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Residential Basement Development

Do I need a building permit?

  • Yes, if you are carrying out construction inside the house.
  • Yes, if you are altering the plumbing system in any way.

Building Permit Application Form Adobe PDF, 3 pages, 69 KB

Do I need to check for zoning compliance?

  • No, if the existing building is a legal single detached home.
  • No, if you are not changing the exterior in any way.
  • No, if you are not changing the use of the building.

For more information on zoning compliance, call (807) 625-2216.

What other information do I need?

  • If you are altering the plumbing, the plumbing must be included as part of your building permit application. Related information can be found in our 'Guide to Plumbing Applications', or you may call (807) 625-2203 for plumbing application information.
    Download the Guide to Plumbing Applications  Adobe PDF, 2 pages, 407KB
  • If you are installing a solid fuel burning appliance, such as a wood stove, the appliance must be included as part of your building permit application. Related information can be found in our 'Guide to Residential Solid Fuel Burning Appliances', or you may call (807) 625-2216 for permit application information.
    Download the Guide to Residential Solid Fuel Burning Appliances  Adobe PDF, 2 pages, 478 KB
  • If you are carrying out work on the electrical system, you must contact the Electrical Safety Authority at or call 1-877-372-7233.

What do I need to provide to the city in addition to the completed Building Permit application?

  • Schedule 1: Designer information, completed, with designer’s signature
    Download Schedule 1  Adobe PDF, 1 page, 33 KB 
  • Written authorization from the owner of the building
  • Proof of ownership (either a property deed or tax notice)
  • Two sets of working drawings (basement floor plans) designed by a Registered Designer or by the owner.
  • Required fee: set at $10 per $1,000 of construction value, minimum fee is $50.


  • If you are adding insulation to the walls, two sets of a basement wall section are required.

Sample drawing of foundation wall

Building/Plumbing Inspections

Once you receive a building permit, it is your responsibility to arrange for building inspections. In most cases, inspections are required at the following stages:

  • Plumbing groundwork
  • Framing inspection
  • Insulation inspection
  • Plumbing rough-in
  • Vapour barrier/HVAC inspection
  • Final inspection

For building inspections, call (807) 625-2570 (North Ward) or 807-625-3124 (South Ward)

For plumbing inspections, call (807) 625-2280 (North Ward) or (807) 625-2868 (South Ward).

Please call at least 48 hours, in advance, to book an appointment. You can call at any time to leave a message

For electrical inspections, through the Electrical Safety Authority, call 1-877-372-7233.

City of Thunder Bay
Building Services Division

Address: Victoriaville Civic Centre, 2nd floor
111 Syndicate Avenue S
P.O. Box 800
Thunder Bay,  ON 
P7C 5K4
Tel: (807) 625-2574
Fax: (807) 623-9344
Hours: Monday to Friday - 8:30 am to 4:30 pm