Photo of Building Plans

Building, Septic and Demolition Permits

The mandate of the Algonquin Highlands Building Department is to help protect the public and the environment by ensuring that all new construction is done to required standards.   

We review permit applications, issue permits, and conduct inspections in accordance with the Ontario Building Code, the Township Zoning By-law and other legislation. We also perform preliminary reviews of building projects, and provide Building Code information to the public, committees and other agencies.

Building Department staff would be happy to discuss your building plans, answer any questions, and help guide you through the permitting process. Call to book an appointment to ensure that a Building Official will be available to talk with you.

Projects that Require a Building Permit

Under the Ontario Building Code Act, a building permit is required to construct, demolish, renovate, alter, install or change the use of a building. The following is a list of typical projects or situations that require the issuance of a building permit prior to construction:

  • New buildings or structures greater than 10 square metres (108 ft²) in area, measured by the outside dimensions. This includes sheds, sleeping cabins or other accessory buildings or structures, including sheds and shed packages purchased from a store.
  • Sleeping cabins of any size, including those 10 square metres (108 ft²) or less in area. 
  • Additions to existing buildings or structures.
  • Renovations that involve structural framing.
  • New or replacement decks or stairs.
  • Wood burning appliances, including new or replacement of existing components.
  • Replacement of windows or doors if the rough opening size is enlarged.
  • Relocation or addition of plumbing fixtures.
  • Replacement of interior water supply or drain pipes.
  • Crib docks.  If the crib area is 15 square metres (161 ft²) or more, approval is also required from the Ministry of Natural Resources.
  • Installation of photovoltaic (PV) panels mounted on buildings.  Note:  an electrical permit may also be required – check with an electrician or the Electrical Safety Authority.
  • Wind turbines that generate more than 3 kW of electricity. 
  • Greenhouses, if it is to be a permanent structure.
  • Quonset huts and pre-engineered metal buildings.
  • Replacement of piers under buildings.
  • Construction of a temporary enclosed tent to be used for human occupancy.

Projects that DO NOT Require a Building Permit

It isn’t necessary to obtain building permits to perform the following work.  However, you must still comply with the requirements of the Township of Algonquin Highlands Zoning By-law and, if applicable, the Ontario Building Code.

  • Accessory buildings with a total floor area of 10 square metres (108 ft²) or less.  Note: Zoning By-law requirements must be followed.  Sleeping cabins of any size, including those 10 square metres (108 ft²) or less in area, ALWAYS require a building permit.
  • Fences
  • Swimming pools and hot tubs, unless the hot tub is being placed on a deck.
  • Replacement of plumbing fixtures (toilet, sink, bathtub, shower, hot water tank) in their original locations.
  • Replacement of windows or doors provided the rough opening size does not change.
  • Replacement of shingles or other roofing material.  However, if you're replacing or adding new roof trusses or rafters, a building permit is required.
  • Installation of photovoltaic (PV) panels mounted on a pole.  However, an electrical permit may be required – check with an electrician or the Electrical Safety Authority.
  • Floating or pole docks.
  • Wind turbines that generate 3 kW or less of electricity.
  • Temporary portable shelters, constructed of metal tubing and fabric, used for the storage of vehicles, boats, etc.

If the above lists do not include specifics related to your project, or if you're not sure whether a permit will be required, please contact the Building Department.

How do I get a Building Permit?

Submit a completed building permit application form, along with the appropriate fees plus the building plans and all other required information.  Note: Information that you type on this form cannot be saved, so it is important to PRINT the form once you have entered all the information.  The form can then be submitted, along with all other required information, by mail or in person.

How much does a Building Permit cost?

Permit fees:

Building permit administration fee - $150

Additional fees:

Single Family Dwellings or Cottages, Finished basements and Porches - $0.80 per square foot
Commercial / Industrial / Institutional - $0.90 per square foot
Garages/boathouses/accessory buildings - $0.60 per square foot
Decks, docks and open porch - $0.50 per square foot

Flat Rate fees:

Demolition Permit - $150
HVAC system - $150
Repair/Replace Foundation or Roof - $300
Plumbing - $150
Re-inspection - $50
Building permit renewal - $100
Installation of solid fuel appliance - $100
Temporary tent over 60 square meters - $150
On-site sewage system Class 5  /Replacement of Tank - $400
On-site sewage system Class 4 - $875
On-site sewage system Class 2, 3 - $275
Septic for addition / renovation / change of use and inspection - $250
On-site sewage review permit / change of design / site visit - $250
Planning application review for on-site sewage systems -  $250
Building / Zoning Compliance request - $100
On-site Sewage Compliance request - $100
Building without a permit - twice the standard fees

All fees are subject to applicable taxes

What happens if I build without a permit?

As a property owner it's your responsibility to ensure that a building permit is obtained, even if you're hiring a builder or contractor.  If you're unsure whether you need a permit, contact the Building Department to find out.  The Building By-law and the Ontario Building Code Act have penalties of up to $50,000 upon conviction for illegal construction.  If construction is started without a permit building permit fees are doubled.

Open Building Permits

If you have an open building permit, you are required by law* to notify the Building Department for an inspection.  It is also in your best interest to do so, as having an open building permit may affect the following:

  • Future real estate transactions
  • Mortgage financing.

Please contact the Algonquin Highlands Building Department to arrange an inspection of your property.

*Ontario Building Code Division "C" section

Septic System Approval

Prior to June 30, 2014, the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit was contracted by the municipality to administer Part 8 of the Ontario Building Code, governing on-site sewage systems.

Since July 1, 2014, the Township of Algonquin Highlands has administered Part 8 in-house.

Forms relating to on-site sewage systems are available in PDF format here.   Note: Information that you type on these forms cannot be saved, so it is important to PRINT the form once you have entered all the information.  The form can then be submitted, along with all other required information, by mail or in person.
    Application for a Sewage System Permit
    Application for Review of Existing Sewage System
    Application for a Copy of a Sewage System Permit or Installation Report

Demolition Permits

A demolition permit is required to demolish any building that is larger than 10 square metres (108 sq. ft.) or any part of a building that is attached to an existing structure.  In addition to an application and the permit fee, the Building Department requires the following:

  • A site plan showing the location and setbacks of the building being demolished in relation to the lot lines and other buildings and structures on the lot; and
  • Information on where and how the demolition material will be disposed.

A permit is not required for the demolition of a farm building provided it is associated with and located on land devoted to the practice of farming and does not contain a residential occupancy.

Mandatory WSIB Coverage - Find out what it means for you!

If you work in construction, the rules for mandatory WSIB coverage have changed.  Do you run your own construction business?  Are you the purchaser of construction services?  Big or small, with workers or without, you still need to know what's changed.  Find out what it means for you.

Other Permits & Approvals

Electrical permits and inspections fall under the jurisdiction of the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA).  It's the responsibility of the homeowner or builder to contact the ESA for proper approvals.

An entrance permit is required to install a new entrance on your property, to change the location of an existing one, or to install a second entrance.  Entrance approvals are handled by the Public Works Department.

New civic addresses (9-1-1 numbers) for vacant lots are acquired through the County of Haliburton.

Contact Information

Greg Moore
Chief Building Official/By-law Enforcement Officer
Phone: 705-489-2379 Ext. 330

Hours of Operations
Please call to book an appointment, as staff are often out on inspections.
Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  

Additional Information & Links

Note: Information that you type on the forms below cannot be saved, so it is important to PRINT the form once you have entered all the information.  The form can then be submitted, along with all other required information, by mail or in person.


Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish
Application for a Sewage System Permit
Application for Copy of a Sewage System Permit or Installation Report
By-law 2020-23 Building Permit
Contractor Authorization Permit for Construction Waste Disposal
Occupancy requirements for houses