Building Services

The Espanola Building Services Department implements and employs the Ontario Building Code to minimize the risk of the public's harm with respect to the use and construction of structures.  Building Services enforces the requirements of the Ontario Building Code in order to ensure protection from tragedy caused by fire, structural collapse and general deterioration of structures, such as homes, schools, offices, stores and warehouses.  When the elements of the Ontario Building Code are applied, potential hazards to building occupants are reduced.

Download the Town of Espanola Building Bylaw and various permits below.

Building Bylaw (pdf)
Application for Permit to Construct or Demolish (pdf)  
Sign Bylaw (pdf) 
Deck Package (pdf)
Garage Package (pdf)
Guard Package (pdf)
Commercial Package (pdf)

What is a Building Permit?

A building permit gives you legal authorization to start construction of a building project in accordance with approved drawings and specifications. Building permits are issued by the Town Of Espanola Building Services.. Building permits are reviewed for compliance with the Ontario Building Code, applicable municipal zoning bylaw and other provincial and municipal regulations for the protection of public safety, health and welfare.

Why do I need a Building Permit?

A building permit is the best way to protect a major investment in your home. A building permit provides information about the Town’s construction by-laws and regulations. It ensures that minimum construction standards are met and appropriate materials are used. It provides access to the professional advice of Building Services staff during the design and construction phases of your project to avoid problems in the future. Construction, alteration, conversion and/or demolition cannot start until a building permit is issued. Starting construction without a permit is illegal and a Provincial Offence under the Ontario Building Code Act. Charges may be laid. At a minimum, you will be subject to a double permit fee. Unsure whether you need a building permit?

The Town of Espanola Building Services staff will be pleased to answer your questions and to help you assemble and submit your application(s) for a building permit and other permits governed by the Ontario Building Code. Who is responsible for obtaining a building permit? An architect or contractor may obtain a building permit on your behalf but the property owner is ultimately responsible.

When is a building permit required?

In general, a building permit is required to erect, install, extend, alter or repair a building.

The following are examples of projects that require building permits: 
• Construction of any new structure, including decks, garages, sheds and playhouses, larger than 108 square feet (10 square metres) 
• Addition of a carport, garage, porch, room(s), dormer, roof over a deck, second storey to an existing home or second story dwelling unit 
• Renovations to the exterior of your home including construction or repair of foundation, installation of siding or brick and the addition or alteration of windows and doors 
• Interior renovations that change or remove partitions and load-bearing walls including installation of insulation, air/vapour barrier and drywall 
• Installation of a fireplace/woodstove or installation/repair of a chimney, installation of any wood burning appliance
• Installation of a mobile home on your property

Residential Examples

Are other permits required?

In some circumstances, Building Services staff will inform you that additional approvals are required before a building permit will be issued. 
Examples include: 
• A plumbing permit for installation,  alteration and additions to a plumbing system 
• A demolition permit before you take down all or part of a building 
• An occupancy permit if construction is not complete at time of occupancy 
• A swimming pool enclosure permit for outdoor swimming pools with a capacity of  24 inches (61 cm) of water 
• A permit for electrical work, such as lighting, wiring, switches and outlets. Contact the Electrical Safety Authority at 1-877-372-7233 or visit on-line at

What information do I need to apply for a permit?

The Town of Espanola's application process for building projects requires detailed information from the property owner or authorized representative. Requirements depend on the nature of the project.

Deed or tax bill to verify property ownership and to provide a legal description of the property. 
A copy of a plot plan or a normal property survey illustrating the following: 
• Lot Dimensions 
• Location of easements 
• Size and location of existing structures and proposed structures
• Distance between structures and proposed structures 
• Distance between structures and distance to property lines 
• Drainage Patterns 
• Driveway
• Total value of construction, including materials and labour.
• Two complete sets of construction plans which may include some or all of the following:
• Foundation plan (new construction, an addition, installing a basement or repairing a foundation) 
• Cross section showing load bearing walls and beams (new construction, interior renovations) 
• Elevation plan (new construction, alterations to the exterior of your home) 
• Floor plan (new construction, an addition, renovations to existing structure)

What is a BCIN and when is it required?


A BCIN (Building Code Identification Number) is issued to designers by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

In general, designers other than professional engineers and architects that engage in the following 'design activities” are required to meet the qualification/registration requirements under the Building Code: 
• Preparing a design as part of a building permit application; 
• Giving information or an opinion concerning whether a building or part of a building complies with the Building Code if the information or opinion is to be submitted to a chief building official in connection with a building permit application; and 
• Preparing a written report for submission to the chief building official based on a general review, where a general review is required by the Building Code.

Homeowner's who do their own design work are not required to obtain a BCIN.

Projects That DO NOT Require a Building Permit

• Fences (other than for swimming pools/hot tubs)
• Asphalt roof shingling
• Eavestroughs
• Minor repairs to masonry
• Air conditioning units or heat pumps added to existing forced-air systems
• Kitchen or bathroom cupboards without plumbing/Mechanical ventilation
• Free-standing satellite dishes
• Replace existing forced-air furnace (no duct work alterations)
• Replacing windows (provided there are no structural changes)
• Pool heaters
• Painting and decorating
• Landscaping

For more information contact:

Building Services
Town of Espanola
100 Tudhope St, Ste 2
Espanola, ON P5E 1S6
PH (705) 869-1540
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