Understanding Construction Drawings and the Residential Permit Process


If you are thinking about a possible renovation or construction project for your home, you may be wondering where you should begin. It is important to know that local By-laws & regulations govern the process, if the proposed project meets certain criteria. According to the City of Toronto, you will need a building permit if you plan to:

-Construct a new building
-Any addition to an existing building
-Structural alterations
-Renovate, repair or add to a building
-Demolish or remove all or a portion of a building
-Change a building’s use
-Install, change, or remove partitions and load bearing walls
-Make new openings for, or change the size of, doors and windows
-Build a garage, balcony or deck
-Excavate a basement or construct a foundation
-Install or modify heating, plumbing or air-conditioning systems
-Install or reconstruct chimneys or fireplaces
-An accessory structure larger than 108 sq. ft. in area
-A deck more than 24″ above ground
-A wood burning stove/fireplace installation
-A basement entrance
-A Second Suite
-New or altered plumbing

Furthermore, local zoning By-laws and regulations from the Conservation Authority will also hold jurisdiction. By definition, any construction project above and beyond “superficial” modifications (Painting, flooring, etc.) will require approval from the Building department.

If your project meets the criteria, it is important to know that the Building Department cannot issue any permits without the submission of Construction Drawings Rescheck . Construction drawings are a scaled rendition of the project, on paper, that demonstrates what is to be done, how it is to be done, and how compliance with local building code will be achieved.

Along with your fully completed application form, you will need to submit the following documents/drawings in duplicate and on a DVD-RW. In some instances, additional sets of drawings and information may be required. All submissions must comply with the Electronic Submission Guidelines.

General Information

-Plans must be drawn to scale and printed in ink or blue print
-Plans must be fully dimensioned in either metric or imperial units, but not a combination of both

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