A Conditional Permit (CP) is a type of building permit that may be issued where not all of the approvals required for a building permit have been received. CPs are generally used for larger development applications.

A CP is issued at the discretion of the Chief Building Official (CBO) when the applicant can show that the outstanding applicable law approvals are in the process of being obtained, and the approval timeframes are causing unreasonable construction delays.

A CP application is not a fast track system nor does it circumvent the technical reviews necessary to ensure public health and safety standards are being met. Before a CP application can proceed, a request for a CP must be made in writing. This request and supporting documents will be reviewed to ensure that a development application meets the criteria for CP issuance.

This CP application guide is a reference document only. It does not include an exhaustive list of criteria required for the issuance of a CP and does not limit the discretion (set out in subsection 8 (3) of the Building Code Act, 1992) of the CBO in deciding whether to issue a CP.

Requirements under the Building Code Act, 1992

CPs are permitted under subsection 8 (3) of the Building Code Act, 1992. No person is entitled, or has a right, to obtain a CP. The issuance of a CP is strictly within the discretion of the CBO and may only be issued if the following requirements have been met:

  1. the proposed construction has achieved compliance with all zoning requirements and any interim control by-laws enacted under section 34 and 38 of the Planning Act,
  2. the proposed construction has achieved compliance with the applicable laws set out in sentence 1.3.1.5 (1) of Division C of the Ontario Building Code,
  3. the CBO must be of the opinion that unreasonable delays in the construction would occur if a CP is not issued, and
  4. the owner, and any other person the CBO deems appropriate, must enter into a CP agreement with the City (this has been delegated to the CBO and Deputy Chief Building Officials) whereby all of the risk in undertaking the construction without a building permit is borne by the recipients of the CP. This risk includes removing any construction and restoring the site to its original state if a building permit is not obtained in the timeframe set out in the agreement.

Additional requirements

  • Building Permit Application An application for a full building permit must already be applied for and permit documents must be complete.
  • Zoning Compliance Zoning compliance must be achieved including the removal of any holding provisions.
  • Ontario Building Code and Applicable Law The application is determined to follow the Ontario Building Code, including the “applicable law” list that must be met before a CP may be issued.
  • Status of Construction A request for CP will not be considered unless the previous stage of construction or demolition has been substantially completed.
  • Above Grade CP Request A CP request for above grade construction may be considered if:
    • the Notice of Approval Conditions document (NOAC) has been issued by City Planning, and
    • the below grade construction is substantially completed.
  • Above and Below Grade CP Request A CP request for both above grade and below grade construction may be considered when:
    • the Notice of Approval Conditions document (NOAC) has been issued by City Planning,
    • any proposed below grade construction does not exceed two storeys below grade, and
    • the proposed below grade construction will reach grade within a specified timeframe acceptable to the Chief Building Official.

Step one:

Commence discussions with the City’s Plan Review staff on the merits of requesting a conditional permit –?please contact the Manager of Plan Examination in the Toronto Building District where the proposed development project is located to start the process.

Step two:

Submit a written request for a CP. The written request should include:

  • Sufficient information explaining the circumstances as to why an unreasonable delay in construction would occur if the CP is not issued;
  • Scope of the construction project;
  • Applicable law(s) from the Ontario Building Code which have not been satisfied;
  • Steps which have been taken to resolve the outstanding applicable law(s) and the time required to obtain these approvals;
  • An up-to-date construction schedule for the entire project, supported by a letter from the general contractor to confirm the ability to carry out construction in accordance with the construction schedule; and
  • Any other documentation required to demonstrate that an unreasonable delay will occur if the CP is not issued.
  • Proof that all requirements have been met.

Step three:

Following review of the written request, the Plan Review Manager will notify the owner whether or not a CP application can be accepted.

Step four:

If advised that the CP application can be accepted, complete and file a Building Permit Application Form for the CP.

Conditions:

Unreasonable Delay:?The CBO must be of the opinion that the construction would be unreasonably delayed if the CP is not issued.

Consideration of Comments: The CBO will give consideration to the comments received from Toronto Water, City Planning and other reporting divisions/agencies, which may result in refusal of the CP request or the inclusion of specific conditions within the CP agreement.

Conditional Permit Agreement: The applicant must enter into a CP agreement, assuming all of the risk in proceeding without a building permit, including the removal of any construction under the CP and returning the site to its previous condition should a building permit not be obtained.

Timeframes: The CP agreement will set out a six-month timeframe in which the owner must obtain all outstanding approvals, a 60-day timeframe in which the proposed construction under the CP must be seriously commenced, and any other conditions, such as a timeframe for reaching grade if applicable.

Title: A CP agreement may be required to be registered on title to the property at the expense of the owner.

Fees: All necessary fees, including CP fees, must be paid before a CP is issued.

Reasons for Refusal:

The CBO may refuse a request for a CP for any reason and is prohibited from issuing a CP unless the requirements of subsection 8 (3) of the Building Code Act, 1992 have been met. The CBO’s decision on whether or not to issue a CP is final and there is no appeal available.

Refusal of a CP could be the result of the following:

Work without permit: Construction was started without a required permit.

Failure to comply: Failure to comply with the requirements for an earlier CP for a previous stage of construction.

Zoning Compliance: The proposal does not comply with the applicable zoning.

Applicable Law Compliance:

  • The proposal does not comply with the “applicable law” list that applies to CP requests.
  • The owner has not made reasonable efforts to obtain the outstanding applicable law approvals.

No unreasonable delays: The CBO is NOT of the opinion that unreasonable delays in the construction will occur if the CP is not issued.

Site restoration: There are potential difficulties with restoring the site should the required approvals for a building permit not be obtained.

Payment of fees: Required fees are not paid.

CP Agreement: The applicant has failed to enter into a CP agreement on the terms set out by the Building Code Act, 1992 and the CBO.

Following the application for a Conditional Permit, there is an approximate 30-day processing time.

Requests for CPs will not be considered within 30 days of a scheduled increase to the City’s development charges rate or the educational development charges rate.

Notice of scheduled rate increases will be posted on the Development Charges web page.

Toronto Building Inspection Services will routinely monitor site conditions relating to CPs, including the following:

Site conditions: Confirm the site conditions that were provided by the applicant set out in the request letter;

Status of construction: Confirm whether construction is substantially complete for:

  • a previously issued CP, and
  • any other preliminary site work that is required before the construction under the CP can begin;

Timeframes: That construction authorized by a CP has seriously commenced within 60 days of CP agreement execution; and

Targets: That construction has reached milestone targets in accordance with the CP agreement.

Construction projects which have been authorized through a CP will be subject to CP revocation where the terms of the CP agreement have not been met. The terms include:

  • obtaining all outstanding approvals within six months,
  • seriously commencing the construction within 60 days from the execution of the CP agreement, and
  • achieving milestones such as reaching grade within the time period set out in the CP agreement.

Where a CP is revoked, the construction must be removed and the site restored at the owner’s expense. Where the construction has not been removed, the CBO may cause the construction to be removed at the owner’s expense and the site restored.

The City shall have a lien on the property for any money incurred in removing the construction and restoring the site and the amount may be added to the tax rolls to the property.

If you are considering making a request for a Conditional Permit, please contact the Manager of Plan Examination in the Toronto Building District where the proposed development project is located to start the process.