Business >> Building Permits & Inspections

Building Permit Information

HOUSEAccording to Section 8 of the Building Code Act 1992, of Ontario, a building means a:

  • a structure occupying an area greater than 10 square metres 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;
  • a structure occupying an area of 10 square metres or less that contains plumbing, including the plumbing appurtenant thereto,
  • plumbing not located in a structure
  • a sewage or septic system;
  • structures designated in the Building Code

What is a Building Permit & when is a Building Permit required?

A building permit is a license, which grants legal permission to start construction of a building project and are required for the following:

  • New buildings, temporary buildings, additions, renovations;
  • Demolitions;
  • Prefabricated structures, mobile homes;
  • Plumbing and/or septic systems;
  • HVAC Systems (heating, ventilating & air-conditioning);
  • Miscellaneous residential (fireplaces, pools, decks, etc.).

Why bother with a building permit?

Building permits provide the means for Building Officials to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the building's occupants. The Building Code Act 1992, which is enforced by the Town, specfically 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 therefor by the Chief Building Official". 

The Ontario Building Code (OBC), the Town’s Zoning By-law, and other by-laws and statutes regulate the various aspects of construction.

The permit process, step by step...

1. Contact the Town of Fort Erie's Building Department.

Make it a point to see a Building Official regarding the project that you are going to undertake. The Building Official will ask a number of questions, such as but no limited to, what you are planning to do and where you are planning to do it.  Then he or she will explain the requirements regarding your project.

An application for a Building Permit, along with other related information will be given to you at that time.

This initial contact will provide the resources and information you will need to make your project a success and avoid potential problems, which could cost you time and money.

2. Submit Building Permit application & associated drawings

The permit application is requred to be fully completed.  You will be asked to document who will perform the work, what work will be done, where the work will be done, when the work will be done and how the work will be done.

    The Town's Building Department will require:

  • Two (2) sets of construction drawings, showing all proposed construction including all associated details (Designer or Architect);
  • A Professional Engineer’s stamp may be required for the new foundation works, including all associated details (Professional Engineer);
  • An Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Report;
  • A complete set of Roof Truss drawings for the proposal, if the roof structure involves pre-engineered roof trusses (Truss Manufacture);
  • A plot plan identifying all setback distances from property lines to the proposed and existing dwelling as well as the sizes in square metres (Designer or Architect); 
  • An Elevation Plan for all buildings subject to the construction including details (Designer or Architect);
  • A Lot Grading Plan (Ontario Land Surveyor);
  • All plans submitted must be appropriately scaled;
  • Any necessary approvals or permissions from outside agencies (i.e. Niagara Regional Planning and Development Services Department, Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA)).

Note: The requirements noted above are generally needed for the construction of a single detached dwelling.  Depending upon the scale and type of proposal the requirements may vary.

Once the plans are approved & stamped, one set will remain on file and the other set will be returned (to be kept on site during the construction process).

3. Wait during the review process

The majority of permit applications are processed with little delay. The Building Official will determine if your project is in compliance with the OBC, the Town’s by-laws, provincial regulations and other applicable agencies.

4. Receive results of the review process

A. If compliance with the OBC, zoning, and other applicable regulations is determined, the application is approved and a permit is issued.

B. If compliance is not determined, your application as submitted will be denied. If you are refused a building permit, the building department will advise you on the necessary corrections, so you may re-apply.

5. Obtain Building Permit

The building permit is the document granting legal permission to start construction. You must proceed as approved in the review process. The permit fee helps defray the cost of the Building Officials’ time spent on the application, review, and on-site inspection process.

The fee also gives you access to the Building Officials’ knowledge and experience when and if you have any questions about your construction project. Additional fees for services such as water and sewer connections, development charges, site plan control, and municipal protection deposits may be required. Inspections required for your project will be indicated on the permit.

The building permit must be posted in a window or other prominent place at the construction site. A copy of the stamped construction plans must also be kept on site. Any proposed changes must be brought to the attention of the Building Official immediately. Changes may require a review and approval in the same manner as the original application.

6. Schedule required inspections

Each major phase of construction must be inspected by the Building Official to ensure that the work conforms to the approved plans. A list of the required inspections accompanies each Building Permit.

The person responsible for the construction project must request each inspection. Normally, 24 to 48 hours advance notice are required.

If a Building Official finds that some of the work does not conform to the approved plans, he or she will advise (and possibly provide written notice) that the situation be remedied. If the violation is serious, a stop work order may be posted until the problem is resolved. Another inspection may be required before the work is resumed.

In order to assist the Building Permit process, the following sample drawings have been provided below.  These sample drawings outline the level of detail required and are strictly intended to be used as examples for Building Permit submission.

Accessory Building/Structures


Pool - Above Ground - Fenced Enclosure

Pool- Above Ground

Pool - In Ground



Please be aware that the following By-laws will influence development proposals.  Therefore, please review each By-law as it pertains to each parcel.  Should you have acquire additional information or further questions, please contact the Planning and Development Department - Building Divsion at 905-871-1600 Ext. 5510.

Building By-law No. 80-2014

Swimming Pool By-law No. 149-08

Fence By-law No. 2013-070

Sign By-law No. 119-2017

Water Works By-law No. 66-2016