Projects Not Requiring Building Permits in Ottawa


From the City of Ottawa website on 2020.March.10  You may also want to visit the more detailed Do I need a building permit? page on that site.

Some projects are exempted from having to obtain a building permit.  However, your project must still comply with the Ontario Building Code and any applicable law, such as the Zoning By-law.

A detached accessory structure (gazebo, tool shed, etc.) that measures less than 10 square metres (approx.108 square feet) does not require a building permit.

Designated Heritage Buildings or buildings located within a Heritage District Overlay are not subject to exemptions and require that you contact a Building Client Service Centre representative for specific information.

The following is a list of projects that are exempt from having to obtain a permit:

  • Installing asphalt shingles on a roof
  • Damp proofing of existing basements
  • Replacing doors or windows (provided they are in the same size opening)
  • Replacing kitchen or bathroom cabinets (provided plumbing fixtures remain in same location)
  • New flooring
  • Installation of air conditioning units or heat pumps
  • Replacing an existing hot water tank
  • Fences (not enclosing a pool – see Pool Enclosure By-law 2013-39)
  • Pool heaters
  • Painting and decorating
  • Landscaping
  • Deck less than 24 inches above grade, except main entrance

If you are unsure that the scope of your project does not require a building permit please contact Building Code Client Service Centre or 3-1-1 for more information. You can also e-mail



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