Dufferin County’s Building Division is proud to process all permit applications online through the CityView Portal.
We are dedicated to ensuring you have all the information required to make the process as smooth as possible. Before applying:
1. Register for a Portal account here.
2. Ensure you have all required documents together to make a complete application package. Scroll through our website below - we have checklists, help documents, fee information, and more available!
3. Have questions or would like to set up a meeting with someone on our team? We can be reached Monday to Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm at 519-941-2816 ext 2700 or via email at email@example.com
2023 Building Permit Fees Review
Dufferin County has conducted a review and update of its building permit fees.
Dufferin County provides building services for Amaranth, East Garafraxa, Grand Valley, Melancthon, Mono, Mulmur, and Shelburne.
If you are constructing or demolishing in the Town of Orangeville, please visit their website. For zoning information, please reach out to your local Town/Township. Click here for contact information.
Building permits are not required for detached structures that are less than 10m², unless there is plumbing. Even if your project does not require a building permit, zoning approval from your local Town/Township is still required. Please contact them directly.
Dufferin County's Building Division launched an e-permitting platform! Visit the Portal to sign up and apply for your permit.
Property Records & Severances
Requesting Property Information
You can obtain property information by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a detailed description of the information you are requesting as well as your property information (including civic address, assessment roll number, legal description, names on title, etc.)
A few things to keep in mind:
- The Ontario Building Code came into effect in 1975 and Dufferin County Building Services took over septic records from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health in 1997. We may not have any records if your home is older than either of those dates but we will still be happy to check for you!
- For access to some records, you may need to file a Freedom of Information request. Our staff will advise you if this is the case.
- If you are looking for information regarding your well, please contact the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks at 1.888.396.9355 or visit their website
- If you are seeking a legal survey of your property, please contact the Land Registry Office at 519.941.4654
- If you have questions regarding severances, please reach out to your local Town/Township. Contact information can be found here
- Most information can be provided to the property owner free of charge, however there may be fees associated with our search and/or providing copies depending on the information requested.
Requests for information on a property that you do not own must be submitted in writing via mail or to email@example.com and accompanied by the appropriate fee.
The fee for a building record search is $100 per land parcel and the fee for a septic records search is $100 per land parcel. Dufferin County will respond to your request within 5 business days.
The fees can be paid online with either VISA or Mastercard here.
NOTE: We cannot process rush requests at this time.
If you are interested in severing a portion of your property, please contact your local Town or Township to inquire about their process.
Dufferin County supports the local municipalities by completing a lot suitability inspection that may be required as part of your severance agreement. Please fill out the application here and submit it to the County via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org along with a copy of your severance proposal from the Town/Township.
The fee for a lot suitability inspection is $225.00. Dufferin County will complete the inspection within 5 business days once all documents have been received along with the fee.
Orders are issued by Dufferin County as outlined in the Ontario Building Code Act to ensure that all buildings are constructed safely, to Code standards, and have inspections completed at each phase of construction.
Orders may also be registered in the proper land registry office or viewed by the public at Dufferin County Building Services.
Hurricane Clip Rebate Program
In partnership with the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, Dufferin County is offering a rebate incentive to property owners or builders in Amaranth, East Garafraxa, Grand Valley, Melancthon, Mono, Mulmur, and Shelburne who install hurricane clips during construction on all new buildings, additions, or renovations.
What is a building permit?
A building permit is a document issued under the Ontario Building Code Act by the Dufferin County building services division, on behalf of the following municipalities: Amaranth, East Garafraxa, Grand Valley, Melancthon, Mono, Mulmur, and Shelburne.
When is a building permit required?
The Building Code Act requires that a Building Permit be obtained for the construction of:
- Any structure occupying an area greater than 10 meters squared consisting of a wall, roof and floor or a structural system serving the function thereof including all plumbing, works, fixtures, and service systems.
- A structure occupying an area of 10 meters squared or less that contains plumbing.
- Plumbing not located in a structure.
- A sewage disposal system
- Structures designated in the building code.
Examples of projects requiring building permits are (but not limited to):
- Any detached building having a building area of more than 10 meters squared (108 square feet)
- Any addition to an existing building
- Any structural alterations – for example: add or remove a structural wall, add a new window or door; alter the size of an existing window or door, repair fire damage, or replace roof structure, etc.
- Detached or attached garages, carports, sheds or accessory buildings
- Decks, porches, sunrooms and solariums
- Creating an apartment or in-law suite
- Finishing a basement or adding a basement entrance
- Moving or raising an existing building
- Roof mounted solar panels
- Replacing or moving furnace and ductwork
- Completing a rough-in bathroom or washroom
- Adding or relocating a bathroom or washroom
- Installing or altering plumbing and/or drains
- Installing a solid fuel burning fireplace or wood stove
- Installing, altering or repairing an on-site sewage disposal system (septic system)
- Installing wall mounted signs, pylon signs or billboards
- Changing the use of a building
- Demolishing a building
When is a building permit NOT required?
To confirm that a Building Permit is not required for your specific project, always call your local municipality and the Dufferin County Building Services Division before starting any construction project.
The following is a list of work that does not require a building permit as they are deemed not to be an erection, installation, extension, material alteration or repair of a building, as referenced in the Building Code Act definition of Construct:
ALL BUILDING/PROPERTY TYPES:
- Detached structures not greater than 10 meters squared (108 square feet), that do not contain plumbing.
- A shed that is not more than 15m2.
- one storey
- Landscaping, except a retaining wall described in Division A, 220.127.116.11. of the Building Code.
- Installation of fences.
- Installation of trellis/pergola/shade roof structures that are at least 50% open and not able to carry snow load.
- Installation of prefabricated aboveground pool decks with integrated pool structure.
- Installation of temporary season structures that;
- Do not have a solid roof surface,
- Do not exceed 60m2 in building area, and
- Are in place for a period not exceeding six months in any 12 month period. (e.g. shelters, hoop-type structures, and vehicle enclosures which are typically covered in fabric, polyethylene or similar materials).
Note: Removal of covering material will be considered removal of structure. These types of structures, if permanent (in place for more than six months in any 12 month period) require a building permit if greater than 10m2.
- Installation of bleachers that;
- Exceed 10m2 in building area where the level of the highest footboard does not exceed 600mm above grade in all locations, or
- Do not exceed 10m2 in building area, regardless of the height above grade
- The following heating, ventilation, or air conditioning (HVAC) work;
- Installation of air condition units or heat pumps added to existing forced-air systems.
- Replacement of existing forced-air furnace or roof top HVAC unit with no ductwork alterations and having the same fuel source.
- The following plumbing work;
- Repair of storm sewers and sanitary sewers and on all properties, including relining of these sewers using trenchless technology.
- Replacement of existing plumbing fixtures and faucets.
- Replacement of existing hot water heaters and boilers.
- Installation or replacement of water softeners.
- Repair of interior storm drains and sanitary drains, including relining of these drains.
- Dampproofing and/or installation of weeping tiles for existing basements.
- Installation of power door operators that were not required at the time of construction of the building.
- Electrical work not involving emergency lighting, exit signage, a fire alarm system, or magnetic locks.
- Replace existing exit signage with no change to existing power supply.
Note: Permit required when the power supply is changing (e.g. converting from electric to photo luminescent, or vice versa).
- Replacement of roof shingles.
- Installation of eavestrough, soffit and fascia.
- Minor repairs to masonry.
- Replacement of kitchen or bathroom cupboards.
- Installation or replacement of grab bars.
- Adding insulation to an existing attic space.
- Replacement of existing flooring.
- Painting, wall coverings and cosmetic finishes.
- Free-standing signs less than 1.8m in height.
- Building signs less than 25kgs in weight.
- Satellite dishes and solar collectors that;
- Are not mounted on a building, or
- If mounted on a building, have a total aggregate face area of less than 5m2.
- Installation of play structures and tree houses.
- Installation of trailers and storage containers that are;
- Mobile homes and park model trailers less than 10m2 in building area and not contain plumbing.
- trailers less than 10m2 in building area where the general public is invited to enter (e.g. offices, washrooms).
- trailers installed on a construction site that are not accessible to the general public.
- prefabricated storage/cargo containers that have not been structurally modified with no foundation, power, plumbing or HVAC used for the storage of goods that are not accessible to the general public.
- trailers used for a midway, carnival or similar activity that are used for a maximum of 30 days per year.
- recreational travel trailers constructed to CSA standards and trailers regulated by another agency in respect to occupant safety (including TSSA).
- Replacement of existing windows or doors that are not fire rated and where there are no structural alterations within a building not more than three storeys in building height.
Note: if replacement of windows or doors is proposed in a scope of work in which a permit is required, the replacement of windows or doors shall be included in the permit.
SPECIFIC BUILDING/PROPERTY TYPES:
- Installation of decks (not attached to the house) or ramps serving a single dwelling with no roof structure and which are less than 600mm above grade in all locations
- Replacement of exterior siding on single detached and semi-detached dwellings with non-masonry siding, provided the wall is not less than 600mm from property lines.
- Repair of storm sewers, sanitary sewers and water services serving a single dwelling.
- Awnings (including retractable type) on residential properties.
Note: May need to be determined on case-by-case basis.
How long does it take to get a building permit?
Provided a complete application is submitted, your building permit should be issued in 10 business days. If additional information is required by the plans examiners, the application will be put on hold until all information is submitted.
Contact your local municipality to inquire about their timeframes for Municipal Approval.
Does the County collect Development Charges? How much are they?
What is required to get an occupancy permit for a dwelling?
In accordance with the Ontario Building Code, the following items must be substantially complete before the dwelling can be occupied:
- Cladding on all sides
- Assemblies requiring a fire-resistance rating
- Roofing, including flashing
- Doors and windows
- All required closures
- Kitchen sink must be installed and operational
- At least one bathroom must be complete and operational
- Floor drain in basement
AND, the following items must be complete and operational before the dwelling is occupied:
Electrical Supply and Lighting System
- Electrical supply must be provided
- Exterior lights at entrances with switches inside dwelling
- Stairways lit with 3-way switch at top and bottom of stairs
- Must be complete and operational
- HVAC installed and operational
- Exhaust fume barrier must be complete between an attached garage and the dwelling
- Self-closing man door from garage into the dwelling
- Weather stripping and caulking
Floor Access and Exits
- At least one exist must be complete and operational
- Stairs must be complete
- There must be a clear path from any point in the dwelling to a complete and operational exit
Handrails and Guards
- All mandatory handrails and guards must be complete and comply with the Ontario Building Code
- For decks or exterior stairs that will be completed at a later date, the affected doors must be blocked off with temporary guards
- Even temporary guards must comply with the Ontario Building Code
- Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
- Must meet the Ontario Building Code requirements, including a visual component (strobe)
- Must be installed in the mandatory locations
- Must be installed correctly and be fully operational
- There must be a fire-fighting access route to the dwelling from a street, a private roadway or a yard
- For semi-detached dwellings and townhouses, the fire separation between the units, and any required fire stopping measures must be complete and operational
- Protection of foamed plastics (spray foam)
- Connection to a drinking-water system
- Must have both hot and cold running water
- Drainage and venting system
- Building drain and building sewer
Sewage Disposal System
- Must be connected to a municipal sewer system; or an on-site sewage disposal system (private septic system)
- Private septic systems
- Must be installed and operational as per the approved septic design
- A Septic As-Built drawing is to be completed by the septic installer, and a copy must be forwarded to the Building Department
- The septic system must backfilled, and have the final grading completed
- Top soil, and grass seed or sod must be in place
How do I get information on my septic system?
If you require information on the septic system installed on a property that you own, you can obtain that information by calling Building Services at 519.941.2816 ext 2700. A team member will ask you questions about the property to verify your identity prior to completing a search.
How do I get a copy of the building plans for my property?
Please contact Building Services at 519.941.2816 ext 2700 to obtain building plans for your property. The search time and reproduction may be subject to a fee – our team members are happy to answer any questions you have and will guide you through the process.
How do I obtain well records?
Please contact the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks at 1.888.396.9355 for access to well records.
How do I apply for a compliance letter to get information on a property that I do not own?
Requests for information on a property that you do not own must be submitted in writing and accompanied by the appropriate fee. A request for a building search is $100.00. A request for a septic search is $100.00. Building Services has up to 5 business days to respond
How do I get an electrical permit or book an electrical inspection?
To apply for an electrical permit or to schedule an inspection, please contact the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) at 1.877.372.7233.
How do I locate the utilities on my property?
Prior to digging, reach out to Ontario One Call at 1.800.400.2255 or www.on1call.com
How much are my permit fees?
Building permit fees are calculated during the review process. If you have questions about the fee structure prior to applying, you can view our full fee schedule here or you can give us a call at 519.941.2816 x 2700.
When am I required to hire a designer?
The Ontario Building Code Act requires all information submitted as part of a building permit application be completed by a registered designer having qualifications in the area of design. Some exemptions are permitted in Subsections 3.2.4. and 3.2.5. in Division C of the Ontario Building Code.
An example of an exemption to hire a designer is if a homeowner is competent in the requirements of the Ontario Building Code and is designing for themselves ie. House addition, septic system (must also be constructed by the homeowner), a deck or a detached garage that serves the house.
What credentials should my designer have?
A registered designer will have a Building Code Identification Number (BCIN) in the area they are providing design activities for. An Architect or Engineer may not have a BCIN but are able to provide design activities as permitted through the Ontario Architects Association or the Professional Engineers of Ontario. Search the public registry below for a BCIN designer:
What if I do not construct in accordance with my County approved drawings?
If on site construction is not in conformance with the approved County drawings, a Notice of Change is required to be submitted to the Dufferin County Building Services for review and approval including an additional fee.
Do I need to have my County approved drawings on site during an inspection?
Yes. If the County approved drawings are not on site when the inspector arrives, the inspection will not be completed and will need to be rescheduled with the office.