*Disclaimer: the content of this blog post is designed to provide information only and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice is required, legal services should be sought.
If you are wondering about the permit status on your property or project, check with the local municipality. In recent years, City of Toronto has offered an online database for their projects.
You can search the Building Permit Status by specifying an Application/Permit number or entering an address. In the example above, I entered an address and found an associated permit #. For older permits not accessible online, call City of Toronto’s Tele-permit line at 416-338-0700.
In our example, there are 2 permits associated with permit # 17 165545: Building and HVAC.
The four most common statuses are: Permit issued, Inspection, Refusal Notice, and Closed. Permit issued literally means that a permit has been issued and no inspection has taken place yet. Inspection means that permit is under active inspection. A refusal notice is received when an application has been received and review has resulted in a refused notice that was sent to the applicant. Closed is the final stage when a permit has been inspected, approved, and closed. Sometimes closed permits will not show up on the online search engine. Therefore it helps to double check via telepermit.
The scope of work on your project dictate what types of permits are required to start construction work. In most cases, demolition permits are required if any demolition work is involved. In many cases, when a Building Permit application is made, HVAC and Plumbing permits will be issued at the same time. Stand-alone permits can be applied depending on the scope of work. For more information, check out the city’s website.
City of Toronto’s Building Permit Guide is a good place to start.
Demolition Permit/ BLD
Under authority of Section 7 and 8 of Building Code Act, a Demolition Permit is required for the removal of a building or any material part thereof. A final inspection is required after demolition permit is completed before any new work takes place to close it. If you run into a case where the final construction has been completed without an interim inspection, a compromise might be reached with the inspector to close it off. Each case is different, therefore communication with the inspector is key.
Mechanical Permit/ HVA
This permit is required if any mechanical work is taking place, such as adding or altering ductworks or adding/removing sprinkler heads.
This permit is required if any plumbing work is taking place, such as drain addition/relocation/removal.
Fire Security Upgrade/ FSU
This permit is required for any alteration to the life-safety systems of a building such as sprinklers, fire alarms, or the installation of electromagnetic locking devices (Maglocks).
Building Permit/ BLD
Building permit was mentioned in Part I. A building permit is required, but not limited to constructing a new building, construction an addition to an existing building, make structural alterations or material alterations. Building permits are generally the last permit to close following a final building inspection, once all other permits are closed.
We explained various reasons why permits remain open long after the completion of a project. From my experience, the best advice is to close your permits as soon as construction is completed. The longer you wait, the harder it becomes to close it off.
We will take a look at the most common types of permits and associated documents required for their closures. Since most of my projects are in the City of Toronto, the information I am about to provide will be the most relevant in Toronto. Minor procedures might differ across different Municipalities but the bulk of the information remains relevant.
What specific documents are required to close off a specific permit? What are the procedures? We will answer these questions with additional tips I picked up along the way.