A Building Permit is your formal permission from the Town of Richmond Hill to begin a building project, such as the construction, demolition or addition of any building or addition and alterations of signs, the installation of fireplaces and wood-burning stoves, as well as decks. Town Building staff must review your plans to ensure that they comply with the Ontario Building Code, local Zoning By-laws, and other applicable regulations.


Why Do I Need a Building Permit?
The Ontario Building Code requires that you obtain a building permit before you start work on a new house or an addition or any significant alterations to an existing house. The Building Code sets out the minimum requirements for such work and is particularly concerned with your health and safety and that of other homeowners, building occupants, future owners and the community.
When is a Permit Required?

A building permit is required to do the following work:

  • construct a new building, including temporary and farm buildings;
  • renovate a building;
  • construct an addition to a building, including sunrooms;
  • build a deck;
  • alter the interior of a building, including finishing a basement;
  • move a building;
  • demolish a building;
  • change the use or occupancy of a building;
  • build a fireplace, install a woodstove or install a chimney;
  • alter or remodel a plumbing system;
  • install a sprinkler system;
  • install a fire alarm system; and/or
  • construct a retaining wall.


When is a Permit not Required?

A building permit is not required to do the following work:

  • construct a detached accessory building that is 10 m2 (108 sq. ft.) in area or less;
  • painting and decorating;
  • kitchen or bathroom cupboards;
  • landscaping;
  • roof shingling (except clay tile roof);
  • eavestroughing;
  • damp-proofing a basement; and/or
  • minor repairs to bricks or blocks, etc.

Please note that Richmond Hill’s zoning by-laws must be adhered to regardless of whether or not a building permit is required.




How to Apply for a Building Permit
Building permits are issued by the Building Services Section, Planning & Regulatory Services Department at the Town’s Municipal Offices, 4th floor. Applications for permits must be made in person by the owner of the building or property, or by a representative who has written authorization to apply on the owner’s behalf. Every application must be complete, accompanied by prescribed plans and specifications and the applicable permit fee. As of January 1, 2006, designers (other than the home owner), who prepare the plans and specifications for building permit purposes, must be qualified and registered with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing or possess a valid Architects or Engineer’s license.

For further information, please visit the links below or contact the Building Services Division at (905) 771-8810.



Project Specific Checklists






Town of Richmond Hill