A permit is required to erect a tent 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.
  • Tents are constructed closer than 3.0 metres to property lines, to 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 that 3.0 metres from other structures.

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 non-refundable application fee is required to be submitted with the permit application. This and other building permit fees can be found in Schedule X of the Rates and Fees By-law. 

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; and
  • 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 (Tent) 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.