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Bradford West Gwillimbury

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​​​​​​​​​Building Permits and Guides

A building permit must be obtained from the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury before you begin most construction projects within the municipality. By obtaining a permit, not only will you comply with the requirements of the Building Code Act, you will also benefit by having your plans and the actual construction of your project reviewed and approved as it progresses. These reviews and approvals are meant to ensure that the minimum construction standards established by the Ontario Building Code have been met to protect the health, safety and welfare of both inhabitants and users of buildings.

The residential construction projects listed below require the acquisition of a building permit.

 Select a Project Type

Accessory Dwelling Units

On June 8, 2010, Council adopted a new Zoning By-law which permits accessory dwelling units in most residential zones, in single-detached and semi-detached residential buildings, subject to other provisions such as minimum floor areas and parking standards.

On November 9, 2010, Council endorsed the revised process to register accessory dwelling units within the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury. A copy of the report to Council and the resulting process may be found below.

There are two registration processes. Applicants must follow the registration process applicable to the subject property.


If the accessory dwelling unit was created on or before July 14, 1994, please click on the checklist for existing accessory dwelling units to see the actions required to be undertaken prior to the unit being registered.

If the accessory dwelling unit was created after July 14, 1994, or has not yet been installed, please click on the checklist for new accessory dwelling unit to see the actions required to be undertaken prior to the unit being registered.

For further information on building permit requirements and application processes, please review the Home Owners Guide to Accessory Dwellings found to the right.

Accessory dwelling unit provisions are in accordance with Zoning By-law 2010-050 and the Ontario Building Code (2006).


Accessory Structures

The acquisition of a building permit is required for the construction of any accessory structure. It is important to check with the Permit Administrator of the Building Division to determine the maximum size and the number of accessory buildings permitted on the property, prior to submitting an application for a building permit.

Building Permit Application

1.  Completed building permit application form and zoning compliance form.

2.  2 copies of plans including:

  • Legal Property Survey or a Site Plan designating the location of the proposed accessory building including dimensions and distance from property line(s) and other buildings including location of existing septic system where applicable.
  • Plan(s) and section(s) drawings to include the following information:
    • Footing and foundation construction details, or concrete slab detail or alternate (approved) method of anchorage for accessory buildings less than 50 metres square and not of masonry or masonry veneer construction.
    • Floor (if provided), wall and roof construction details and framing of all openings (windows and doors).
    • Wall cladding and roof covering details.

3. Building permit fees calculated at $3.00 per square metre, Zoning review fee of $62.00 and Assessment fee of $40.00. (fees set by Building By-law and subject to amendment)

Building Permit Issuance

  1. Permits shall be released to the owner or applicant. The building department will release permits to other parties only where a completed authorization form has been received from the owner of the property.

  2. Where a permit is to be issued to a party other than the owner, a form (Owner Authorization form) signed by the owner shall be submitted for the authorization of work to be undertaken on the owner’s property.

Additions and Alterations

​This includes the new construction of an addition and/or the alteration of an existing building.

Basement Finishing

This summary refers to the interior finishing of basement areas, including framing, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and insulation.


  1. Complete building permit application (available on the Town’s website or in the Building Department office)

  2. Two copies of a floor plan drawn to scale (see attached Sample Floor Plan) indicating the following:
    • Identify all rooms,
    • Indicate room sizes with dimensions,
    • Specify the location and sizes of all windows and doors including the height of windows from the floor level,
    • Location and dimension of stairs,
    • Location of smoke and CO detectors,
    • Type of interior and exterior wall finishes,
    • Location of all plumbing fixtures including mechanical ventilation, and
    • Location and size of heat registers in each room and return air grills.

Building permit fees will be calculated at $6.20 per square metre in accordance with Schedule "A" of By-law 2013-0079.



Decks are an extension of the main dwelling unit and as such must be designed and constructed to withstand all superimposed loads. The structure, supports, guards and stairs are regulated by the Ontario Building Code and setbacks to all property lines are regulated by provisions of the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury Zoning By-law.


A building permit is required for all decks greater than 10 m2 (107 sq. ft) or attached to a house. In order to obtain a building permit you must submit:

  • Completed building permit application including all fields and schedules showing designer qualifications including BCIN numbers. (Homeowners are exempt from the requirement for qualifications).
  • Minimum drawings required for submission. 2 copies of plans drawn to scale:
  • Survey plan - showing location and dimension of the proposed deck in relation to existing buildings (including septic system) and setbacks from property lines.
  • Footing/Floor Plan - showing location size and spacing of piers (i.e. sono tubes), size and spacing of floor joists and beams.
  • Elevation - showing height of deck above ground as well as height and construction of guards and stairs.
  • Cross section - showing the connection between the deck to the house, the deck and the beam and depth of piers below grade.
  • Final grading approval from the Town of BWG Engineering Services Department is required for all new residential subdivision applications.

The building permit fees are charged in accordance with Schedule "A" of the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury Building By-law 2013-079 which amount to $178.25 for a deck (this includes the assessment fee).

Once a permit is issued, the permit holder must arrange for all required inspections prior to proceeding with various stages of construction.



​Demolition permits are required by the Town's Building Division when demolishing a building within a residential area.


Septic System Permits and Inspections​

​As of January 1, 2016, amendments to the Ontario Building Code, along with the implementation of the Clean Water Act 2006 and the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, state that all septic systems located within 100 metres of any river, stream, lake or pond that feeds into Lake Simcoe must be inspected once every five years.

The Town has reviewed records to determine what properties are (in whole or in part) within the inspection area, and therefore must be inspected to meet the new requirements of the Ontario Building Code.

Owners of these properties are being contacted by mail to discuss the program and to arrange inspections. All septic systems in the target area must be inspected before January 1, 2021, and then again every five years.


​​​​Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my septic system require an inspection?
As of January 1, 2016, changes to Ontario provincial law state that all septic systems located within 100 metres of any river, stream, lake or pond that feeds into Lake Simcoe must be inspected once every five years. Your property has been identified as falling within the inspection area, and therefore must be inspected to meet the new requirements of the Ontario Building Code.

When will my septic system be inspected?
In BWG, approximately 500 septic systems located (in whole or in part) within the defined area must be inspected before January 1, 2021. Staff from the Town of BWG Building Department will contact you to arrange the inspection.

What is the inspection process?
Initial inspections are non-intrusive, to avoid significant disturbance to your septic system. Your system will be checked for signs of malfunction, and if no concerns are identified, you will receive a certificate of inspection. If failures are discovered, further testing will be done and you may need to have the system repaired before a certificate can be provided.

Will there be a cost to me?
The owner of the septic system will be required to pay a fee, which will be determined after reviewing public input at the Open House. Property owners are also responsible for any necessary repairs, upgrades or replacements; however, there may be funding available to assist with these costs. The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority administers a LEAP (Landowner Environmental Assistance Program)​, and you can contact them for more information.

Swimming Pool Enclosures

If you are installing a swimming pool, spa or hot tub in the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, a permit is required.

To obtain the permit, following information is required:

  • 2 copies of site plan drawings (based on an up to date survey) showing the location of the pool/hot tub on the site and its distance from all existing structures and property lines;

  • Location of existing septic system and distances from proposed pool;

  • Simple description of the pool/spa/hot tub;

  • Fencing specifications you will be constructing around the pool/spa/hot tub;

  • Final grading approval is required for all new residential subdivision applications;

  • Payment of all applicable fees and road restoration deposit; and

  • Completed application form (you may wish to fill out the application form with a staff member when you submit the above mentioned items.)

If you have or are planning a backyard pool, get the Lifesaving Society ON GUARD card.



A building permit is required for a tent or group of tents that is more than 60 m2 (645 ft2) in aggregate ground area.


  1. Building Permit Application;

  2. Building Permit Issuance; and

  3. General Notes Forming Part of Plans Review for Tent Permit.