Do You Need a Permit to Build a Gazebo?

Written by Davel Construction On July 2, 2020
Gazebo in yard surrounded by flowers

There’s no question that a well-built and professionally designed gazebo can add a lot of style to your property. The fun thing about having a gazebo is that you can incorporate any number of themes to go along with the overall feel and look of the property. And while you may be set on the look you want, details such as whether or not you need a building permit to build a gazebo can be confusing. In this post, we will try to shed some light on this topic so things are clearer. 

Building Permits in Ontario 

According to the Ontario Association of Architects, requirements for a building permit on smaller projects are not always obvious and there may be by-law requirements to consider for your particular jurisdiction. 

In section 8 of the Building Code Act, it states that “No person shall construct or demolish a building or cause a building to be constructed or demolished unless a permit has been issued by the chief building official.” And for context, it goes on to state that the definition of a “building” is: 

a) a structure occupying an area greater than 10 square meters,consisting of a wall, roof and floor or a structural system serving the function thereof including all plumbing, works, fixtures and service systems.

(b) a structure occupying an area of 10 square meters or less that contains plumbing. 

(c) plumbing not located in a structure. (c.1) a sewage system; or  

(d) structures designated in the building code.  

Checking with Your Municipality 

By the analysis above, it would seem that a gazebo that does not have plumbing and takes up an area of 10 square meters or less wouldn’t need a building permit. However, as mentioned above, there may be zoning laws or other by-laws set down by your municipality that incorporate other aspects of your gazebo project and need to be followed. 

Take the time to call your local municipality or check their website to see if there are any special instructions regarding the construction and placement of a gazebo on your property. You may not need a gazebo building permit, but may need to stay a certain distance away from the house or garage or the gazebo may have a limit to how big it can be. It’s always best to check before you get to work. 

Gazebo being built

Why Having a Permit Makes Sense 

There are certain advantages to having a proper building permit for your home construction projects, no matter how big or small they happen to be. Having a building permit will: 

  • Keep contractors honest so they don’t cut corners 
  • Keep insurance valid in the case of an accident or mishap 
  • Help guide any work you want to do on the project 
  • Help if you want to sell your home with the new structure on it 

As an accent piece to your stonework or a standalone structure, a gazebo is a great addition to your landscaping. Trust the experts at Davel Construction Inc. to build a beautiful gazebo. Contact us today.