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Building Permit Department Forms

















 Department Resources

 - 2016 Building Permit Report on Fees (PDF)

- Newsletter, Edition 1

- Newsletter, Edition 2

- Newsletter, Edition 3







Projects that require a building permit
Construction or alteration of any freestanding structure over 10m2
(108 sq. ft.) in area, including:

- Decks
- New fireplace or wood stove, chimneys
- Porches
- Sunrooms
- Carports
- Attached or detached garages and sheds
- Additions
- Replacing siding
- Plumbing and/or drains
- Major duct work changes
- New or structural alterations to windows and doors
- Adding or removing most walls
- Basement or main floor walkouts
- Swimming pools and their enclosures
- Private septic systems
- Fences

-Life safety systems


Projects that don't require a building permit

- Air conditioning units added to existing systems
- Pool heaters
- Painting and decorating
- Landscaping
- Asphalt roof shingling (non-structural) & eavestroughs
- Kitchen or bathroom cupboards without plumbing
- A detached accessory structure, which measures less than 10m2 (108 sq. ft.) in area. (An accessory structure is any building or structure other than the house.)






Building Permits

The City of Cornwall strives to build a safe and healthy community for its residents. This commitment extends to
private and publicly-owned buildings within the city.

By enforcing provincial building codes and assisting developers and designers, the City works to ensure the structures in our community are safe and healthy.

Building code inspectors help maintain the safety of residential, commercial and industrial buildings.

Building code inspectors are responsible for overseeing and inspecting that building codes are followed and implemented adhering to strict regulations to prevent accidents.

Inspectors must conform to the City of Cornwall Code of Conduct for Inspectors.

Compliance with the Building Code is achieved through mandatory inspections for building permits and demolitions, and investigations of emergency orders and work without permits

Below you will find answers to many frequently asked questions concerning building permits.


What is a building permit?

The province has designed a set of construction standards intended to offer Ontarians a level of life safety and health in
the buildings where they live, work and play. Obtaining a
building permit ensures that your home and other buildings meet these standards in the Ontario Building Code.

Why are building permits needed?

Building permits are necessary to ensure that applicable provincial laws, zoning requirements and fire and structural safety standards are met.

Who should apply?

It is the property owner's responsibility to ensure that a building permit is obtained when required. You may authorize your contractor or designer (for example) to apply for the permit, but as the owner you must ensure that you have the permit prior to starting work.

What services are provided by the City?

The City's Building and Bylaw Division reviews all building permit applications to ensure compliance with building code requirements.

The Division also performs inspections as listed in the Ontario Building Code Act and reviews zoning requirements on small residential projects.

When can work start?

A building permit grants legal permission to start work.
No work can start until the building permit is issued.

Submission of a complete building permit application allows
for the issuance of a permit in a timely fashion.

How do I apply?

Step 1
Visit Building and Bylaw Services at the Cornwall Civic Complex (Second Floor) at 100 Water Street East or give us a call at (613) 930-2787 ext. 2355 to obtain a building permit application. Applications and additional information can also
be obtained in the Department Forms box on this page (above).

Step 2
Submit application. The permit application requires information about the project. You will be asked to document who will perform the work, what work will be done, where the work will be done, and how the work will be done.

Scaled drawings, plans or other documentation of the proposed work will have to be submitted for review. Included with the submission, the plans must have the designer's B.C.I.N. registration number, except when a homeowner is preparing their own drawings or for accessory structures under 30m2 (538 sq. ft).

Your application should include 2 sets of building plans drawn to scale suitable for examination and a site plan.

What is the cost of a building permit?

Building permit fees depend on the floor area and type of building being constructed or altered. Typical building permit fees are calculated based on the estimated construction value. The current building permit fee (for projects under $1 million of construction) is $12.50 per $1,000 of construction value.

For example, if construction for a project is worth $8,000, the building permit fee would be equal to:
$12.50 X $8000 / $1000 = $100.00.

A minimum permit fee of $67.50 is applicable for projects that are of less than $5,400.

What happens once the application is submitted?

Permit applications are processed as quickly as possible dependent on the nature of the work and the completeness of the application. Our Building Officials will determine if your project is in compliance with the Building Code, zoning and other municipal bylaws and provincial regulations.

What inspections are required?

Each major phase of construction must be inspected by our Building Officials to make certain the work conforms to the Building Code, the building permit and the approved plans.

The mandatory inspections required for your project will be indicated on the permit. It is your responsibility to ensure that either you or your contractor contacts the city to request an inspection at least 24 hours before work proceeds from one inspection stage to the next. 

To schedule an inspection, please call (613) 930-2787 ext. 2310.

General Contact Information:

Planning, Parks and Recreation Department,
Building and Bylaw Division
100 Water Street East, 2nd Floor, Cornwall, ON
K6H 6G4
Tel: (613) 932-6252
Fax: (613) 932-3236

For Permit Inquiries:

Tel: (613) 930-2787 ext 2355 or 2323

To Schedule an Inspection:

Tel: (613) 930-2787 ext 2310

For Permit Application and General Code Questions:

Tel: (613) 930-2787 ext 2355

For Zoning Questions:

Tel: (613) 930-2787 ext 2365

Septic System Permits:

The City of Cornwall has entered into an agreement with the South Nation Conservation Authority for the enforcement of Part VIII of the Ontario Building Code - Private Sewage Systems.  As such all Sewage Permit applications will be submitted directly to the South Nation Conservation; please coordinate with your Sewage System Designer. 

The South Nation Conservation issues permits and services related to severances, land development, new construction and inspections of private sewage systems. Privately owned sewage systems, including septic tanks and leaching beds, require a permit for installation or alteration under the Ontario Building Code. Proper operation and maintenance of your private sewage system is also required under this Ontario Building Code jurisdiction.

The South Nation Conservation is located at 38 Victoria Street in Finch, Ontario and can be reached at:

Telephone: 613-984-2948 or Toll Free: 1-877-984-2948

More information is available at