The Town of East Gwillimbury (EG) makes it easy to get a building permit! Instructions on when and how you can obtain a building permit can be found below.

Check your Zoning

It is important to check to see if the zoning of your property allows for your proposed project. You need to follow the Town Zoning By-law 2018-043, which sets out things like how close to the lot line you can build, and what is the maximum size you can build. It also speaks to what businesses are allowed where. To check zoning information, please email the Planning Branch or visit our Zoning page.

Is a building permit necessary?

A building permit is a formal approval from your municipality to construct, repair, alter, renovate a building, install plumbing, and/or install or repair/alter a private sewage disposal system on your property. You need a building permit before starting most construction, renovation, or demolition projects.

We have listed common projects that require a building permit and exemptions below. Please note that the lists below are for general use and do not cover every situation. For advice on whether your project requires a permit, please contact the Building Branch.

A building permit is required for:

  • Any new building greater than 10m2 (108 ft2) not mentioned below. 
  • A shed used for storage greater than 15m2 (161 ft2) in building area.
  • Any new building that contains plumbing, irrespective of size.
  • Any addition to an existing building, irrespective of size.
  • Detached or attached garages and carports.
  • Any deck not exempt in the list below.
  • Any solarium or sunroom.
  • Addition of a dormer.
  • Tents greater than 60 m2 (645 ft2) in building area.
  • Changing the use of a building.
  • Construction of a new, or repair of any part of, a septic system.
  • Full or partial demolition.

A building permit is not required for the following exempt construction projects:

  • Detached building (structurally independent), 10 m2 (108 ft2) or less in aggregate area, and does not include any plumbing.
  • A detached shed for storage under 15 m2 (161 ft2) or less in aggregate area, and does not include any plumbing.
  • Wooden Deck that meets all these conditions:
    1. Completely uncovered (no roof).
    2. Less than 600 mm (24”) above adjacent ground level around the entire perimeter of the deck, without artificial grade alteration within 1.2 m (4 ft) of any portion of the deck.
    3. Not adjacent to a required exit or emergency access.
    4. Does not serve a required ramp.
  • Garden pergolas and gazebos without a solid roof.
  • Fabric covered building(s) under 60 m2 (648 ft2) in aggregate area that are situated at least 3.0 m (9 ft) from another building.
  • Repair or replacement of finishes applied to a non-load bearing interior wall, and floor or ceiling finishes, that do not form part of a required fire separation.
  • Repairs to chimneys and porches.
  • Repairs or replacement of deck boards, asphalt roof shingles.
  • Repairs or replacement of windows and doors provided the size of the openings remain the same.
  • Damp-proofing repairs to foundation walls where plumbing, shoring, and underpinning are not required to complete the work.
  • Repair or replacement of a furnace or hot water tank provided the fuel source and heat output remain the same.
  • Installation, repair, or replacement of an air conditioning unit or air-to-air heat pump.
  • Repair or replacement of a plumbing fixture.
  • Painting or decorating.
  • Installing kitchen and bathroom cupboards, where no plumbing alterations are proposed.
  • Planters, landscaping, and patio stone or concrete walkways not in the vicinity of a septic system.
  • Playgrounds and playground structures, including treehouses, 10 m2 (108 ft2) or less in aggregate area that do not contain plumbing.
  • Dish antenna or solar array less than 5 m2 (54 ft2) in aggregate area.
  • Retaining walls not exceeding 1 m (39”) in exposed height throughout.
  • Free standing wind turbines with a rated output not exceeding 3kW.

How can I get a building permit, and when can I start building?

Building permit applications can only be submitted in digital format via email or through the drop-box at the Town Hall using various digital media (e.g., CD, USB). The building permit fees can only be paid by cheque, with an accompanying letter detailing the construction project, address, and the building permit applicant's contact information.

Find Application forms and other forms on our Building Resources page or contact the Building Branch. It is a good idea to talk to staff before you apply. They can tell you what information, drawings, and plans you will have to include with the application and whether you will need to comply with other Applicable Laws.

These documents on this page are available in other formats, please contact the Building Branch to request.

Building permit process

How to submit a Building Permit Application

  1. Applicants can visit the Online Building Services page to apply for building permits. If you require assistance submitting your application through the portal, please contact the Building Services department by email or review our Online Building Permit Application Guide.
  2. Town staff conduct a prescreening review to confirm the project complies with our submission standards(this document is available in other formats, please contact the Building Branch to request).
  3. Once the submission passes the prescreening review, it becomes a permit application. The date of application is the date that prescreening is approved.

Building Permit Application review

  • All plans review and any required resubmissions are conducted electronically.
  • An email notification will be sent when the reviews have been completed or if there are any outstanding deficiency items for the applicant to follow up.
  • Applicants will work with the Town to resubmit revised plans and documents for further review, until approved.

Building Permit issuance

  • An email notification will be sent to the applicant when the Building Permit is issued
  • Applicants must then print the permit card, permit placard and one set of approved plans for use on site by the Building Inspector. Construction can begin!


  • You are required to schedule inspections at various stages of construction. These are detailed in the electronic documents forming part of your building permit. The timelines for inspections will be included in your documentation.
  • Request an inspection by emailing our Building Inspections email.  Please ensure the following information is detailed in your email request:
    • Permit number
    • Address
    • Type of inspection
    • Your name and a phone number we can contact you at
  • A Town Building Inspector will attend on-site within 48-hours, not including weekends and holidays.
  • Additional fees may be charged for after-hours or emergency inspections.

What are Applicable Laws, and do they apply?

Building permits cannot be issued if a project does not comply with Applicable Laws defined in the Ontario Building Code. These Applicable Laws apply based on the location of your property or the proposed use of the building, and generally requires approval from authorities having jurisdiction over the respective Applicable Laws.

Examples of common Applicable Laws affecting the issuance of building permits are Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) in environmentally sensitive areas, and Ministry of Transportation (MTO) in highway corridors.

Applications forms, documents, and contact info     Building Permit Fees    Development Charges  Online Building Services - APPLY HERE FOR YOUR BUILDING PERMIT