The Permit

What do you need to submit for a building permit in the City of Ottawa?

I found that the City of Ottawa’s building application website to be confusing. Hopefully this helps clarify what is required to submit to the City of Ottawa. In a follow up post I will discuss the costs associated with all the below and the City of Ottawa fees. I’ve included links of the forms required as well as the people we used on the project.

What is required?

  • Completed Application for Permit
  • 2 sets of architectural drawings
  • Schedule 1 signed by the designer 
  • Energy Efficiency Design Summary 
  • Survey of the lot
  • MVDS
  • Truss Layout 
  • Floor Joist Layout
  • Site Plan
  • Grading Plan
  • Septic Design
  • Structural Report
  • Septic Approval

Completed Application for Permit

Who do you get this from: You or your General Contractor 

Fill out and sign Pages 1 and 2, here.


Two Sets of Architectural Drawings

Who do you get this from: Architectural Technologist or Architect or Designer

More Info: Rather than hiring an architect to design our house, we used a local Architectural Technologist. This saved us a lot of money. We worked with him to design the house. Before submitting, I went to the City of Ottawa building services department and asked a lot of questions. They requested me printing the drawings on legal size rather than bringing in the full blueprints. 


Schedule 1

Who do you get this from: Architectural Technologist or Architect or Designer

More Info: Once you are happy with your design. Your Designer/Architect/Technologist must have a BCIN number in order to have authority to design your house.

Have the designer fill out and sign Page 3, here. 


Energy Efficiency Design Summary

Who do you get this from: Architectural Technologist or Architect or Designer or Independent  

More Info: Our Designer filled this form out for us at no charge so request it when you are designing the house. He/She has to fill out his BCIN number and sign.

Have the designer fill out and sign this form.


Survey of the Lot

From: Real Estate Agent or Sellers of the property you are purchasing

More Info: This one was straightforward, we received this from the people we purchased the lot from. It shows the lot dimensions, set backs, roads, etc.. The City says:

“The owner shall submit a copy of a plan of survey certified by a Registered Ontario Land Surveyor to the Chief Building Official when required to demonstrate compliance with the Act, the Building Code or any applicable law”


Mechanical Ventilation Design Summary

From: HVAC company or Independent

We locked in prices with our HVAC company beforehand as we knew what type of system we wanted. They completed this for us but used the company I was going to use had we not secured our HVAC company. 

Have your HVAC company or Independent fill out this form.


Truss Layout

From: Truss manufacturer 

More Info: You have to work with a local truss company and have them design/engineer your truss layout. They will send you the design. Local truss manufacturers include KOTT Lumber, Terranova Truss, Valley Roof Truss Ltd.


Floor Joist Layout

From: Floor joist manufacturer 

More Info: You have to work with a local floor joist company and have them design/engineer your truss layout. They will send you the design. We used the same company as our Truss manufacturer, KOTT lumber. 


Site Plan

From: Engineer

More Info: I used the same local engineer to create the septic design, grading plan and complete/sign off the structural report. The site plan and the grading plan are the same. I asked the City of Ottawa to clarify. The site plan must show:

(a) lot size, lot dimensions and setbacks to any existing or proposed buildings; 

(b) the similarly dimensioned location of every other adjacent existing building on the property; (c) existing and finished ground levels or grades to an established datum at or adjacent to the site; and 

(d) existing rights-of-way, easements, utilities, municipal services and private services

Since my grading plan demonstrates all of the above I labelled the requirement “Site Plan/Grading Plan”


Grading Plan

From: Engineer

More Info: Same thing as above. The local engineer surveyed the lot and created a document showing the existing and proposed grade elevations at all portions of the lot. It shows the proposed finished floor, foundation, footing elevations, slop as well as the proposed location and elevation of the septic bed.


Structural Report

From: Engineer

More Info: This report was done by the same group of engineers however a different engineer from the septic/grading. He basically reviewed the drawings and commented on the integrity of the design. We also sent this report to our Truss/Floor joist manufacturer.


Septic Design 

From: Engineer

More Info: Same group of engineers designed our septic. I would talk to a local installer that has installed septic’s in the area before you reach out to the engineer. Our engineer designed us a very expensive Eco flow septic. The installer informed us that we would save $10,000 had we just had a simple conventional bed. We asked the engineer to redesign the septic to a conventional system. This of course, came at a cost.


Septic Approval

From: Local Conservation Authority. Ours was Rideau Valley Conservation Authority

More Info:Once you approve your design of your septic bed, our engineer submitted it to the local conservation authority for approval. You have to submit the approval from the conservation authority to the city. 

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