Building Information


Letter to the Industry - COVID-19 State of Emergency Response - Jan 15, 2021

Building Department Procedures Regarding Inspections

 Before starting any kind of construction on your property, it is best to discuss your plans with the planning staff before you begin your project. This ensures that your project avoids any unnecessary fees and will help to determine if your project complies with the comprehensive zoning bylaw. For your convenience, please refer to the preliminary checklist


Why do I need a building permit?

A building permit regulates development by protecting individuals and the community of the Town of Gravenhurst by meeting health, fire, structural and general safety standards.  It is illegal to conduct work without a permit and is against the Municipal Building By-Law and the Ontario Building Code Act.

When is a building permit required?

Structures less than 10 metres squared do not require a permit.   

If you are unsure if your project requires a permit please contact the Building Department.  If you commence construction without a building permit you are subject to increased fees.  All structures on a property are required to comply with zoning. 

Dark Sky Bylaw
All construction projects must comply with the Dark Sky By-law

Sign Bylaw
Please review the requirements for signs per Sign By-law as of October 24th, 2017.

Other Approvals 
Prior to submitting your building permit, make sure you have any required approvals from other agencies such as:

Property ownership – deeded ownership, conveyance/severance complete.

Ministry of Transportation Building Land Use Entrance Permit, 1-800-255-7814

Ministry of Environment, 1-800-890-8511

Simcoe/Muskoka District Health Unit (for a water testing kit), 705-684-9090

Shoreline development

Ministry of Natural Resources, 705-645-8747

Department of Fisheries and Oceans, 705-746-2196

Trent Severn Waterways, 705-750-4900 or 1-888-773-8888

Municipal Water and Sewer Connection

District of Muskoka, 705-645-6764 or 1-800-281-3483 (sign off required)

Information Required when Submitting a Building Application?

When submitting your application, make sure you include the following:

A site plan or property survey that shows the location and the outside measurements of your current and the proposed structures

If you do not have a property survey you may provide your own site plan drawings, provided that it is to scale.

Construction drawings, to scale including but not limited to foundation plans and details, floor plans for each level and elevation on all four sides

Engineered systems (where applicable)

Mechanical systems

For a detailed checklist, click on the preliminary checklist.

Attention Designers and Persons Taking Responsibilty for Building Designs
For tips and requirements when submitting building designs, click on this link Designers and Persons Taking Responsibility for Building Designs

Permit Application Forms

Building Information Packages

These packages provide information on a variety of construction projects. If you have further questions, please contact the Building Department at 705-687-3412. 

How long is a building permit valid?

The construction of your approved project should start within the first 6 months from the date the permit was issued.

Should a permit remain open after three years a maintenance fee along with a surcharge will be applied annually until it is closed.

Building Permit Fees

Fees for building permits vary depending on the type of work required

Fees and costs associated with a building permit application

For further details on the fees and costs associated with a building permit application, please review the (Schedule) Building permit fees.

When developing a property please review the development charge bylaws for both the Town of Gravenhurst and District of Muskoka as these fees may be applicable to your project.   

For further details please click on this link Development Charges

Important Notice below on Building Code Services, as of September 24, 2019The government is proposing an administrative authority to transform the delivery of a suite of new and enhanced services to support the Building sector.  To do this, the administrative authority would charge fees for directly delivered services and collect a small levy that is calculated on estimated construction value on top of the Municipal building permit fees

Please click on this link for further details on Transforming and Modernizing the Delivery of Ontario's Building Code Services or by contacting the Building Department at 705-687-3412. 

Building Inspections

Your building permit will contain all the inspections that are required for your project. You may call the Building Inspection line at 705-687-3412 ext. 263 or book an inspection online allowing 48 hour notice in advance. 

Online Inspection Request

When to request building inspections

For further details please click on this link for types of inspections that may be required according to your construction project

Building inspections requirements and lists

Please provide the following information when calling in your request (705) 687-3412 ext. 263:
  • Building permit number
  • Civic address (if an island property please fill out and submit the water travel form and/or ice travel form.
  • Type of inspection
  • Date of inspection
  • Your contact information (name and phone number so we can follow up and confirm the date and estimated time of your inspection) 

Types of Inspections

(Please note: Some requirements may vary based on the origin of permit)

Residential building inspection list 

Residential occupancy inspection guide 

 Water Travel Form

 A water travel form is required to be completed for properties limited to water access only. The form is required to be submitted prior to the arranged inspection date. The water travel form can be completed and submitted below.

Water Travel Form

Cold Weather Requirements for Construction Sites

Cold weather requirements are important to follow because it allows concrete to properly cure and achieve its proper compressive strength.  For further details please review the cold weather requirements for concrete

Construction Sites and Workers

All construction sites and workers shall comply with the appropriate sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Act with regulations for Ontario.

What you need to know about worksite health and safety

For further details please review the worksite health and safety information sheet 

Liquor Licence Application

Liquor Licensing in Ontario is monitored by the Alchol and Gaming Commision of Ontario (AGCO).

What you need to know about the liquor license process

In order to receive a liquor licence for your establishment, the Municipal Information Form included in the application package provided by the AGCO must be filled out and provided to the Legislative Services Division.

In addition to the above noted package the liquor licence application form along with the applicable fee is to be submitted to the Building Divison.  The cost of the letter and inspection is $110.00 to be paid to the Town of Gravenhurst Building Department prior to the scheduled inspection.

Any questions you may have can be directed to the Building Department at 705-687-3412, ext 255 Andy Jones, Chief Building Official.

Special Event Temporary Tent

Temporary structures such as tents, may require a special events permit

What you need to know about special event temporary tent applications

A permit is required if the structure exceeds 60 square meters

A fully completed application for a permit to construct along with following information:

Applicable permit fee

Site plan drawings with location of existing structures, proposed tent(s), including distances from structures, water bodies, property lines and septic bed and septic tank

Location and number of exists

Provide proof of Flame Resistance Rading (provided by tent supplier)

For further details please review this information package, Special Event Temporary Tent

Summer Septic Re-inspection

Our summer septic re-inspection program is to help keep our lakes and ground water pollution-free. Gravenhurst staff work with property owners to provide information and increase awareness about their sewage disposal systems.

Summer Septic Re-inspection Program

The way you maintain your septic system will impact the longevity and on-going use of the system. If you don't maintain and inspect your sewage disposal system, it can have a negative effect on the environment. Summer student(s) carry out the re-inspection program from May until late September. They look for visual signs that your system may need attention.


Tips for keeping your septic system healthy

  • Make sure that trees are a minimum of three metres from the runs in the septic bed.
  • Avoid planting raspberry plants and other vegetation with a deep root system on the leaching bed
  • Drilled wells must be at least 15 metres from the sewage system and dug wells must be at least 30 meters from the sewage system
  • Follow the Ontario Building Code requirements for privey's, leaching pits, septic tanks/beds and holding tanks
  • Pump your tank out every 3 to 5 years, depending on how often you use your system
  • Do not use a sink garburator
  • Do not use water softeners


Signs your septic system is failing

  • Waste matter seeping from the septic bed or around the sewage system location.
  • Foul odours coming from the sewage systems.


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