Building Information

Applying for a Building Permit

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.  

Cloudpermit (New e-permitting system)

This online tool allows you to see the status of your application anywhere, anytime. You will receive updates by email on the status of your permit application throughout each stage of the application process. 

Follow the steps below or watch this instructional video - how to submit a building permit

 For assistance or technical support please visit:

Create an account and start a new building permit application
You will need to create an account to start using Cloudpermit. An email address is required to create an account.
  1. Login with your email address
  2. Register

Cloudpermit will send an email to the address you have provided.  Open the email and complete the registration process.

Remember your email and password for the future as you will need those to access the site again.

 Submit a building permit application

You can submit your building permit application once you have completed the steps and all of the information has been gathered. You will receive an email to confirm your application has been submitted as well during each stage of the application process.  Once a rough cost analysis has been completed you will receive an email advising you of the applicable fees owing and how to pay.

 Payment of the applicable permit fees

A bill will be produced and you will receive an email notification through Cloudpermit once the rough cost analysis has been completed. 

The balance owing can be paid by the following:

  • building permit fee and refundable deposit (if applicable to proposed project) can be paid over the phone by credit card, contact the Finance Department at 705-687-3412.


  • full amount owing including Development Charges (if applicable to proposed project) can be sent by cheque and made payable to "Town of Gravenhurst".  It can either be mailed, sent by courier or placed in the drop off box located at the far left of our main entrance.

Once we are in receipt of full payment of the applicable permit fees the application will be put in que for plans review. We have 10 business days to review a completed permit application and within these timelines will advise if additional information is required, if there are any additional fees, if the permit is ready to issue or provide you the reasons as to why we can not accept your application.  

Permit is ready for issuance

You will receive notification through the e-permitting system when your permit is ready for issuance and at this time you are required to print a copy of the permit notice to post in a visible area and to leave a printed copy of the approved stamped drawings on site. 

Request an inspection

Once you have received notification of issuance of your permit and the work is underway, you will require building inspectors to visit your site and sign-off on your work at various points in the project.  You can request these inspections through Cloudpermit. 

  • To book an inspection, log in to Cloudpermit and select Go to Project under the project requiring an inspection. Then select the application by clicking on the address.
  • A page will pop up with the details of your project's location. At the bottom of that page you'll see the heading Work & Construction and a box entitled Inspections. Click on Show Upcoming Inspections and select Request Inspection under the building element you are ready to have reviewed.
  • Under the New Inspection Request box that pops up, select the date and time you would like to request. Inspection request must be made allowing 48 hour notice, and inspections are conducted in the morning or afternoons during regular business hours. You'll see the unconfirmed requested listed. Once staff receive the request you will receive an email confirmation for the inspection.

Note: If you need to change the date and time, or cancel the request, select Modify Request.

Permit Information

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?

Accessory structures less than 10 metres squared do not require a permit provided they are not attached to another structure. 

As of April 29, 2022 - A shed is exempt from the requirement to obtain a permit under section 8 of the Act and is exempt from compliance with this Code, provided that the shed,

(a) is not more than 15 m2 in gross area;

(b) is not more than one storey in building height;

(c) is not attached to a building or any other structure;

(d) is used only for storage purposes ancillary to a principal building on the lot, and;

(e) does not have plumbing 

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. (By-law 2022-10 will repeal and replace Bylaw 2017-137)

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 electronically, 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 (where applicable)


Attention Designers and Persons Taking Responsibility 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 (if unable to submit electronically)

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 review the Development Charges.

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. 2263 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. 2263:
  • 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 2255 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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