Building Information

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?

Be sure to check to see if your project requires a permit before you begin your construction project.

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

Permit Application Forms and Information Packages

Application for a permit to construct or demolish
Schedule 1 designer information
Authorization form (agent)
Cottage declaration
Sewage system application
Sign permit application

Building guidelines and 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.

Building guidelines part 1 and part 2 (docks)
Dwelling / Cottage / Sleeping Cabins
Decks (dwelling / park model or mobile home)
Garage / Gazebo
Special Event Temporary Tent
Shoreline structures
Park Model / Mobile Homes
Water and Sewer connection

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 listed below as these fees may be applicable to your project.

Town of Gravenhurst: (Bylaw) Development charges   

District Municipality of Muskoka: District of Muskoka fees and rates


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 to schedule your inspection allowing 48 hour notice in advance.

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

Residential building inspection list 

Occupancy inspection list (please contact the building department for details)

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 

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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