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The Building Department is responsible for enforcement of the Ontario Building Code to ensure that standards for construction and plumbing are consistent throughout the province of Ontario. Staff are a wealth of knowledge and are happy to discuss your project, big or small, in advance to help guide you through the process.
The issuance of building permits for all building, plumbing, and demolition projects are the responsibility of the Chief Building Official.
Building Permit Applications
A building permit is your formal permission to begin construction. It means that plans for any new structure, addition or renovation have been approved by the municipality, and that they comply with the Ontario Building Code, the local zoning bylaw and any other applicable laws and regulations.
The City of Brockville now processes all building permit applications through a cloud based e-permitting software called Cloudpermit.
When do I need a Building Permit?
Through the use of building permits, a municipality can regulate the types of construction in the community and ensure that proper building standards are met. The building permit process protects the individual’s interests as well as those of the community at large, and provides for the erection of safe and sound structures, in accordance with the Building Code.
When considering any kind of construction on your property, it is a good idea to discuss your plans with the local building staff first. They can advise you about any other permits or approvals you might need, such as demolition permits, minor variances and electrical permits.
If you are not sure whether you need a permit or not, please contact our building department and we would be happy to answer your questions.
What is required before Demolition?
Before you demolish any building in part or whole, you are required by the Building Code to apply for a demolition permit through the building official. The process for obtaining one is similar to that for a building permit. In some cases, you must hire a professional engineer to oversee the demolition.
Heritage buildings intended for designation or formally designated as having historic or architectural significance under the Ontario Heritage Act are subject to certain conditions:
- Building intended for designation cannot be demolished without local council approval.
- Designation does not permanently prohibit demolition, but requires a permit to be obtained to demolish a building on a designated property. If the council refuses such a permit, no demolition may take place for 180 days. This is to allow an opportunity to negotiate with the owner to somehow preserve the distinctive character of the building.
How do I apply for a Building Permit?
The City of Brockville now uses a cloud-based e-permitting software called Cloudpermit to process all Building Permit Applications. This system digitizes the building permit process and will eventually help us go completely paperless. The software streamlines the application process and makes it easier for the applicant to track the status of their permit, request an inspection, and more.
Along with your application, you will be required to submit sketches, building drawings, plans and other documents to the municipality for processing. An application fee and applicable charges for such services as water connections and surveys may apply. An application is not considered complete until payment has been received.
Most applications are processed quite quickly, and in applying for a permit, access to the municipal Building Official’s advice and years of experience is available.
For interior work, a floor plan and a cross-section drawing will usually be required. For work affecting the exterior, you’ll be asked to supply a floor plan, a cross-section, a site plan and elevations. These should be made to scale, showing all dimensions.
For buildings over three stories or more than 600m2, an architect or engineer will be needed to design your building and prepare drawings and plans.
To check the exact requirements of the permit application, contact the Building Department.
If your property is covered by a local site plan control by-law, a building permit will not be issued until you have fulfilled all of the site plan requirements laid out by the municipality. For detailed information about site plan approval, contact the Planning Department.
Building Permit Application Process
Applications that involve simple alterations or additions can usually be dealt with fairly quickly, while more complex proposals naturally take longer to process. If a zoning change or minor variance is necessary, or if building plans must be altered to comply with the Building Code, the changes must be approved and in place before a building permit can be issued.
The following represents a summarized version of the building permit process:
- Before Applying: Before submitting an application, consult with municipal building officials.
- The Application: Register for an account with Cloudpermit. Apply for a building permit through Cloudpermit and attach required supporting documentation for our local Building Official, along with fee.
- Consideration: Application is reviewed for completeness and against local zoning bylaws, the Building Code and other legislation. Your application will be sent to other City Departments for review and comment.
- Decision: Application may be approved or refused. Where there are problems with your proposal, local building officials will usually discuss them with you in detail before considering refusal of a permit. When your application is approved, you will receive a checklist of when to call for inspections based on your project.
- Inspections During Construction: Building inspector checks major phases of construction through to completion.
- Construction Completed.
What if I am refused a Building Permit?
If you are refused a building permit, local building officials will advise you of the reasons. If you have discussed the matter with them beforehand and have not been able to resolve the problems, you can follow one of several options:
- If the problem has to do with the interpretation of the technical requirements of the Building Code, you may appeal the application to the Building Code Commission (care of the Ministry of Housing, Buildings Branch). Reasons for the appeal must be given.
- If problems involve materials and construction techniques, you may appeal to the Building Materials Evaluation Commission by writing to the Secretary of the Commission (care of the Ministry of Housing, Buildings Branch). Reasons for the appeal must be given.
- If the problem arises out of the interpretation of the zoning bylaw, you may apply to a District Judge, who will review the zoning and decide if a building permit should be issued. (In this case, you will want to consult a lawyer).
What are my obligations during construction?
Your Building Permit will be issued with a list of inspections that are required under the Building Code. These inspections are carried out by our Building Inspectors, who check each major phase of your construction and ensure that the work is being carried out according to:
- The Building Code
- Your Permit
- Your Approved building plans
The inspector must be able to see the part of the construction to be inspected, and usually needs 24 to 48 hours advance notice.
If the inspector finds that some work does not conform to the approved plans, they will let you know, and you may be sent a notice asking that the situation be remedied. Another inspection may be required before you resume work. If work continues without resolving the problem, you can be subject to legal action.
In addition to cooperating with any inspections, you are also required to:
- Post your building permit in a window or other prominent place on site.
- Keep a copy of your building plan on site.
- Bring any proposed changes to the attention of the Building Official as soon as possible. These changes will require approval in the same manner as the original building plans.
Economic & Development Services
Director of Economic and Development Services
613-342-8772 Ext: 4445
Chief Building Official
613-342-8772 Ext: 4447
613-342-8772 Ext: 4463
Administrative Coordinator, Planning/Building
613-342-8772 Ext: 4463