Mandatory electronic building permit applications and inspections

Attention: Architects, contractors, designers, engineers and home builders

Starting in the new year, the City will require that all building permit applications and inspection requests be submitted electronically through the Building Services online portal.

As of January 1, 2020, electronic submission will become mandatory for all building permit applications, regardless of whether the project is residential, industrial, institutional or commercial. It will also be mandatory to request building inspections online using the portal, rather than by phone or email.

The City has provided video tutorials to learn how to become a registered user, apply for a building permit, or book a building inspection. Visit https://gpas.guelph.ca to create a free account and get started.

While drawings and other documents may still be accepted in person at the Building Services counter on the 3rd Floor of City Hall, they must be submitted electronically on a USB device.

Permit application process

When submitting a building permit application, the City has a process in place to review applications for completeness within two business days.  If the application has been deemed complete, the applicant will be notified by email of the fees owing.  Provided the fees are then paid within two business days of receiving the email notification, the application will remain in order to be reviewed based on the initial submission date.

If the application is incomplete and/or the fees are not paid within two business days after being notified, the application will not be placed in order to be reviewed until all items have been received and the application has been deemed complete.

Uploading drawings and documents

When submitting a building permit application, if possible, use a PC instead of a Mac.

All files submitted shall be in PDF format, and must be unsecured and not be password protected.  The maximum file size of each document can not exceed 50 megabytes.  If a set of drawings exceeds 50 megabytes it will need to be separated into multiple PDF files of less than 50 megabytes each.

Residential permit applications

Building permit applications for detached houses, semi-detached houses and row-type townhouses, and their associated permit applications (decks, finished basements, etc.) should be submitted with all drawings and supporting documentation in one electronically created PDF file.

The naming of all files submitted should include the civic address for the permit application being submitted.

Industrial, commercial, institutional and multi-residential permit applications

Building permit applications for larger projects, including stacked townhouses, shall have the drawings organized into separate, electronically created, vector-based PDF files.  Files shall be named as follows, where the Project Address is the civic address for the permit application being submitted:

  • Project AddressArchitectural (or ARCH)
  • Project Address – Structural (or STRUCT)
  • Project Address – HVAC
  • Project Address – Plumbing (or PLUMB)
  • Project Address – Electrical (or ELECT)
  • Project Address – Radon
  • Project Address – Fire Alarm (if not part of the Electrical)
  • Project Address – Sprinkler
  • Project Address – Energy Efficiency (If not part of another discipline)

Supporting documentation, including forms, reports and schedules shall be submitted in separate PDF files.  These files can be electronically created or may be scanned.  They should be named “Project Address – Commitment Form” etc.  The Project Address is the civic address for the permit application being submitted.

Building inspections

When booking inspections through the Building Services online portal, please include the contact name and phone number of the site supervisor that will be meeting the building inspector on site.

Only those parties listed on the building permit can request inspections online.  If contractors or home builders would prefer to have site supervisors book their own inspections, they will need to provide the site supervisor with the username and password for their online account.

In order to accommodate an inspection on the next business day, building inspections must be requested prior to 3 p.m.

Background information

The City introduced the Building Services online portal in 2009 for low-rise residential building permit applications as part of a commitment to making it easy to do business in Guelph.

In January 2019, the City started accepting other permit application types online, including for all residential, industrial, commercial and institutional projects.

The portal can be used to apply for building permits, submit and receive drawings, track a permit’s status and to book inspections.

For more information

Building Services
519-837-5615
[email protected]