Industrial, Commercial or Institutional building permits and inspections

Building permit applications are required to be submitted electronically through the Guelph Permit and Application System.

Ensure to have your drawings ready prior to applying. The drawings must be attached in Vector based PDF format (i.e. created electronically, not scanned). All files must be unsecured and not password protected.

The Building Code requires that qualified and registered designers who review and take responsibility for design activities include the following information on any documents submitted to a Chief Building Official or registered code agency:

  • The name and Building Code Identification Number (BCIN) of the registered firm;
  • A statement that the qualified person has reviewed and taken responsibility for the design activities;
  • The name and BCIN of the qualified person; and
  • The signature of the qualified person.

If your project requires professional design or a registered designer, click here for information on finding an appropriate qualified individual. If applicable, drawings must be stamped by an architect or professional engineer or both. The stamps and signatures of architects and/or professional engineers are required to be original on one set of drawings. All drawings shall be fully dimensioned, note all sizes and types of construction materials to be used and their respective locations, all finishes to all walls, ceiling and floors, and all existing and proposed fire separations. Alterations, renovations and additions must differentiate between the existing building and new work being done.

Building permit requirements

A building permit is generally required for most renovation and construction projects. This not only includes new buildings and additions, but also smaller projects such as adding, relocating or removing partition walls, plumbing fixtures or ductwork. Building permits are also often required to change the use of a building or suite.

Please email [email protected] if you plan to carry out any renovations that you think may not require a building permit.

Building Services does not issue electrical permits or carry out electrical inspections. Please contact the Electrical Safety Authority for information about electrical installations or alterations.


A commitment form signed by all consultants and the property owner are required to be submitted. Where applicable, fill out Schedule 1 that must be signed by the designer. A completed Ontario Building Code Analysis is also required.


Once your building permit application is deemed complete, you will be notified of the applicable building permit fee. Please visit for the current fee schedule.


The following is a list of plans, working drawings, information and forms that may be required to accompany applications and fees for permits according to the scope of work.

  • Site plan
  • Key plan
  • Lot grading plan
  • Floor plans
  • Foundation plans
  • Framing plans
  • Roof plans
  • Reflected ceiling plans
  • Sections and details
  • Air barrier details
  • Soil gas control details
  • Building elevations
  • Structural drawings
  • Architectural drawings
  • Electrical drawings
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning drawings
  • Plumbing drawings
  • Fire alarm drawings
  • Sprinkler drawings
  • Travel distance plans
  • Exit capacity plans

Additional information which may be required

Depending on the scope of your work, some additional payments and/or items might be required.

  • Payment of development charges
  • Water meter connection charge
  • Complete and submit an Energy Efficiency Design Summary Form (EEDS).
  • Complete and submit a Radon Certification Form
  • Ontario Building Code Analysis
  • Fire Protection Reports
  • Approval from Ministry of Transportation
  • Approval from Ministry of Health
  • Approval from Ministry of Labour
  • Review by Heritage Planning
  • Approval from Grand River Conservation Authority
  • Request to fill out a questionnaire related to Design of Hazardous Areas
  • Cash-in-lieu of parkland dedication
  • A source water protection review (please review Source water protection for business, builders, developers for further information on how this may apply to your application)


All development proposals must comply with the City of Guelph zoning regulations. If you are unsure of what the zoning regulations are for your project, please contact Zoning Services at [email protected] or at 519-837-5615.

Building permit application and fees

The approval process

Your application will be reviewed in order of submission. The approximate time to review your building permit application is 15, 20 or 30 business days, depending on the building type.

When the review is complete and any deficiencies have been addressed, the building permit will be issued and the applicant will be notified.

Permit issued

Construction may start once the building permit has been issued. Please review the conditions which have been noted on your permit and drawings. The permit and approved drawings must be available on the site.

Construction must be carried out in compliance with the approved plans and documents issued with your permit. Any deviation from the approved drawings must be reported to Building Services. A revised permit application and fees may be required.

Mandatory inspections are required to ensure all work is completed according to the approved plans, including changes noted by the Plans Examiner. Your permit will include a list of mandatory inspections specific to your project.

Building inspections

Inspections do not happen automatically. The permit will include a list of mandatory inspections which must be booked.

Please book an inspection through the Guelph Permit and Application System. Please allow 48 hours’ notice for inspections

It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that you or your contractor contacts Building Services to book an inspection. Failure to have inspections performed may result in having to uncover and expose work for inspection.

An inspector will perform an inspection and a report will be emailed to the applicant. If infractions are noted, these items must be corrected and a re-inspection booked to ensure that the infractions have been remedied. Once all mandatory inspections have been passed, the permit will be considered complete. All inspection reports are available online.

For questions regarding inspections, please call 519-837-5614.

For more information

For information about building permits contact Building Services at 519-837-5615 or by email at [email protected].

Related programs

Guelph’s water supply

The City of Guelph’s drinking water source is groundwater. As such, and under the Clean Water Act, a considerable area within the City is considered to be vulnerable from a water quality and quantity perspective.

The City welcomes and encourages new development; however, we live in an area with sensitivities and vulnerabilities, and we need to make sure we don’t create more problems that could harm our current and future water supply. We must protect the resources Guelph is situated on and consider all potential threats as they relate to development.

Throughout the development process, consider incorporating water-saving features to protect our water supply. The City offers several rebate programs to help you save money and protect our environment.

Can’t find what you need?

Use this form to send us a question. We’ll put you in touch with a team.