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Building & Renovating


Before starting to build or renovate any type of building, the City of Kenora Building Division should be consulted regarding required permits.

The Ontario Building Code Act imposes the requirements to obtain permits and to construct according to the Ontario Building Code, applicable law and approved plans.  The City of Kenora’s Building Division facilitates meeting these requirements through your application for a building permit.

By applying for a Building Permit, you ensure that your project meets minimum structural, fire, and health and safety building standards as legislated by the Province of Ontario.  A building permit is required for the construction of a new building over 10 square metres (108 sq. ft.) in area or the addition/renovation to any structure or the installation or alteration of the plumbing system.

In addition to a Building Permit, other approvals may also be required to comply with other applicable laws, including but is not limited to: Zoning By-law, Site Plan Control, Heritage Buildings, Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry and Private Sewage Systems.  City Staff are available to advise if these and other approvals are necessary for your specific location and project.

For Zoning By-law information, for example for yards, heights, area and permitted use requirements, please contact the Planning Division at 807-467-2292 or 807-467-2059

Your Building Permit Application form must be submitted with the appropriate Building Permit fee, as well as two sets of plans and specifications.

Project plans must be produced by an Ontario Qualified Designer, which means a designer with a BCIN (Building Code Identification Number), an Ontario Architect, or an Ontario Professional Engineer.

There is an exception to this for property owners. Dependent on the building area (location?), building height and Major Occupancy; if you feel that you have sufficient knowledge of the Ontario Building Code and are the property owner; you can produce your own plans.  Plans and details must be of the same quality as that of an Ontario qualified designer. Incomplete applications and drawings will not be accepted.

All plans must be detailed, be of an appropriate size, legible and be drawn to scale in either metric or imperial measurements. Remember, a good set of plans is the best way to see your project completed on time and within budget.

Plans may require supporting plans or details, such as:

  • site plan
  • cross section(s)
  • elevation views
  • structural framing details
  • foundation plan
  • floor plans
  • roof plan for complex designs
  • energy efficiency design summary
  • mechanical
  • electrical
  • structural
  • fire systems
  • drainage and grading plan

For the installation of any wood-burning appliance, please ensure to include a detailed installation plan and the manufacturers installation instructions.

The Chief Building Official may specify that not all of the above mentioned plans or details are required to accompany a Building Permit Application.

Building Permit Application and Fees

Available at:

  • City Hall , 1 Main Street South
  • Operations Building, 60 Fourteenth Street North, 2nd Floor
  • or online in Forms


Inspections are required during the construction of your project to ensure that all work is done in compliance with the approved plans. Inspection stages are outlined when a permit is issued. It is the responsibility of the developer/constructor to contact the City of Kenora, Building Division, to request a required inspection. Building inspectors have two working days after the day the request was made to perform the inspection.

Please contact Building Inspection at 807-467-2020 or to schedule a building inspection.

Exemptions from Permit and Fees

  • painting and decorating
  • replacement millwork and cabinets without plumbing
  • replacement hot water heaters
  • replacement oil or gas fired appliances
  • replacement shingling of roofs of R1 and R2 zoned buildings
  • replacement of same size doors and windows
  • construction of residential fences
  • construction or demolition of structures less than 108 square foot without plumbing
  • demolition of buildings destroyed by fire
  • sheds or trailers required solely for the duration of construction projects


Jeremy Smith – Building Inspector

Kevin Robertson – Chief Building Official