not exceed more than 10.0% of the lot area;
  • No more than 4.5 metres (14'-9") in height - measured from peak to finished grade.

What is required for a Building Permit submission?

The Town will require the following information submitted digitally in pdf to 

  • A site plan identifying the size & location of the proposed building/structure & the setback distances to all property lines (Metric or Imperial);
  • The size & location of the existing buildings & structures;
  • A copy of the construction drawings including foundation & wall details;
  • Elevation plans for the building subject to the construction including all connection details;
  • A lot grading plan, identifying the existing & proposed grades surrounding the building & the proposed finished floor grade;
  • A complete set of roof truss drawings for the building, if the roof structure involves pre-engineered roof trusses;
  • All plans submitted must be appropriately scaled;
  • Any necessary approvals and/or permissions from other agencies (i.e. Niagara Regional Planning and Development Services, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA), the Town's Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) etc.).

In order to complete the drawings to the satisfaction of the OBC & the Town of Fort Erie's Building Services Department, it may be beneficial that you seek the assistance of a professional (i.e. Building Designer or Architect).  Their familiarity with the OBC requirements, drawing detail & design will prove useful.


Please refer to the sample drawing and ensure that the drawings proposed for submission match or exceed the level of detail.  Please note that the sample drawing is strictly intended to be used as an example only.


Required 2023 Permit Fees: 

  • Accessory Buildings:                                                $0.44 per sq.ft
  • Municipal Protection Deposit:                               $500.00
  • Lot Grading Deposit:                                                $2,500.00



The information provided is intended to assist & guide the Building Permit process.  Regulations & fees are subject to change, therefore, please contact and consult the Building Department Staff.

The Municipal Protection Deposit is required to ensure that the road allowances, boulevards, curbs, sidewalks, culverts etc., are kept clean & not damaged during construction & installation.

The Lot Grading Deposit is required to ensure that the proposed grade elevations fully comply with the proposed grade elevations.

Once the project has passed the final inspection & final lot grading, the Municipal Deposits are returned.


How to obtain a Building Permit application?

Permit Applications can be obtained:

  • Online at;
  • At Town Hall, 1 Municipal Centre Drive, Building Services Department - Second Floor


For further information with the Accessory Building Permit process, please review the following video.



Information Current to January 2023