Building Permits

COVID-19 Update: Building permit applications can be made online for selected types of permits. Alternatively, building permit submissions can be made by mail, courier or drop-off. Due to increased COVID-19 safety protocols, there may be delays in processing any mail, courier or drop-off.

Online option is available for both residential and limited non-residential applications. Online applications are processed and issued electronically following online payment by credit card. To avoid processing delays due to COVID-19 safety protocols, online permit submission is highly recommended. 

A building permit is a formal permission from Richmond Hill to start a building project. Richmond Hill staff must review your permit plans to make sure that they follow the Building Code Act (BCA), Ontario Building Code (OBC) standards, local zoning by-laws and other regulations that apply to your project.

Building permit fees

Building permit fees are calculated according to By-law 71-10. Building permit fees are calculated according to By-law 71-10.

Building permit fees are calculated according to By-law 55-19

Fees for all classes of permits that fall under By-law 55-19 (Building By-law) can be found in Schedule "A", Section (3), By-law 55-19.

All permit fees are due at the time of permit application. When application fees are in excess of $20,000, applicants may elect to pay 50% of the fee at the application stage and the balance at the time of permit issuance.

Apply for a building permit - in person or NEW online option! 

Richmond Hill now accepts various building permit applications online. 

Building permit applications - apply and pay online
Richmond Hill accepts online applications for all types of building permits, including: 
  • Alterations and additions to existing homes
  • Miscellaneous residential permits such as decks, porches, finished basements, basement walkout, garages and accessory buildings
  • Demolition permits
  • Custom Home (single family dwelling) Note: Each online submission is for one single family dwelling only
  • Production Home Builder permits (singles, semis, townhouses)
  • Temporary Tent
  • Tenant Unit Finish/Alteration
  • Miscellaneous Alteration (solar panel, rooftop unit, designated structure, facade/balcony repair, plumbing and others)

Eligible applications are reviewed and processed electronically. Online applications must be paid by credit card (Visa or Mastercard) and a convenience fee of 2.5% will be added to the total fee at checkout. When the building permit is issued, it is the responsibility of the permit holder to print the permit card and relevant drawings/documents (in colour) and keep them on the construction site.

Building Permit - Apply and Pay Online

Online submission process

There are two steps to the online submission process: Pre-screening and Formal application.

Pre-screening

  • When a pre-screening submission is made, a reference number will be assigned and the Building Division will pre-screen your submission to determine if all of the submission requirements are included.
  • Where it is determined that the acceptance criteria has been satisfied through the pre-screening stage, you will be advised by email from Building Division staff the requirements to move to the formal application stage, including the applicable fee based on the fee schedule.
  • Where the submission is deemed to be insufficient, you will continue to coordinate with Building Division staff until such time the submission is determined to be acceptable.

Formal application 

  • Once a confirmation email is received with a list of outstanding items (including the applicable fee), you are ready to complete your application.
  • Following the instructions provided, you will reply to the email with a reference to the assigned reference number and attach any outstanding PDFs as requested (if any). If no further attachment is necessary, simply advise the Building Division staff member before you make the required payment.
  • A building permit fee is required to complete the application. Online applications must be paid online by credit card (Visa or Mastercard). A 2.5% convenience fee will be added to the total fee at checkout.
  • Please note that the formal submission must be made and the applicable fee must be received in full within two weeks from the date in which the confirmation email is sent by the Building Division. Otherwise, the reference number will no longer be valid and you will need to resubmit all relevant files and documents.
  • Payment by Visa or MasterCard is limited to a maximum of $100,000.00. Any balance of payment may be paid by cash or cheque.
Submission requirements
  • All attachments must be submitted as unprotected PDFs. Plans and supporting documents containing multiple layers must be flattened to a single layer prior to submission.
  • Forms must be completed and signed electronically. All City of Richmond Hill Building forms are available online in fillable format.
  • Plans and supporting documents must be in black and white only. Full colour renderings and photos may be attached, but only as supplements to plans. 
  • Printing to paper and scanning to create a PDF will not be accepted.
  • Drawings must be to scale with applicable scale identified on each drawing.
  • Drawings must be to a scale no smaller than 3/16”=1'-0"
  • Plans within a discipline containing multiple pages must be combined into a single PDF format in proper order.
  • Upload your required attachments with the following naming convention:

### Street Name Building Permit

  • Forms and Pre-approvals
    • Bld Permit App Form.pdf
    • Demolition Sign Off.pdf (for demolition permit)
    • Schedule 1.pdf
    • CTGR.pdf (Commitment to General Reviews by Architect & Engineer)
    • EEDS.pdf (Energy Efficiency Design Summary Sheet for residential housing)
    • Applicable Law Declaration.pdf
    • Mechanical Unit Data.pdf (where rooftop unit is proposed)
    • Plumbing Worksheet.pdf (where plumbing and drain work is proposed)
    • Agreement.pdf (where applicable; Executed Site Plan Agreement or amendment)
    • CofA.pdf (where applicable, Committee of Adjustment decision)
    • Heritage RH.pdf (where applicable, regulated under the Ontario Heritage Act)
    • TRCA.pdf (where applicable, for properties within regulated area)
    • CNR.pdf (where applicable, for work near rail corridors & tracks)
    • York Region.pdf (if property has entrances from Regional roads)
    • Site Alteration.pdf (for infill housing & additions >400sq.ft)
    • Letter of Use.pdf (for tenant permits describing the nature of the operation or business)
    • Other submission1.pdf (registered deed, etc.)
  • Drawings
    • Site Plan.pdf (survey, site plan)
    • Architectural.pdf (architectural drawings)
    • Structural.pdf (structural drawings)
    • Mechanical.pdf (mechanical/plumbing drawings)
    • Sprinkler.pdf (sprinkler drawings)
    • Site Services.pdf (site servicing drawings)
    • Roof Truss.pdf (engineered roof trusses)
    • Floor Joists.pdf (engineered floors)
    • Other submission2.pdf (photos for demolition permit, soils report, etc.)
Building permit applications - apply in person
Building permits are issued by the Building Division of Richmond Hill's Planning and Infrastructure Department. The Building Division  is located in the main Municipal Offices at:

225 East Beaver Creek Road, 3rd Floor
Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3P4

The person applying must be the owner of the building or property, or have written permission to apply for a permit on the owner's behalf.

Make sure you have everything you need when you apply, including:

  • A completed application
  • All required permit plans
  • All required specifications
  • All required permit fees

Designers (other than the homeowner), who prepare any permit plans and specifications for the application must be registered with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing or have a valid, qualified and registered architect's or engineer's licence.

View the Common Building Permit Application Form from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Learn about:

  • Development charges that may apply to your project
  • Non-residential permits
  • Residential permits
  • Frequently asked questions about building permits

Call our Building Division at 905-771-8810 for more information, or email building@richmondhill.ca.

Additional information

When do I need a permit?

Examples of projects that require building permits include:

  • A new building, including temporary and farm buildings
  • Renovating a building, or a material alteration of a building
  • An addition to a building, including sunrooms
  • Building a deck
  • Altering the interior of a building, including finishing a basement
  • Moving a building
  • Demolishing a building
  • Changing the use or occupancy of a building
  • Building a fireplace and chimney
  • Installing a woodstove or chimney
  • Altering or remodelling a plumbing and/or HVAC system
  • Installing or modifying a sprinkler system
  • Installing or modifying a fire alarm system
  • Constructing a retaining wall and any other designated structures
  • Installation or alteration to an on-site sewage system

When is a permit not required?

You don't need a building permit for the following projects:

  • Constructing a detached accessory building that has an area of 10 m2 or less and contains no plumbing
  • Painting or decorating
  • Installing kitchen or bathroom cupboards
  • Landscaping
  • Roof shingling, unless it is a clay tile roof
  • Eavestroughing
  • Damp-proofing a basement
  • Making minor repairs to bricks or blocks

Projects that do not require a building permit still need to follow Richmond Hill's zoning by-laws.

Why do I need a building permit?

The BCA requires that a building permit be issued before you start any work on a new house, an addition or any material alterations to an existing building. Permits and other requirements of the OBC are in place to for the health and safety of homeowners, building occupants, future owners, businesses, tenants and the community.

How do I attain zoning information?

During the planning phase of your project, you must determine what zoning requirements apply to your property. For all zoning and compliance-related information, visit Zoning and Compliance Letter Requests. Please note that we do not provide zoning information over the phone or in person at this time.

Building Permit Volumes

Historical building permit volumes are contained in the below accordions.

List of Residential, Commercial, Industrial and Institutional Permit Values
 
List of Permit Values 2001 - 2020
YearResidentialCommercialIndustrialInstitutional

 

Const. Value

# of Permits

Const. Value

# of Permits

Const. Value

# of Permits

Const. Value

# of Permits

2001

369,751,929

2,323

41,948,605

418

27,271,875

48

71,487,694

62

2002

407,256,788

2,574

35,416,986

476

5,280,648

41

58,691,460

58

2003

348,343,416

2,148

26,142,854

429

16,012,873

47

34,242,466

38

2004

439,325,783

2,383

25,919,771

455

38,825,363

58

29,848,456

38

2005

535,445,508

3,267

45,565,722

486

14,385,321

38

56,619,328

38

2006

245,138,926

1,560

45,682,971

495

13,271,602

38

25,267,752

33

2007

201,382,877

1,352

96,282,991

596

22,929,000

40

12,683,086

39

2008

158,155,858

747

35,321,957

685

20,301,078

39

45,520,600

40

2009

190,101,486

1,369

31,577,735

670

25,238,955

36

24,356,600

44

2010

283,690,742

1,655

29,129,411

989

24,725,450

52

56,205,969

62

2011

240,562,862

1,296

18,371,503

954

11,850,912

34

34,433,100

55

2012

236,695,898

1,088

25,462,881

962

11,191,388

28

93,638,000

45

2013

194,087,404

1,239

24,834,118

911

15,417,749

34

15,962,500

50

2014

198,285,364

1,302

49,811,452

911

1,790,790

16

8,466,500

36

2015

247,861,064

1,108

16,435,687

890

10,931,740

33

8,868,260

45

2016

512,870,417

1,223

59,999,121

950

22,881,446

38

17,449,300

34

2017

296,069,569

987

40,208,664

937 

8,630,425 

32

18,416,140

31

2018 398,076,057 1,148 49,232,912 931 23,149,654 36 15,774,500

27

2019 330,146,146 1,069 40,736,654 818 51,370,577 38 28,459,100

47

2020 359,448,597 1,064 34,972,349 443    8,629,512  31 16,852,200 19 
Total Permit Values
Total Permit Values 2001 - 2020
YearTotal # of PermitsTotal Const. Value# of Dwelling Units

2001

2,851

510,460,103

2,157

2002

3,149

506,645,882

2,311

2003

2,662

424,741,609

1,810

2004

2,934

533,919,373

2,269

2005

3,829

652,015,879

2,946

2006

2,126

329,361,251

1,250

2007

2,027

333,277,954

1,054

2008

1,511

259,299,493

   981

2009

2,119

271,274,776

   989

2010

2,758

393,751,572

1,500

2011

2,339

305,218,377

1,206

2012

2,123

366,988,167

1,711

2013

2,234

250,301,771

   812

2014

2,265

258,354,106

1,249

2015

2,076

284,096,751

1,459

2016

2,245

613,200,284

2,086

2017

1,987

363,324,798

 874

2018

2,142

486,233,123

1,056

2019

1,972

450,712,477

   894

2020

1,557

419,907,658

   941

Annual Building Permit Fee Reports 

Annual Building Permit Fee Reports required by Ontario’s Building Code Act, 1992, Section 7(4).

2014

Income and Expenses

January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014

Total fees collected

 

$4,534,944

Cost to deliver services related to the administration and enforcement of the Building Code Act:

 

 

 

Direct cost to administer and enforce the Building Code Act, including the review of permit applications and inspection of construction

$3,231,722

 

Indirect cost to administer and enforce the Building Code Act, including support and overhead costs

1,063,737

 

Capital costs

20,020

 

Total

(4,315,479)

Amount transferred to (from) the Fee Stabilization Reserve Fund

 

$219,464

Fee Stabilization Reserve Fund Balance Sheet

Period ending on December 31, 2014

Opening balance: January 1, 2014

$3,028,569

2014 Interest Revenue (Actual)

121,681

Amount transferred from operations

219,464

Balance: December 31, 2014

$3,369,714

2015

Income and Expenses

January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015

Total fees collected

 

$3,503,551

Cost to deliver services related to the administration and enforcement of the Building Code Act

 

 

 

Direct cost to administer and enforce the Building Code Act, including the review of permit applications and inspection of construction

$3,344,906

 

Indirect cost to administer and enforce the Building Code Act, including support and overhead costs

1,091,181

 

Capital costs

20,018

 

Total

4,456,105

Amount transferred to (from) the Fee Stabilization Reserve Fund

 

$952,554

Fee Stabilization Reserve Fund Balance Sheet

Period ending on December 31, 2015 

Opening balance: January 1, 2015

$3,369,714

2015 Interest Revenue (Estimated)

40,337

Amount transferred to operations

952,554

Balance: December 31, 2015 (Estimated)

$2,457,497

2016

Income and Expenses

January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016

 

Total fees collected

 

$5,031,477

Cost to deliver services related to the administration and enforcement of the Building Code Act

 

 

 

Direct cost to administer and enforce the Building Code Act, including the review of permit applications and inspection of construction

$3,512,101

 

Indirect cost to administer and enforce the Building Code Act, including support and overhead costs (Estimated)

975,046

 

 Capital costs (Estimated) 

20,403

 

Total

4,507,550

Amount transferred to the Fee Stabilization Reserve Fund

 

$523,927

Fee Stabilization Reserve Fund Balance Sheet

Period ending on December 31, 2016 

Opening balance: January 1, 2016

$2,457,497

2016 Interest Revenue (Estimated)

30,629

Amount transferred to operations

523,927

Balance: December 31, 2016 (Estimated)

$3,012,054

 

2017

Income and Expenses   

January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017

 

Total fees collected

 

$4,730,835

Cost to deliver services related to the administration and enforcement of the Building Code Act

 

 

 

Direct cost to administer and enforce the Building Code Act, including the review of permit applications and inspection of construction

$3,295,666

 

Indirect cost to administer and enforce the Building Code Act, including support and overhead costs (Estimated)

1,116,608

 

Capital costs (Estimated)

18,519

 

Total

4,430,793

Amount transferred to the Fee Stabilization Reserve Fund

 

$300,449

Fee Stabilization Reserve Fund Balance Sheet

Period ending on December 31, 2017

 

Opening balance: January 1, 2017

$3,012,053

2016 Interest Revenue (Estimated)

46,165

Amount transferred from operations

300,449

Balance: December 31, 2017 (Estimated)

$3,358,667

 

2018

Income and Expenses   

January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018

Total fees collected

 

$5,325,035

Funding from Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve   88,200

Cost to deliver services related to the administration and enforcement of the Building Code Act

 

 

 

Direct cost to administer and enforce the Building Code Act, including the review of permit applications and inspection of construction

$3,607,438

 

Indirect cost to administer and enforce the Building Code Act, including support and overhead costs (Estimated)

1,138,550

 

Capital costs (Estimated)

20,316

 

Total

4,766,304

Amount transferred to the Fee Stabilization Reserve Fund

 

$646,931

Fee Stabilization Reserve Fund Balance Sheet

Period ending on December 31, 2018

 

Opening balance: January 1, 2018

$3,358,667

2018 Interest Revenue (Estimated)

80,022

Amount transferred from operations

646,931

Balance: December 31, 2018 (Estimated)

$4,085,620

2019

Income and Expenses   

January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019

Total fees collected

 

$5,507,648

Funding from Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve               $43,500 

 

Cost to deliver services related to the administration and enforcement of the Building Code Act

 

 

Direct cost to administer and enforce the Building Code Act, including the review of permit applications and inspection of construction

$3,620,670

 

Indirect cost to administer and enforce the Building Code Act, including support and overhead costs (Estimated)

$1,198,358

 

Capital costs (Estimated)

           $20,430

 

Total

$4,839,458

Amount transferred to the Fee Stabilization Reserve Fund

 

$711,690

Fee Stabilization Reserve Fund Balance Sheet

Period ending on December 31, 2019

Opening balance: January 1, 2019

$4,085,620

2019 Interest Revenue (Estimated)

$110,148

Amount transferred from operations

$711,690

Balance: December 31, 2018 (Estimated)

$4,907,458

2020

Income and Expenses

January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020 

Total Fees Collected$4,240,276
  Cost to deliver services related to the administration and enforcement of the Building Code Act  
  Direct cost to administer and enforce the Building Code Act, including the review of permit applications and inspection of construction $3,835,742
  Indirect cost to administer and enforce the Building Code Act, including support and overhead costs (Estimated) $1,270,189
  Capital costs (Estimated) $15,054
  Total -$5,120,984
Amount transferred from the Fee Stabilization Reserve Fund   $(880,709)

Fee Stabilization Reserve Fund Balance Sheet

Period ending on December 31, 2020

Opening balance: January 1, 2020$4,907,458
2020 Interest Revenue $52,290
Amount transferred to Operations $(880,709)
Amount transferred to Capital Project (PRM) $(763,878)
Balance as of December 31, 2020 $3,315,162