After a flood, it’s important to restore your home to good order as soon as possible to protect your health and prevent further damage to your house and belongings. There are resouces available to help you, visit: Cleaning Up After The Flood.
All permit applications will be fast tracked by the Division and permit fees for uninsured and underinsured homeowners may be considered an eligible expense through the Disaster Relief Assistance Program.
As you cope with the unfortunate task of cleaning up, repairing, and restoring your buildings and basements, it's important to remember you need to obtain building permits for some repair and restoration work. Use the following information to help you determine when a building permit is required:
When a Building Permit is NOT Required (flood related examples)
- the replacement of finishes only (wallboard, flooring, trim)
- damp-proofing basements (membranes only)
- the reinstallation of existing plumbing fixtures only
- minor maintenance repairs (patching)
When a Building Permit IS Required (more substantial renovations/repairs associated with building construction that require a building permit and inspection)
- the replacement or addition of structural elements (foundation pads, footings, foundation walls, columns, and/or beams).
- the addition of, or the removal and replacement of, insulated perimeter partitioning (wall board, moisture barrier, vapour barrier, insulation).
- the addition of, or removal and replacement of, interior or perimeter framing and partitioning.
- the addition of, or removal and replacement of, exterior skirting.
- the installation of a solid fuel burning appliance,(e.g. woodstove or fireplace).
- the installation of a sump pit and pump, and its associated underground piping.
- the replacement or installation of a plumbing drain, waste, and vent system, and water service piping.
- the installation of a back water valve in a building drain.
- changing the use of a building or part of a building.*
- creating an apartment suite within a building.*
(Note* - restrictions based on zoning and property specifics may apply)
If in doubt, contact the Building Division to see if you need a permit. When a permit is required, construction that commences without the building permit is considered a violation of the Building Code Act and may lead to charges and possible fines.
By obtaining the required building permits and inspections, the property owner is ensuring himself/herself, future building owners, and insurers that the construction will be in general conformance with the Ontario Building Code and will meet minimum standards for fire, health, structure, and life safety.
Download Building Permits Online
If you know what building permits are required, you can download your Building Permit Forms and assosicated brochures directly from the City of Thunder Bay website. Visit the Building Permit Forms & Documents Download Page.
CONTACT THE Building Division
If you are unsure about what requires a building permit or what must be included in a building permit application, please call or visit the Building Division.
2nd Floor, Victoriaville Civic Centre
111 Syndicate Ave. S.
Whether a building permit is required or not, permits and approvals from other authorities may be required. You may need to contact the Electrical Safety Authority, Thunder Bay District Health Unit, Licensing and Enforcement, and the Planning Division. Contact the appropriate Department if you believe your work may require a permit or inspection.
Electrical & Fire Safety
- All breakers, fuses, disconnect switches, GFCI's, AFCI’s, and surge protective devices that have been submerged must be replaced. There is no method of insuring these life safety devices will operate as intended when they are exposed to water.
- All electrical equipment, panelboards, switchgear, motor control centers, boilers and boiler controls, electric motors, transformers, receptacles, switches, light fixtures, electric heaters and appliances such as water heaters, ovens, ranges, and dishwashers that have been submerged need to be replaced or repaired by the original manufacturer or an approved representative.
- Electrical wiring may require replacement depending on the type of wire or cable and the extent of the damage.
- Smoke alarms should all be checked. If they do not work, replace them. A working smoke alarm is required on every storey, and outside bedroom areas.
For more information on electrical safety contact the Electrical Safety Authority at 1-877-372-7233.
Rental Housing Assessments by Health Inspector
Tenants and Landlords can contact the Thunder Bay Distrecit Health Unit to arrange a rental housing assessment of flood affected dwellings. Public Health Inspectors can make visual assessments on the extent of health hazards such as mould.
To arrange for a Public Health Inspector to assess your rental home please call (807) 625-5900.
Homeowners can get information on mould prevention and clean up after a flood by calling (807) 625-5900.
- Read more about Home Renovations & Rebuilds