If you are a homeowner and you have questions, such as what types of home projects require a building permit, what by-laws to keep in mind before you build, and how to have your utilities hooked up - the Town of Ajax is here to help.

Construction that Requires a Building Permit

Before starting your project check if you require a building permit. If your project does not require a building permit, you must still comply with the requirements of the Zoning-By-law.

  • Adding a bedroom
  • Addition to a building
  • Attached garage, carport or other roof structure of any size
  • Detached garage, carport, shed or roof structure more than 10 square metres in building area
  • Accessory apartment
  • Decks or platforms more than 0.6 metre above grade or attached to another structure
  • Demolition of a structure greater than 10 square metres in building area
  • Excavating/underpinning a basement or crawl space
  • Basement finishing
  • Industrial, commercial, institutional and multi-residential construction, alterations, or changes of use
  • Increasing the size of an existing opening
  • Changing the heating system or altering ductwork
  • Plumbing additions and alterations
  • Reinsulating
  • Removal of a loadbearing wall
  • Residential dwelling unit
  • Retaining wall greater than 1 metre in height
  • Septic system installations and alterations (Requires a building permit through Durham Region)
  • Signs, permanent
  • Site servicing (water or sewer lines) for all building types
  • Solar panels that are mounted to a building or have an area of 5 square metres or greater
  • Tent or group of tents more than 60 square metres in aggregate ground area, attached to a building, or constructed within 3 metre of any structure
  • Retrofit an existing accessory apartment under Section 9.8 of the Ontario Building Code.
    (This only applies to accessory apartments built before July 14, 1994.)
  • Woodstove or wood-burning fireplace

Building Guides

We have created guides for the most common residential building permit applications to help residents understand the building permit application process. Each guide provides an application form, documents checklist and sample drawings. The sample drawings are intended to be used for reference only and cannot be submitted with your application.

Residential Building Permits

The following information is required when submitting a permit application for a new dwelling unit or addition.

Designer Requirements

All construction drawings for the permit application are to be prepared by the property owner, a qualified designer, architect or professional engineer, or a combination thereof. Designs outside the scope of Part 9, Division B of the Ontario Building Code (OBC) may require review by a professional engineer.

HVAC drawings are required to be prepared by a qualified designer, architect or professional engineer.

The OBC requires qualified and registered designers who review and take responsibility for design activities to include the following information on any documents submitted to the Chief Building Official:

  • 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.
  • The signature of the qualified person.

Drawing Requirements

The following is a list of drawings and documents that may be required to accompany applications for permits according to the scope of work:

  • Lot grading plan
  • Foundation plan
  • Floor plans/framing plans
  • Roof plan
  • Roof truss layout and individual truss data sheets
  • Building Elevations
  • Sections and details
  • HVAC drawings and calculations
  • Manufactured products specifications and approvals (i.e. Exterior insulation and finish system, guards, etc.)

All drawings shall be fully dimensioned, drawn to a minimum scale of 3/16”=1'-0”. Note all sizes and types of construction materials to be used and their respective locations, finishes to all walls, ceilings and floor, and all existing and proposed fire separations.

Additional Information

The following is required for the building permit application process:

Driveway Widening, Curb Cuts and Boulevard Encroachments

The Town recently made several revisions to its policies for Driveway Widening, Curb Cuts and Boulevard Encroachments. These changes were introduced to provide property owners with more flexibility to alter their properties.

Driveways (on private property) and driveway aprons (on the Town-owned boulevard lands) can now be expanded to the maximum width permitted under the Town’s Zoning By-Law without any application or payment to the Town. Further details relating to driveway and apron widening can be found below.

“Driveway-adjacent walkways” constructed at-grade along the length of a driveway are now permitted without any application or payment to the Town provided that they comply with the provisions of the Zoning By-law. Further details relating to driveway-adjacent walkways can be found below.

Property owners looking to widen the depressed portion of their curb can submit a Curb Cut Application to the Town. Curb cuts will be considered up to the maximum width assigned under the Town’s Zoning By-Law. Further details relating to curb cuts can be found below.

Alterations to the Town’s boulevard lands beyond the limits of the driveway apron are now possible through the Town’s Boulevard Encroachment Policy. Simple Encroachments are permitted as-of-right without any application or payment to the Town, while Complex Encroachments are subject to an application, fee and approval by the Town. Further details relating to Complex Boulevard Encroachments are available below.

For a visual demonstration of how the lands covered by and surrounding driveways are managed, see the Town’s Jurisdiction for Driveway, Apron & Curb Cut Modifications.

 

 Driveway and Driveway Apron Widening

Residential property owners in the Town of Ajax are permitted to expand their driveways (the portion located on private property) to the maximum width permitted under the Town’s Zoning By-Law without any application or payment to the Town. Property owners may also expand their driveway aprons (the portion located on the Town-owned boulevard lands) to the maximum width permitted under the Town’s Zoning By-Law, subject to meeting the following setbacks:

  • 1.0 m from a municipal tree that is less than 20 cm diameter at breast height (DBH) or 2.0 m from a municipal tree that is greater than or equal to 20 DBH;
  • 1.0 m from any utility appurtenance or service, stop sign or yield sign;
  • 1.0 m from the edge of a concrete pad for a transit stop or 3.0 m from a transit stop without a concrete pad; 
  • 3.0 m from a fire hydrant; and
  • 0.3 from the extension of a side or rear lot line projected through the boulevard lands.

The Maximum Driveway Width and Maximum Apron Width permitted in each of the Town’s Residential Zones is outlined in the Driveway-Related Standards in the Zoning By-Law

Residential properties are limited to having a single driveway access, except in the Country Residential (CR) Zone, where two driveway accesses may be permitted (if all other requirements are met). Driveways in all zones must be setback from interior side lot lines by a minimum of 0.3 metres in all cases, except for properties with attached dwellings or historically paired driveways, where the required setback is reduced to 0.0 metres on the side of the attachment or paired driveway.

Driveway widths beyond the maximum listed in the Town’s Zoning By-Law can be considered via a Minor Variance application. The Town will not consider apron widths beyond the maximum listed in the Zoning By-Law. Expansions of driveway and apron widths to accommodate walkways are now permitted in accordance with the Zoning By-law provisions (see section below on Driveway-Adjacent Walkways).

 Driveway-Adjacent Walkways

Residential property owners in the Town of Ajax are now permitted to construct “Driveway-Adjacent Walkways” along both sides of their driveways without any application or payment to the Town, provided they meet all Requirements for Driveway-Adjacent Walkways

These walkways are permitted to run along the entire length of the driveway through both private property and the Town-owned boulevard lands. Walkways on the side of the driveway nearest the principle entrance to the house can be up to 1.8 metres in width and walkways on the opposite side of the driveway can be up to 0.6 metres in width. Driveway-adjacent walkways must be visually delineated from the driveway through a change in material, a change in the colour of the material or a change in the layout or pattern of the material, and must maintain a minimum 0.3 metre setback from the interior side lot line.

Where a driveway-adjacent walkway extends through the Town-owned boulevard lands, it must meet all Required Setbacks from Features on Boulevard Lands. These setbacks include:

  • 1.0 m from a municipal tree that is less than 20 cm diameter at breast height (DBH) or 2.0 m from a municipal tree that is greater than or equal to 20 DBH;
  • 1.0 m from any utility appurtenance or service, stop sign or yield sign;
  • 1.0 m from the edge of a concrete pad for a transit stop or 3.0 m from a transit stop without a concrete pad; 
  • 3.0 m from a fire hydrant; and
  • 0.3 from the extension of a side or rear lot line projected through the boulevard lands.

Driveway-adjacent walkways on the Town-owned boulevard lands must also:

  • Not include any excavation more than 0.3 m below grade;
  • Be constructed of interlocking pavers, concrete or asphalt; and
  • Not include any raised curbs or other features raised above grade.
 Curb Cuts

Property owners looking to widen the depressed portion of their curb can submit a Curb Cut Application to the Town. All curb cut applications must be supported by a Curb Cut Concept Drawing that visually demonstrates all aspects of the proposal. 

Curb cuts will be considered up to the maximum width permitted under the Town’s Zoning By-Law. Curb cuts beyond the maximum width will not be considered. Only the Town and contractors hired by the Town are permitted to cut the curb.

Applications are reviewed by Planning, Transportation and Engineering Services. This process takes 10 business days for review, however, incomplete applications may take longer. Approved curb cut applications will require additional time (typically 10-15 business days) for work to commence by Operations and Environmental Services and their contractor(s).

The fee for a Curb Cut Application (which includes the completion of the curb cut) is $300.00. Curb cuts exceeding 4.0 m are also subject to an additional fee of $40.00 per metre beyond the original 4.0 metres.

Complex Boulevard Encroachments

More information coming soon!

Please contact Planning Services at 905-619-2529 x3631 or PlanningServices@ajax.ca should you have any questions.

Locate Utilities - Call Before You Dig

Digging into an underground utility can be dangerous and have costly consequences. Even if you are just digging with a shovel, be sure to get locates in advance. Contact Ontario One Call for the location of buried pipes and cables prior to any excavation work.

Request your free locate online at ON 1 Call or call 1-800-400-2255.