Building Services

Building Services

The Building Services Division is here to help you through the Building Permit process.

Building Permits are required to protect the health and safety of the public and building occupants. They ensure construction and projects are protected from structural failures, fire hazards, fall hazards, and other health and safety items. Permits are a permanent record of any work performed on a building and all inspections conducted to ensure that the building is constructed to the best standards.

Thames Centre Building Services Division administers the Ontario Building Code Act and the Ontario Building Code Regulations to ensure the public's health and safety is always protected.

We are currently accepting application submissions by email to or our drop-box located by the front office doors at 4305 Hamilton Road, Dorchester, ON.

If you have any further questions please see the link to the left of the page 'Contact the Building Services Division'.

COVID-19 Protocols & Notices - UPDATE - April 8, 2021

Please view the links below to stay up-to-date with our COVID-19 protocols in the Building Department:

  • UPDATE COMING SOON: April 8, 2021 


The building services division is fully functional with application review and issuance, as well as inspections.

If acquiring a new permit, please read all information when receiving your permit package.

When booking inspections, ensure you are validating your COVID Screening Form attached to the package (can also be found in the links below).



February 8, 2021, the government announced that public health units will gradually return to the COVID-19 Response Framework starting on February 10, 2021.

 In addition, amendments have been made to the List of Essential Businesses in O. Reg 82/20 so that, starting on February 10, 2021, all residential construction projects and related construction activities and services are allowed to commence and proceed no matter if the region they are in is still subject to a Stay At Home Order or has been returned to the COVID-19 Response Framework. These amendments also apply to all residential renovations.   

Restrictions on other non-residential activities that are not on the List of Essential Businesses will continue to exist depending on whether the area in which the project is located is still subject to Stay at Home Order restrictions. 


Why Do I Need a Permit for my Property?

Permits are required to not only protect yourself and other normal users of the space but to protect the public that may enter a space or protect future owners and users of the space or building. If a person does work or makes changes to any space, or building without a permit that person, company or owner may become liable for any future problems or issues that may arise. The process of obtaining a permit is to protect the health and safety of the public for the duration of the building’s life. 

When is a Building Permit Required?

Building permits are required for the construction or alteration of any building occupying an area greater than ten square metres (108 sq.ft.) consisting of a walk, roof, and floor or any of them or a structural system serving the function thereof including all plumbing works, fixtures and service systems appurtenance thereto. This includes any structure or building to be renovated.

Projects that Require a Building Permit

The list is not limited to what is shown below:

  • Detached garage, shed or accessory structure 108 square feet and greater (measured to the outside face of exterior walls)

  • Attached garage, carport, shed or other roof structure of any size

  • Decks greater than 24 inches above grade

  • Finishing the basement of a house or adding a bedroom to the basement

  • Additions to a building

  • Enclosures for swimming pools with a depth of 24 inches or greater (including temporary or inflatable)

  • Creating a duplex/additional dwelling/apartment (a.k.a. in-law suite, accessory apartment, granny flat)

  • Plumbing fixtures added or relocated

  • Removing a load-bearing wall, column, lintel or beam

  • Re-insulating walls, ceilings or floors

  • Woodstove or wood-burning fireplace

  • Installing a new window or door when increasing the width of the existing opening

  • Retaining wall that is greater than three feet and three inches in height, pending location

  • Solar Panels that are mounted to a building

  • Site servicing (water or sewer lines) for all building types

  • New residential dwellings

  • Demolition of a structure greater than 108 square feet in building area, except for farm buildings

  • Tent or group of tents that is, more than 60 square metres (646 square feet) in aggregate ground area, attached to a building, or constructed within three metres (nine feet and 10 inches) of any structure

  • Industrial, commercial, institutional and multi-residential construction or alterations or changes of use

  • Backflow prevention device for lawn irrigation systems connected to potable water

  • Farm buildings including barns, bins, bunker silos, silos, sheds, etc.

Projects that DO NOT Require a Building Permit
  • Structure less than 108 square feet measured from the outside face of walls (that does not contain plumbing)

  • Gas fireplace

  • Fence (must comply with zoning regulations)

  • Water softener installations

  • Painting, wallpapering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops, and similar finish work

  • Door and window replacements (within the existing opening, where no structural members are changed, or has no fire-resistance rating)

  • Installing new shingles on an existing roof

  • Replacing a plumbing fixture (i.e. toilet, bathtub or sink) with a new fixture in the same location

Private Swimming Pools

Building permits are required for swimming pools that are capable of holding 23” or more of water. Pools also must have a fence or barrier that meets the Thames Centre Fence Bylaw.

Pools that are proposed in residential areas also need to provide a Grading plan for the property to ensure that the grading of the yard does not adversely affect the neighbours' yard.


Documentation Needed:

  • Building Permit application

  • Grading plan if in a residential area

  • Site plan showing pool location in the yard with setbacks to property lines

  • Pool equipment to be shown on the site plan with setbacks to property lines

  • Fence or barrier as described in the fence bylaw. ​​​​​​

Inspections / Scheduling Inspections

Inspections are a mandatory item that is required to ensure that the Ontario Building Code, and other applicable laws, include municipal bylaws, are followed, and construction/work is done safely and correctly. In order to ensure the permit is finalized and completed, all required inspections need to be done.

Prescribed inspections are listed on your building permit under the ‘Stages of Construction Requiring Notice’. These inspections are required to be conducted by the Municipality of Thames Centre Building Department and notice is required to be given to the Building Department prior to each inspection as prescribed by Div.C. of the Ontario Building Code.

Scheduling inspections:

  • When scheduling an inspection please contact the Municipal office at 519.268.7334. ext. 249

  • Min 24 to 48hrs notice is required

  • Please indicate Permit Number, Address, Stage of Construction, Contact Name, Contact Phone Number and Date of Inspection.

Building Permit Fees / Development Charges

The Building Services division operates on a cost-recovery basis and as such all permit fees are only for the building department.

Schedule B of the Building Bylaw indicates the cost of permits per category.

Development Charges:

  • The purpose of development charges is to assist in providing the infrastructure required by future development in the municipality through the establishment of a viable capital funding source to meet the Municipality's financial requirements.

  • Development charges go towards growth-related costs such as roads, water and wastewater infrastructure, etc.

  • Development Charges By-law

  • 2021 Development Charges

Review Process

The purpose of the Ontario Building Code is to protect the health and safety of the public and the occupants of a building. Each and every submission for a building permit is required to be reviewed by the Building Services division to ensure compliance prior to construction starting and to permit the work under the Ontario Building Code Act and its regulations.

Review of all submissions are completed in a timely manner, however, each submission does require a different review process. This involves a review of all applicable laws, including Zoning by-law, Conservation Authority regulations, other Municipal by-laws, Source Water Protection requirements and other various acts and regulations within the province of Ontario. The type of project can result in different timelines however the Ontario Building Code does regulate maximum timeframes for complete submissions and complete applications. See the Thames Centre Permit Timelines

Once approval is granted, a permit will be issued for the appropriate work. It then becomes the permit holder and the owner's responsibility to ensure that work continues as per the approved submission and that all inspections are conducted as listed and required on the permit.

Applications / Forms
  • Application to Construct or Demolish – this form is the standard form for all construction projects within the municipality.

  • Schedule 1 – this is a form that is to be filled out by the designer of a project or a person who is providing design activities to a person.

  • Schedule 2 – this form is required to be filled out and submitted with your application for any septic system and is required to be filled out by a qualitied person under the Ontario Building Code.

  • Blank site plan- feel free to use this to draw and include a site plan with your application.

  • EEDS Prescriptive – this form is the minimum standard for energy efficiency under the Ontario Building Code and is to be used new houses, additions and renovations when the prescriptive path approach under SB12 is being used.

  • EEDS Performance – this form is the minimum standard for energy efficiency under the Ontario Building Code and is to be used new houses, additions and renovations when one of the three performance approaches are being used under SB12. (Energy Star, EnerGuide, or SB12 performance).

  • SB10 Form A and SB10 Form B– these forms are required for energy efficiency requirements under SB10 of the Ontario Building Code for nonresidential projects.

  • Ontario Building Code Matrix – this form is to be used for all ICI (Industrial, Commercial and Institutional) construction and is to be completed by a qualified person under the Ontario Building Code.  


Additional Links:

Important By-law Links