Building Information

Applying for a Building Permit

Before you start

If you haven't already, please visit the Plan Your Development page to ensure you are satisfied your building proposal complies with the comprehensive zoning by-law. Additionally, you may want to check out the resources below:

Apply for a Building Permit

Online building permitting and inspection processes, available to users 24/7, provide a fast and efficient approach to development approvals.



Tutorial Video


person writing on a clipboard with building inspection report
Book an Inspection

Please allow for 48 hours' notice and provide your permit number, address, type of inspection, requested date, and contact information when booking an inspection. 

Type of Inspections

Occupancy Inspection Guide

Phone: 705-687-3412 Ext: 2263 (Inspection)

Inspections are also available for self-booking on Cloudpermit.

Permit Information

Building permits provide legal permission to construct/demolish and ensure development meets the safety standards outlined in the Building Code.

 When is a permit required?

The following is a non-exhaustive list of common residential projects that require a building permit. 

  • Construct/demolish a house or addition to an existing house
  • Construct/demolish a detached accessory structure, other than a shed, greater than 10m2 (108ft2)
  • Construct/demolish a detached accessory shed, exceeding one storey in height or greater than 15m2 (161ft2)
  • Construct/demolish a deck greater than 10m2 (108ft2) or is attached to a building (regardless of size)
  • Construct/demolish a dock that is connected to the shoreline
  • Construction of stairs and/or landings that are part of an egress system regardless of the type of materials used
  • Construct a porch or balcony
  • Construct a heated or unheated sunroom
  • Erect tents greater than 60m2 (646ft2) or all tents erected within 3m (9-10ft) of a building
  • Construct roofing with structural work
  • Interior or exterior renovations that impact structural components of a building
  • Install, repair, or replace a private sewage system
  • Municipal service connection
 When is a permit not required?

 The following is a non-exhaustive list of common residential projects that do not require a building permit. However, depending on the project, compliance with the comprehensive zoning by-law may still be required.

  • Construct/demolish a standalone building under 10m2 (108ft2) with no plumbing
  • Construct/demolish a detached accessory shed, not exceeding one storey in height and not greater than 15m2 (161ft2)
  • Replace doors and/or windows that are the same size as the existing
  • Replace siding on a house, garage, or accessory building
  • Re-shingle a roof
  • Install eaves
  • Erect fences
  • Install a pool
 How long is a permit valid?

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

 Building permits that remain open after 3 years from the date of issuance will have a maintenance fee, along with a surcharge, applied annually until final approvals are received and the permit is closed.

 Frequently Asked Questions

 How long does the permit process take?
 The permit process begins with a general review at the time of application intake. Then, if applicable, it will go through a zoning review. (Zoning review is quicker if projects have already complied with the requirements outlined on our Plan Your Development page). After zoning review, fees will be calculated and invoiced through Cloudpermit. Upon the date of fee payment, applications go into queue for full plans review which can take up to 10 business days. Once the application has gone through full plans review, you will either receive plan review notes or the issued permit.
 When will I get my refundable deposit back?

 Deposits are eligible for refund if final approvals are met on the project, and the permit closes, within three years from the date of issuance. 

 If you are within the three years, and final approvals have been met, the Building Department will contact you to determine the best method of refunding your deposit. Depending on your chosen mode of refund, as well as the date your permit was closed, you will receive the amount either in the middle of the next eligible month or at the end of the next eligible month. 

 If you miss the three year deadline, your deposit will be retained by the Town.

 How do I pay my fees?
 Fees can be paid through our Finance Department, either in-person at the Town Office or by telephone at 705-687-3412 ext. 2227 or 2257.
 What if I want to make a change to my approved plans?
 If a permit has already been issued with a set of approved drawings, and you are looking to make a change to the project, you can apply for a plans resubmission on Cloudpermit. The option will be listed under "More Actions" and will require the revised drawings to be uploaded. The new plans will then be placed in queue for review and, if applicable, fees will be calculated and invoiced according to our Building Fees and Services Charges
 Why do I need a site plan? And, what is required on a site plan?

 Site plans are required for all exterior projects as they indicate where the proposed structure is located in relation to property lines and/or existing structures. It is also required for most interior projects, but that will be determined during general review.

 Site plans must outline ALL existing and proposed structures, ALL property setbacks to the project (including the 20m (~65ft) shoreline setback, when applicable), driveway entrance, hydro lines (above or buried), and, if not to scale, ALL structure dimensions.

When is an Agent Authorization Form required?

 If a party other than the registered property owner creates a permit application on behalf of the owner, they are required to submit an Agent Authorization Form. The Authorization form grants the party permission to apply and/or create the workspace. 
 Additionally, if the property owner is a type of corporation, you will need to provide a document outlining signing authority (i.e. Article of Incorporation).

Building Application Requirements

Have you? 

  • Reviewed the application requirements below for your proposed project?
  • Consulted with Planning staff to confirm your project meets and complies with the current Zoning By-law? 

If yes, you are now ready to apply! 

  • All applications are accepted electronically through our new e-permitting system Cloudpermit. Please use the online portal to submit your application. 
 Fees and Charges

Fees are assessed according to the proposed construction project. Please review our current Building Fees and Services Charges for detailed information. Additional fees for refundable deposit may apply.

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. Please review our current Development Charges page for more information.

Related Resources

Summer Septic Re-inspection Program

Our summer septic re-inspection program is in place 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.

The way you maintain your septic system will impact the longevity and on-going use of the system. If you don't maintain and routinely inspect your sewage disposal system, it can have a negative impact 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.

 Maintenance Tips
  • 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 may be 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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