Building Services

Our team is here to offer zoning, building code information and technical advice and to be of assistance during the entire construction process. If you need more information we invite you to contact us.

Each of the following documents will provide you with valuable information, whether you plan to build a wood deck, are interested in building a family home, would like to install an outdoor pool, are searching for information about fees and other charges, and more.

Building Services is also responsible for:

  • Administering and enforcing the Township of Norwich Zoning By-law, other various municipal by-laws, and provincial regulations in a fair and consistent manner to control how people use their lands and construct buildings on their property.
  • enforcing Property Standards relating to buildings and structures.
  • assigning civic municipal addressing including 911 signs.

The Ontario government has made changes to WSIB coverage rules for the construction industry

To help everyone understand the requirements, they have created the  Before the work starts, get the clearance number - brochure explaining:

  • what contractors and purchasers need to do to confirm coverage
  • the implications of dealing with contractors who aren't covered.

For more information on mandatory coverage in the construction industry please visit  

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Building Permit Applications

Reference Documents

Supporting Documentation

Reference Documents

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Yes. As regulated under the Ontario Building Code, any tent over 60 m2 (646 ft2), any size tent attached to a building, or any size tent constructed less that 3 m from other structures, requires a building permit. For further information please contact Building Services.

The Line Fences Act provides a procedure that enables neighbouring landowners to have their fencing disputes arbitrated by municipally appointed fence-viewers. The procedure is applicable to situations where one owner wants to construct, repair or maintain a fence on a property boundary line, but is unable to reach agreement with the other owner on the type of fence to be erected, the sharing of the costs of the fence, or both of these issues.

The 911 Civic Addressing is based on a two-part system that includes both the six-digit number and the road name. Established on a grid system, it is defined by the intersection of the driveway access and the road. If you have an emergency and require assistance from Police, Fire, Ambulance, or other emergency staff, your address will appear on the call-taker's screen at the 911 answering bureau. In order to ensure accurate updated information, it is important that you inform your local telephone company of any changes to your address to ensure prompt services using the 911 Emergency Services. It would also be beneficial to record the 911 number near all of your telephones so that it can easily be recalled to emergency personnel. 

Who is Responsible?

It is the responsibility of the property owner to keep and maintain in good condition their civic number plate and civic numbers including all costs associated with such maintenance or replacement of damaged or stolen signs when necessary (Township of Norwich By-law 49-95). If you require a replacement 911 sign please contact Building Services. 

Where Do I Place the 911 sign?

The Civic number plate is to be placed on its own post, within 3 m (10 ft.) of the property line and within 3 m (10 ft.) of the edge of the driveway (unobscured by mailboxes, etc.), perpendicular to the fronting road. The plate must be a minimum of 1.5 m (5 ft.) above grade, and a maximum of 2 m (6 ft. 6 in.) above grade. Any variation of this provision is subject to the approval of the Chief Building Official, Road Superintendent or other designated person. (By-law 49-95 Schedule “A” Section 4.1.2) 

Who is responsible for the civic addressing in Urban Areas?

The Township of Norwich Chief Building Official, or designate, retains the responsibility of allocating new civic addresses as new properties are developed, upon issuance of a building permit, based on the County of Oxford Civic Addressing Guidelines. 

What are the requirement for displaying my property's civic address number?

Urban civic address numbers or unit numbers may be affixed to the main building/dwelling. The numbers used are to be a minimum of 7 inches in height, or where made of a reflective material, 5 inches in height and; the numbers used must be clearly visible from the travelled portion of the road under all lighting, and in all seasons and weather conditions. 

The Ontario Building Code requires the inspection to be completed within two (2) business days for regular inspections and no later than five (5) business days for sewage systems. The time begins on the following day after the request has been received.

If at time of inspection the inspected work does not meet the appropriate criteria according to the Ontario Building Code, the issue must be rectified and, in most cases, a re-inspection will be required before the project can proceed. 

(NOTE: This is a general list and is not intended to represent the complete list of possible projects.)
• A building permit is not required for a detached accessory structure such as a gazebo or tool shed that measures an area of 10 m2 (107.6 ft2) or less. However, the location and height of all new structures must comply with The Township of Norwich Zoning By-law (
• Installing replacement asphalt shingles on a roof
• Minor roof sheathing repairs
• Repointing of brick veneer
• Replacing siding
• Replacing doors or windows (provided they are in the same size opening)
• Kitchen or bathroom cabinets (not including plumbing)
• New flooring
• Installation of air conditioning units or heat pumps
• Boundary Fences
• Pool heaters
• Painting and decorating
• Landscaping
• Installing a free-standing solar panel

(NOTE: This is a general list and is not intended to represent the complete list of possible projects.)
• Any structure over 10 m2 (107.6 ft2)
• Any addition to an existing structure, regardless of the size of the addition
• Interior alterations for non-residential units
• Interior alterations for residential units including, but not limited to, creation of bedroom(s), converting a garage to living space, converting a seasonal room to year round use, or creating a new dwelling unit
• Extensive interior renovations that include any structural changes or repairs (e.g. replacement of insulation, removal of interior walls, installation or removal of supporting beams)
• Installation of solid fuel appliances (i.e. woodstoves and fireplaces)
• A new building entrance
• A new window/door opening or replacing an existing window/door to a larger size opening
• A deck
• A shed over 10 m2 (107.6 ft2)
• Outdoor Swimming Pool (see Outdoor Pool By-Law 10-98)
• Adding new dormers
• Enclosing a porch
• Any change of use to a greater hazard (see O.B.C.
• Signs installed on an exterior building face or roof
• Free standing signs
• Any installation or alteration of a plumbing system (water supply, drain, waste or vent)
• Converting from a well or septic system to Town water or sanitary sewer
• Installing solar panels onto a building

Constructing or altering a structure without a Permit can result in numerous problems including:
• not conforming with the Ontario Building Code
• putting yourself and your family at potential risk
• putting yourself at liability should an injury occur to someone while visiting your property as a result of a structure not conforming to the Ontario Building Code
• extra cost in having to reconstruct, replace, or remove the structure according to the Zoning By-law and Ontario Building Code
• increased permit fees and possible fines
• insurance protection nullification
• difficulty selling the property
• complaints from neighbours

All documents that may need to accompany the building permit application can be found in building By-law 16-2019, Schedule D. It is up to the discretion of the Chief Building Official to request more information as required.

Where do I submit my application?

Building Permit Applications should be submitted to Building Services. 

Who is authorized to apply for a building permit?

The owner of the property or an authorized agent for the owner (contractor) must apply for the building permit. Authorized agents can submit the form Authorization of Owner(s) for Applicant/Agent to Make the Application or similar form with the permit application.

How long does it take to approve a Building Permit?

Depending on the project, a permit must be issued from ten business days for a residential structure and up to thirty days for more complex buildings providing all applicable drawings have been received and approved, all fees paid, and any applicable law has not been contravened

A demolition permit is required for all buildings that would normally require a building permit. The Ontario Building Code exempts farm buildings located on agriculture property.

The Application for a Permit to Demolish is required to be submitted along with confirmation from all utilities that the services have been disconnected to the building.

The Ontario Building Code Act requires a building permit when a person constructs or demolishes a building or causes a building to be constructed or demolished. A building is defined as:

(a) a structure occupying an area greater than 10 m2 (107.6 ft2 ) consisting of a wall, roof, and floor or any of them or a structural system serving the function thereof including all plumbing, works, fixtures, and service systems appurtenant thereto,

(b) a structure occupying an area of 10 m2 (107.6 ft2) or less that contains plumbing, including the plumbing appurtenant thereto,

(c) plumbing not located in a structure

(d) a sewage system; or

(e) structures designated in the building code 

Why do I need a Building Permit?

A Building Permit provides the means to review the project designs, to inspect the actual construction and to ensure that the health, safety and welfare of the occupants of the building are maintained. By reviewing and approving plans before any work is done ensures that construction within the Township of Norwich complies with the Ontario Building Code (which sets minimum standards for design and materials), the local zoning by-law (which controls building location, height, parking, etc. and uses that are suitable to the area) and other applicable laws. 
 A building permit is a formal approval to construct, add to, or renovate a building on your property. Building permits allow the municipality to protect the interests of both individuals and the community as a whole.

I am still unsure if I require a Building Permit:

Please contact Building Services with details of the work you're planning. Our staff will be able to assist you in determining if a permit is required. Making early enquiries about your project will help to resolve any possible issues you may encounter.