Building Permits

The City of Windsor's mandate is to ensure a safe, clean, healthy, functioning community, which secures the well being of its residents. And that philosophy extends to the very buildings we inhabit. By enforcing building codes and assisting builders we ensure that the structures they create are safe not only for today, but for many years to come.

Not certain if you need a permit?

Refer to our Frequently Asked Questions below, or contact the Planning & Building Department at 519-255-6267 with details of the work you're planning. Our staff will be able to assist you in making that determination.

Permit Inquiries

If you require detailed information, please contact a customer service representative in the Planning & Building Department at 519-255-6267 or email buildingdept@citywindsor.ca.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 
What is a building permit?
  • A building permit is a licence.
  • It grants legal permission to start construction of a building project.
  • It gives building officials the means to enforce the requirements of various standards.
 
Why is a building permit required?
 
  • To ensure that construction within our municipality meets with standards set out in the Ontario Building Code
  • To ensure that zoning requirements, fire and structural safety standards and other building standards are met

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Who Should Apply? 

  • The homeowner.
  • You may authorize your contractor or designer to apply for the permit.
  • The owner should ensure that they have the permit prior to any work starting.

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When is a building permit required?

  • For new construction, additions, alterations, renovations, relocations and repairs
  • For the rehabilitation of a building or structure
  • Not required for some minor repairs

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What projects require a building permit?

The construction or alteration of any of the following: 

  • Decks
  • New fireplace
  • Completion of roughed-in fireplaces
  • Porches
  • Sunrooms
  • Solariums
  • Carports
  • Attached or detached garages
  • Dormers
  • One or two story additions
  • Furnace replacements to a greater efficiency
  • Plumbing and/or drains
  • Major duct work changes
  • New or structural alterations to windows to doors
  • Adding or removing most walls
  • Basement or main floor walkouts
  • Swimming pools
  • Freestanding structure over 10 square metres (108 square feet) in area
  • Sprinkler systems
  • Solar panels
  • Relining of the private sewer connection

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What projects do not require a building permit?

The following is a list of projects that do not require a permit: 

  • Fences (other than masonry, concrete, etc.)
  • Air conditioning units or heat pumps added to existing systems
  • Pool heaters
  • Painting and decorating
  • Landscaping
  • Asphalt roof shingling (non-structural)
  • Eaves troughs
  • Minor repairs to masonry
  • Kitchen or bathroom cupboards without plumbing
  • Freestanding satellite dishes
  • A detached accessory structure, which measures less than 10 square metres (108 square feet) in area. (An accessory structure is any building or structure other than the house.)
  • Solar panels - free standing

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What can result from not obtaining a building permit?

If the work does not comply with Ontario Building Code requirements: 

  • Costly repairs may be required to gain compliance.
  • Removal of work done not in compliance will be required.
  • The building permit application fee may be increased.
  • Legal action may be initiated by the Planning & Building Department to gain compliance.

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What is required to apply for a permit?

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How long is the permit valid before revocation?

  • Construction or demolition must start within six months of issuance of the permit. Failure to do so could result in the revocation of the permit.
  • Construction or demolition must not be substantially suspended or discontinued for more than one year. Suspension or discontinuation could result in the revocation of the permit.

Note: Certification by a professional engineer is required for certain prefabricated structures or construction components. Contact the Planning & Building Department to confirm at 519-255-6267 or buildingdept@citywindsor.ca.

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Where do I apply for a building permit?

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When do I need a building inspection?

  • Several inspections are required during construction to ensure that all work is done according to the approved plans.

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What is the zoning of my property?

  • Zoning designations can be found by using "E-Services" located in the drop down menu at the top of this page. Click on the Property Query button to access the next screen, which will allow you look up properties by municipal address.
  • If you know the location of the property within the city, you can also use the zoning maps to confirm the designated zoning.
  • To view the provisions of each zoning, you can view the Zoning By-law.
  • For more detailed zoning information, you will need to contact the Planning Department at 519-255-6543.

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When will construction commence? 

  • Construction will start for a commercial or industrial project once site plan approval has been granted and a building permit has been issued.

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What is required to obtain a building permit to demolish a building?

  • ​Demolition permits are required for all buildings greater than 10 square metres (108 square feet), with the exception of farm buildings. The Building Code Act requires a building permit to be obtained prior to the start of the demolition of a building.
  • Approval from various City of Windsor departments or other agencies may be required prior to demolition permit issuance.
  • As per the Ontario Building Code, Division C, Part 1, Section 1.2.2.3 (1), depending on the method of demolition and/or building type, a professional engineer may be required to undertake the general review of the project during demolition.
  • Please contact the Planning & Building Department for more specific information on your project at 519-255-6267 or buildingdept@citywindsor.ca.

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Planning & Building Department
Building Division
350 City Hall Square West, 2nd Floor, Suite 210
Windsor, Ontario
Canada
P.O. Box 1607
N9A 6S1

For general information, call 311.
For detailed inquires, call 519-255-6267.
Email: buildingdept@citywindsor.ca