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Town of Wasaga Beach

Skip Navigation LinksTown of Wasaga Beach > Town Hall > Building Department

Building & Development Standards

Building Code

The primary purpose of the Ontario Building Code is the protection of people - to allow them to enter, occupy and exit buildings safely.  The basic principles of the Code are health, safety, accessibility, structural sufficiency and energy efficiency.

The Wasaga Beach Building Department takes pride in contributing to the local construction industry and working towards a safer community to live, visit, work and play in.

This information is subject to changes in provincial legislation, municipal by-laws and departmental policy.



The Ontario Building Code Act requires that, as a property owner, you obtain a building permit prior to commencing construction. It is unlawful to start construction or demolition before you get a permit from the municipality. Building permits facilitate the protection of property owners, contractors and individual members of the community. By reviewing and approving plans before any work is done, the municipality can ensure that buildings comply with the Ontario Building Code, local zoning by-laws and other applicable health and safety regulations.

Under the Ontario Building Code Act, a building permit is required for the construction or installation of a new structure, or for the construction of an addition or alteration of any structure which results in a building area of over 10m2. The following is a list of typical projects that require a permit:

  • Any new structure over 10m2 (108 ft2)

  • Any addition to a structure, regardless of the size of the addition

  • Interior alterations for non-residential units

  • Interior alterations for residential units if; a bedroom is created, a garage is converted to living space, a seasonal room is converted to a year round use, a new dwelling unit is being created

  • Building a new fireplace or installing a woodstove

  • Any structural changes or repairs

  • A new entrance or a new window opening

  • A deck

  • Adding new dormers

  • Enclosing a porch

  • Any change of use to one of greater hazard (reference table 2.4.1.A of the O.B.C)

  • Signs installed on an exterior building face or roof

  • Free standing signs (A-frame signs please contact By-law Department)

  • Any installation or alteration of a plumbing system (water supply, drain, waste or vent). Including an irrigation system

  • Converting from a septic system to Town sewer or water

  • Pools/Hot tub/Spas


Building FAQs

Q: When is a building permit required?

A: In general, a building permit is required to erect, install, extend, alter, relocate or repair a building or demolish a building.  The following are examples of projects that require building permits:

*Addition of a carport, garage, porch, room, dormer, roof over a deck

*Interior renovations that change or remove partitions or load-bearing walls

*Installation, removal or upgrading of insulation, air/vapour barrier.

*Installation of a Woodstove/Fireplace                                                  

*Installation of a mobile home

*Installing a hot tub, above ground swimming pool or in-ground swimming pool.

*Demolition of a building

*Modifying or installing a septic system

*Undertaking any Plumbing

*Construction of sheds greater than 10m2 (108ft2)        

*Finishing basement

*Addition of second suite (basement apartment)

* Undertaking any changes or additions or subtractions to a roof, attic or foundation system

Note: A building permit is not required for a detached accessory structure measuring less than 10m2 (108 ft2) in area, more than 4'0" from another structure.

Decks in the backyard, not attached to the house, at least 4'0" away from the house and less than 108ft2  in area do not require a permit.

Building permits are not required in Wasaga Beach for the following;

*re-shingling the roof


*re-siding (if no insulation is involved)

*fences (other than around swimming pools)

*replacement of windows and doors of the same size

*replacing plumbing fixtures in the same location as the fixtures being replaced.

For permit requirements for electrical work, contact the Electrical Safety Authority at 1-877-372-7233 or visit online at www.esasafe.com

A permit from the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority may also be required if your lot is located within an area subject to their jurisdiction (flood plain, near a watercourse or the beach….).  For further information please contact the NVCA at 705-424-1479 or www.nvca.on.ca

Q: How much does a building permit cost?

A: Permit costs vary depending on the project size and complexity.  Please contact the Building Department for applicable fees required, including Development Charges, and deposits.

by telephone 705-429-1120 ex 2261 or

by email build@wasagabeach.com 

Rates and Fees can also be found here on our website under By-laws.

Q: How long does the permit process take?

A: As a general rule process time for permits takes approximately two to three weeks depending on the Complexity of the project.  If additional information or approvals are required to support the application

Submitted, then the time to acquire the permit will include that time.

Q: Who can do my drawings?

A: A homeowner may do their own drawings for their house, accessory structures and minor works.  However, if you hire someone they must be a qualified and registered designer with the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

A Building Code Identification Number (BCIN) is issued to designers by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

For more information on BCIN visit the Ministry of Municipal Affairs website at www.mah.gov.on.ca

Q: Can I construct a deck on my property?

A: Yes you can.   You are encouraged to speak to Planning Department Staff to discuss provisions applicable to your lands such as lot coverage maximums, and setbacks within the zone category that your property is located.

To begin please see Section 3.3.3 of the Town of Wasaga Beach Zoning By-Law 2003-60 for yard encroachment information.  Please contact the Building Department by telephone 705 429-1120 to determine building permit requirements.

Q: What do I need to do to have sheds/accessory uses/garages?

A: Depending on the   dimensions of your garage you may need a permit to construct.  Please contact the Building Department by telephone 705 429-1120 to determine building permit requirements. 

Typically, sheds that are 12' or less in height (measured from grade to peak), may be located 0.9 metres from any interior or rear lot line.   

To begin, please see Section 3.1 of the Town of Wasaga Beach Zoning By-Law 2003-60 for accessory use information.    You are encouraged to speak to Planning Department Staff to discuss provisions regarding accessory buildings to determine permitted locations. 

Q: What if I decide to change something after my permit has been issued?

A: You need to contact the building department as soon as possible. Revised drawing(s) may be required to be submitted for further review. 

Proceeding with work different from the permit without a revised building permit may ultimately delay the project and incur additional expenses.

Q: How much notice do I need to give an inspector when I’m ready for inspection?

A: The Building Inspectors try to accommodate your inspection requests as soon as possible.  We recommend however that two business days be given to ensure satisfactory service. 

To book an inspection please contact us by telephone 705 429-1120

Q: Can I put an apartment / in-law suite (second dwelling unit) in my house?

A: Possibly, if the property is zoned R1, is on municipal services, on a public road and is not located within the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) jurisdiction.

The town of Wasaga Beach will be adopting amendments to the Comprehensive Zoning By-law to permit one secondary dwelling unit within an existing dwelling in line with Provincial Legislation.  However the provisions will contain specific locational and regulatory criteria, that if met would only permit one secondary unit. 

These provisions, although in the process of implementation, are not in force at this time. Note that there will be requirements to meet Ontario Building Codes and Fire Code.  

Please contact the Planning Department for further details.

Q: How far from my property line can I build?

A: Setback requirements vary with project size and location in town.  Property line setbacks, height, lot coverage and whether you can build a structure on your lot is regulated by the Municipal Zoning By-law.

Please contact the Planning Department by telephone 705 429-3847 for a more comprehensive answer.