Building an Accessory Building

What is an accessory building?

Accessory buildings are any building that is accessory to the main use of the parcel, including sheds, shops, coveralls, sea-cans, etc.

Do I need a permit for a non-permanent structure (for example: buildings on skids, coveralls, sea-cans)?

Yes, any structure larger than 10m2 (approximately 108 ft2) whether it is on a permanent or temporary foundation require both a Development Permit and a Building Permit. Sea-cans only require a Development Permit unless you are changing the structure, for example adding a roof or door, then you also need a Building Permit.

Do I need engineered plans?

All coverall structures need engineered stamped plans. As well, all non-residential structures require engineering. Please contact Planning if you have any questions.

Step 1: Determine what you want to build and verify that the use is listed in your zoning district

Remember accessory buildings are accessory to the main use of the parcel; therefore if you are in a residential district a residence is required prior to a shop.

You will need to know the size of the building and have elevations of it, the front, rear, and side views of what your building will look like, prior to development application.

Step 2: Get a plot plan

You will need a plot plan showing the proposed location and size of the accessory building, the distance from the property lines and other structures (proposed or existing) on the parcel. Contact the Planning Department to confirm if a professional plot plan is required.

Step 3: Apply for the Development Permit

A Development Permit Application [PDF - 945 KB] needs to be completed and submitted to the Planning Department, with the plot plan, the building elevations, and the application fee. Depending on the use of the building, one of the following forms will also need to be completed:

Upon review of an application, further information may be requested prior to the application being processed.

Step 4: Apply for a Building Permit

Once the Development Permit has been approved, an application for Building Permit can be processed. You will need to complete the Residential Building Permit Application [Fillable PDF - 188 KB] or Non-Residential Building Permit Application [PDF - 167 KB] depending on the use of the building. The completed application form, along with two copies of the blueprints, a copy of the plot plan, and the application fee need to be submitted to the Department.

If the building is for non-residential use, Schedules A and B need to be submitted with the application.

If the building is a conventional four sided garage type structure the Detached Garages and Accessory Buildings Information Supplement [PDF - 150 KB] form can be filled out in lieu of blueprints.

Please note: Slab foundations over 592 square feet and all pile and grade beam foundations require engineering.

Step 5: Apply for Plumbing, Gas, Electrical, and Private Sewage Permits

These sub-trade permit applications can be made at the same time, or following the issuance of the Building Permit they do need to be made prior to starting any of the associated work. Only the applicable applications need to be made; for example, if you are not installing a gas heater you do not need to apply for a Gas Permit.