November 5, 2020 /

Here are some helpful responses when navigating the permit process.

Remember that regulations are subject to changes all the time so please be sure to validate the information that applies to your situation.

My renovation was completed years ago without permit(s) do I need a permit?

Yes, you need a permit for any project that triggers a development permit or building permit even if it has been done years ago. The need to apply for a retroactive permit can be triggered by the sale of your home where the buyer has the right to ask to see permits for all improvements completed. Buyers are less inclined to purchase a property that has improvements completed without permits.

My renovation was completed years ago without permits do I have grandfather rights?

No, not in Canada. You only have grandfather rights if you have obtained a permit when the improvements were completed. The City can take action at any point no matter how many years ago the improvements were done and request that a permit be applied for.

Can I obtain a permit after the fact?

Yes you can. Keep in mind that the your improvements will have to meet today’s building code and zoning regulations. Even if the renovation was completed properly at the time, you will need to meet today’s rules.
You may be required to make upgrades to your project to be able to obtain a permit and pass an inspection.

My contractor knows how to build to code, do I still need a building permit?

Yes you do. The building permit and development permit process is a validation. It is no different then your annual income tax which needs to be filed even if they are accurate.

Do I need a permit for maintenance or repair?

Maybe. Depending on the extend of the maintenance it may trigger the need to apply for a permit. Each case is a bit different but generally if you need to remove more then 50% of a structure, you will need to apply for a permit. Make sure you have clear advice before you invest in maintenance or repair.