The Building Division is responsible for building permits and enforcement of the Building Code Act. To apply for a permit you can submit the completed permit application and all required information to the Building Department in City Hall.

Building Permits

The Building Department is responsible for issuing building permits in accordance with the Ontario Building Code Act, the Building By-law and other applicable regulations. You can find a more detailed list of projects that require a building permit on the building permit page. When a permit is required for a project, no construction can begin until a building permit has been issued and picked up.

Interested in learning more about building permits, why they're important and how they ensure safety? Check out this great article by Mike Holmes published in the National Post. 

The Building Department is responsible for, but not limited to:

 New Construction Permits
To apply for a permit you can submit the completed permit application and all required information to the Building Department in City Hall. It is recommended that you speak to the Building Department prior to submitting an application to ensure that all the required information is submitted. Incomplete permit applications and missing information may cause a delay in a permit being issued.  Please visit our Building Permits Page for more details.

No construction can begin until a building permit has been issued and picked up. Before starting a project be sure to contact Ontario One Call.

 Demolition Permits
 A permit is required to demolish any structures that exceed 108 square feet (10 meters squared). To apply for a permit you can submit the completed permit application and all required information to the Building Department in City Hall.

Permit requirements

You will have to apply for a demolition permit to demolish a structure beyond 10sq.m (108sq.ft.). The following information needs to be submitted when applying for a demolition permit:

Fees

A non-refundable fee is due upon applying for a building permit. The fees to obtain a permit can be found in ‘Schedule X'.

Deposit

A building deposit will apply to all demolition permits. The deposit amount is available in ‘Schedule X'. The deposit may be returned after the project has passed final inspection, and no damages have occurred to City property.

Inspections

After a building permit has been issued, inspections must be conducted at various stages of construction by the Building Department. The owner is responsible for ensuring the inspections are booked. A minimum of two (2) days noticed is required to book a building inspection. The inspections will ensure the requirements set out in the Ontario Building Code, the Building By-law and other applicable regulations are met. Please refer to your permit package for instructions on what inspections are required for your project. To avoid common project deficiencies found on inspections, please read this brief handout

 Change of Use Permit
Different building uses have different code requirements. If you want to change the way you use all or part of your building you may need a change of use permit. The proposed change of use may have to be reviewed to ensure that the existing building can support the proposed change. Even if no construction or additions to the building are planned, updating one or more of the following features may require a change of use permit:
  • Fire safety (removing or changing wall fire separations, exits, exit signs and emergency lighting, and fire alarm systems)
  • Door hardware
  • Washrooms and fixtures
  • HVAC system (ventilation)

It is recommended that the applicant check with the Planning Division to ensure that the proposed change in use complies with the City of Port Colborne Zoning By-law.

Permit application

The applicant must obtain a designer licensed in the Province of Ontario to review the existing building and prepare the plans (i.e. Architect, Engineer or Qualified Designer).

Two (2) copies of the following information is required to submit for a change of use permit:

  • Permit Application
  • Letter of use (includes the building's current use in detail, occupant loads, number of employees, and anything that might affect the design of the space).
  • Site Plan
  • Architectural plans (floor plans with dimensions, building sections, Fire separations)
  • Part 10 Building Matrix as applicable.
 Pool Permits
A permit is required to install a swimming pool. The pool guide is intended to assist residents in understanding the requirements for a pool permit application which includes all required safety features and protection from unauthorized entry. 

Permit requirements

Below is the information required to apply for a pool only permit. Two (2) copies of all drawings are required to apply for a permit.

Any structures that exceeds 108 square feet (10 meters squared) as well as decks beyond 23-5/8” (500mm) in height from grade require a separate building permit.

Fees

The non-refundable application fee is required to be paid upon receiving the application. This and other fees applicable to building permits can be found in ‘Schedule X' of the Rates and Fees By-law.

Deposit

A building deposit will apply to all inground and above-ground pools. The deposit amount can be found in ‘Schedule X'. The deposit may be returned after the project has passed final inspection, and no damaged has occurred to City property.

Inspections

After a pool permit has been issued, an inspection prior to filling the pool with water will be required. The inspection will ensure that all safety measures are in place as per the submitted site plan, the requirements set out in the swimming pool By-law and the pool guide.

 Accessory Structure Permits

A permit is required to build an accessory structure. The accessory structure guide is available to assist residents with the requirements to apply for a permit. To apply for a permit you can submit the completed permit application and all required information to the Building Department in City Hall.

Accessory structures include decks, sheds, garages, roof structures, and other buildings identified as accessory structures by the Ontario Building Code. 

Permit requirements

Below is the information required to apply for a permit. Two (2) copies of all drawings are required in order to apply.

Fees

The non-refundable application fee is required to be paid upon receiving the application. This and other fees applicable to building permits can be found in ‘Schedule X' of the Rates and Fees By-law.

Deposit

A building deposit will apply to all permits for an accessory structure. The deposit amount can be found in ‘Schedule X'. The deposit may be returned after the project has passed final inspection and no damaged has occurred to City property.

Inspections

After a building permit has been issued, inspections need to be conducted at various stages of construction. The owner is responsible for ensuring the inspections are booked. A minimum of two (2) days noticed is required to book a building inspection. The inspections will ensure the requirements set out in the Ontario Building Code, the Building By-law and other applicable regulations are met. Please refer to your permit package for instructions on what inspections are required for your project. To avoid common project deficiencies found on inspections, please read this brief handout

 Deck Permits
 A permit is required to build a deck, that exceeds 23 5/8” (600mm) in height from the ground, or is a covered deck. The deck guide is available to assist residents to view the requirements to apply for a permit. To apply for a permit you can submit the completed permit application and all required information to the Building Department in City Hall

Permit requirements

Below is the information required to submit for a permit. Two (2) copies of all drawings is required to submit for a permit.

Fees

The non-refundable application fee is required to be paid upon receiving the application. This and other fees applicable to building permits can be found in ‘Schedule X' of the Rates and Fees By-law.

Deposit

A building deposit will apply to all permits for a deck. The deposit amount can be found in ‘Schedule X'. The deposit may be returned after the project has passed final inspection, and no damage has occurred to City property.

Inspections

After a building permit has been issued, inspections must be completed at various stages of construction. The owner is responsible for ensuring the inspections are booked. A minimum of two (2) days noticed is require to book a building inspection. The inspections will ensure the requirements set out in the Ontario Building Code, the Building By-law and other applicable regulations are met. Please refer to your permit package for instructions on what inspections are required for your project. To avoid common project deficiencies found on inspections, please read this brief handout

 

Tent Permits

Permit Requirements

Below is the information required to submit for a permit. Two (2) copies of all drawing are required to be submitted for a permit.

  • Completed application form
  • Site plan illustrating property lines, other buildings, proposed location of the tent(s), sanitary facility location and capacity, drawn to scale with dimensions
  • Confirmations for fire fighting access
  • Documentation confirming sufficiency of compliance with frame resistance
  • Interior tent layout, illustrating the location of tables, exits, seating number, aisle widths, etc.
  • Exit signs above exit doors
  • Fire extinguishers required next to exit doors
  • Any required approvals or permissions from other agencies (i.e Niagara Regional Planning and Development Services, NPCA, etc.)

A Tent Permit is required when:

  • The aggregate ground area for a tent or a group of tents exceeds 60 m2
  • A tent or a group of tents are to be attached to a building.
  • A tent or group of tents that are assembled closer than 3.0 metres to property lines, other buildings and to combustible material or vegetation.

A building (tent) permit is not required when the tent or group of tents measure less that 60 m2 in aggregate ground area, provided that the tent(s) are not attached to a building and are erected more than 3 metres from other structures.

Rules & Regulations for Tents

  • Must provide fire fighting access to a tent or group of tents.
  • The support frame structure and anchorage system must be designed and reviewed by a Professional Engineer (P. Eng.) for tents larger than 225 m2 once erected.
  • Fabrics for tents must meet specific standards for flame resistance.
  • Sufficient sanitary facilities must be available for the duration that the tent is erected.

A Professional Engineer is required when: 

  • Tents exceed 225m­­2 ­in ground area
  • Tents exceed 225m2­­­ in aggregate ground area and are closer that 3m apart
  • Containing bleachers
  • Tents that are enclosed with sidewalls

Other Approvals

For tents that exceed 30m2, the applicant will be required to consult with the City of Port Colborne’s Fire Department prior to submission of the building permit, to ensure compliance with the Ontario Fire Code’s requirements.

The applicant will also require approval from the City of Port Colborne’s Planning Department. Permits and approvals may also be required from other agencies such as the NPCA, the Ministry of Transportation, and the Niagara Region, etc.

 Sign Permits

 

A permit is required to install many types of signs within the City of Port Colborne. You can view the Sign By-Law for specific requirements for a particular sign, and for signs exempt from requiring a permit. To apply for a permit you can submit the completed permit application and all required information to the Building Department at City Hall.

Permit requirements

Below is the information required to submit for a permit. Two (2) copies of all drawings is required to submit for a permit.

Fees

The non-refundable application fee is required to be paid upon receiving the application. This and other fees applicable to building permits can be found in ‘Schedule X' of the Rates and Fees By-law.

Deposit

A building deposit will apply to all permits for a sign. The deposit amount is available in ‘Schedule X'. The deposit may be returned after the project has passed final inspection, and no damaged has occurred to City property.

Inspections

After a building permit has been issued, inspections must be completed at various stages of construction. The owner is responsible for ensuring the inspections are booked. A minimum of two (2) days noticed is require to book a building inspection. The inspections will ensure the requirements set out in the Ontario Building Code, the Sign By-Law and other applicable regulations are met. Please refer to your permit package for instructions on what inspections are required for your project, and when to book each inspection. To avoid common project deficiencies found on inspections, please read this brief handout

 Building without a Permit
Anyone who starts construction without a permit may be subject to penalties and additional fees. Anyone who is charged and found guilty of building without a permit can be fined up to $50,000 for a first offence and up to $100,000 for repeated offences. Fines are even higher for corporations. Fines may also be levied if you don't follow an order from the building department.

Ontario Building Code

The Building Code Act, 1992 is the legislative framework for the construction, renovation and change-of-use of a building. The Ontario Building Code is a regulation under the Act that creates detailed standards for construction and the administration of building permits.

The purposes of the Ontario Building Code is to promote, health and safety, fire protection, resource conservation, environmental integrity and accessibility through appropriate standards.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is responsible for the development of, and any changes to the Building Code Act and the Code.