We provide applications, licences and permits for burning, plumbing, demolition, events and more. Find what you need in the following list. We also provide information on licensing by-laws.

Birth certificates

In Ontario, your baby's birth must be registered within 30 days of the date of birth to ensure your child has a legal identity.

Registering your baby will allow you to apply for a birth certificate, passport and other identity-related documents. Check with the hospital where your baby was born regarding the completion and submission of the Statement of Live Birth form, which is required for birth certificate applications.

Births are registered through the Ontario Office of the Registrar General (ORG). Birth certificate applications may be picked up from the Office of the City Clerk in City Hall or completed online through the Office of the Registrar General. The links below will help you in one of your first tasks as a new parent.

For more information about registering a newborn or ordering a birth certificate, please call the Office of the Registrar General at 1-800-461-2156.

Building and plumbing permits

If you are planning on constructing a new home or building, or renovating, you will need a building permit (which will include plumbing). For a plumbing-only upgrade, you will need a building permit for plumbing.


Visit our Apply for a Building Permit page and apply online. Check Before You Build for additional information.


Burn permits

Access Fire Burn permits for open air burning and recreational burning.

Business licences

You can print the required application below or contact Licensing & Enforcement at 807-577-MLEO (6536) or email us.


Adult Entertainment Establishment (Operator) Application

Adult Entertainment Establishment (Owner) Application

Eating Establishment and/or Food Shop Application

Hairstylist (Stationary) Application

Hairstylist (Mobile) Application

Kennel Application

Lodging House Application

Master Plumber Application

Peddler Application

Pet Shop Application

Plumbing Contractor Application

Public Hall Application

Refreshment Vehicle Application

Second Hand Goods, Pawnbroker, Salvage Dealer and Auctioneer Application

Trailer Park Application


Commissioner of oaths

You can visit the Office of the City Clerk, 1st Floor City Hall, to get an Oath of Affidavit/Statutory Declaration signed and stamped by a Commissioner of Oaths. The fee is $20 plus tax. You do not need an appointment. The office is located at Thunder Bay City Hall. Commissioners are available during office hours (8:30 am to 4:30 pm).

Notary Public Services - Please note that effective July 2, 2014, the City Solicitor's Office no longer provides Notary Services to the public. If you require Notary Services, please contact a lawyer and/or notary public for these services.

Please also note that the City cannot "notarize" copies of original documents. If the document specifies that it needs to be notarized, you have to contact a lawyer.


Book a commissioning appointment

Things to know

  • Do not sign the document in advance. You must sign the document in the presence of the Commissioner.
  • Read the document in advance. This is extremely important as you will be swearing that the statements in the document are true. When signing under oath, you are swearing as if you are testifying in a court of law that the document contains true statements.
  • Bring with you everything that you will need, including any letter of instruction from the person or office requesting the sworn statement.
  • If a sworn statement indicates that there are copies of documents to be attached (eg: exhibits), you must bring the original documents with you, as well as the copies to be attached. If you do not bring in the attachments, the Commissioner cannot administer the oath.

Photo ID

You MUST show valid photo identification. The Commissioner must be satisfied that you are the person who you claim to be and the person named on the document before administering the oath.

You must be 18 years of age or older to take an oath in regards to a document. If a person under 18 is required to take an oath, additional notation will be made on the document.

If a witness is required, you should bring someone who knows you. The witness must NOT be your spouse, your child or another relative. The witness may be required to swear an Affidavit of Witness before a Commissioner that states that he or she saw you sign the document and that you are who you claim to be.

If the document is in a language other than English, the City cannot provide Commissioner Services, unless you bring the translated version of the document with you.

Pension documents from other countries

There are a number of residents of Canada who were born in other countries and are entitled to receive pensions from their country of birth. These pensions require periodic verification that the pensioner is still living. A Commissioner can provide this service.

Passport applications

If you require a sworn statement on an application for a Canadian passport, a Commissioner can administer the oath and complete your statement.


A guarantor, including a lawyer, cannot sign your application unless he or she has known you for a period of at least two years. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (Passport Canada) will sometimes follow up by telephone with the guarantor to verify the facts in the guarantor's statement, such as eye colour, height, full name, etc.

In lieu of guarantor

The Office of the City Clerk can provide commissioner of oaths services for In Lieu of Guarantor statements for government issued forms, including passport applications.

Services the city does not provide

  • The City cannot authenticate documents. On the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website, you can find information about authenticating documents. The City cannot provide notarial certificates, certified true copies, or documents specifically requesting a notary public.
  • The Commissioner cannot provide you with any advice with respect to the documents that you are swearing. You need to read and fully understand the documents yourself.
  • The Commissioner has the right to refuse to commission documents where there is a possibility that the Commissioner or Notary Public may be required to testify in a court of law.
  • The City will not process documents relating to Power of Attorney, family law, estates or real estate matters. You need to take these documents to a lawyer for appropriate advice and assistance.
  • The Commissioner reserves the right to refuse to commission documents for persons who are not capable of understanding them.

Fee for commissioner of oath services

$20 plus tax



Death certificates

Whether a death is anticipated or unexpected, you will have critical decisions to make during a difficult time. The registration of a death is important since a death certificate will be required when settling an estate.

Death registrations are now managed by the Funeral Homes in Thunder Bay. Here are some Service Ontario resources to support you as you make necessary arrangements:

Learn more about municipal cemeteries.

Demolition permits

If you are demolishing a building on your property that is more than 10M2 (108 sq. ft.), you need a demolition permit. Find out what demolition permits you need.

Driveway permits

Before applying for a Driveway Permit be sure to review the Driveway Permit Application Checklist to ensure you have all the required information to submit an application.

Please note: Online applications for Driveway Permits are temporarily unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience. To apply, please visit Engineering & Operations on the second floor of the Victoriaville Civic Centre, or call (807) 625-2267.


1. Review the Driveway Construction Standards
Total driveways allowed for a lot
  • one DRIVEWAY for the first 16.0m (52.5ft) of frontage
  • one additional DRIVEWAY from 16.0m (52.5ft) to 31.0m (101.7ft) of frontage
  • one additional DRIVEWAY if the lot has 31m to 50m (164 ft) total frontage

(Note) For a LOT with multiple DRIVEWAYS, a minimum distance of 6.0m, measured at the property line is required between DRIVEWAYS.

Widths allowed for driveways

Maximum width of DRIVEWAY at the Property Line:
  • 6.0 metres for DWELLINGS
  • 9.0 metres for all other USES

Maximum width of DRIVEWAY at the STREET:
  • 6.0 metres for streets with curb and 9.0 metres for streets without curb
  • 12.0 metres for all other USES

Other Criteria for Driveway Construction
  • For corner lots at intersections, driveway accesses onto the lot must be located a minimum of 9.0m away from the street intersection, measured from the property line.
  • The DRIVEWAY shall intersect with the STREET at a right (90º) angle, except that where conditions warrant, the DRIVEWAY may be permitted to intersect at less than a right (90º) angle, but not less than a sixty (60º) angle.
  • Driveways for residential use must not exceed 6.0m in width measured at the front property line or 50% of the lot width, whichever is less. (The property line is typically located 5.0m from the back of concrete curb).
  • Minimum 50% of the front yard setback (typically 6.0m) must consist of landscaped open space. This means that on private property (beyond the 5.0m from the curb), the driveway cannot exceed 50% of the lot width (i.e. for a 15m wide lot, the maximum driveway width on private property would be 7.5m).
  • Edge of driveway to be a minimum of 3.0m away from transformer and boulevard trees, and a minimum of 1.0m away from hydrants, street light poles, and communication pedestals.
2. Review the Driveway Permit Application Instructions

The Driveway Application Process involves the following steps:
  1. Submission and review of the Application Package which includes completed application, sketch and insurance.
  2. Pre-installation field inspection by Municipal Staff.
  3. Approval of the application showing owner/applicant is in conformance with an approved Site Plan and Municipal requirements/specifications
  4. Issuance of final driveway permit.
  5. Installation of the proposed driveway ensuring conformance with an approved Site Plan and Municipal requirements/specifications.
  6. Final site inspection to confirm proper construction of entrance. It is the responsibility of the applicant to call the Engineering Office once the driveway modification is completed.

Entrance Design Requirements
Entrances must be designed in accordance with the requirements contained herein as well as accepted Engineering Standards and specifications per Provincial and Municipal guidelines.

Application fee is $35.00 (HST included) and is payable with submission of application package. If all required forms are not submitted or incomplete, this may delay the review of your application. City of Thunder Bay Infrastructure & Operations 111 Syndicate Avenue South, Thunder Bay, ON P7E 6S4 Tel: 807-625-2266; Fax: 807-625-3588 www.thunderbay.ca/engineering


Application packages that are submitted online must include the following:
  • Completed Driveway Application
  • Sketch/Site plan indicating entrance location □ Location marked on site
  • Insurance documents:
    • If a Contractor is constructing the driveway, a completed City of Thunder Bay “Certificate of Insurance” form is required.
    • If you, as the owner, are constructing the driveway, a completed “Hold Harmless and Indemnification Agreement” form combined with a copy of your homeowner’s insurance policy confirming $2,000,000 liability coverage.
  • If you recently purchased the property, a copy of a land transfer tax or deed indicating you as the owner will be required.
  • If applying for property you do not own, a Letter of Authorization from owner is required.

Sketch / Site Plan to Include:
  • Location of proposed driveway, property limits, any building(s) on property
  • Any other entrances on property
  • Distances between existing and proposed driveways
  • Indicate features such as intersections, curves, utilities, trees*

*NOTE: Trees on municipal property are protected under By-law 008-2005 and will not be removed or affected except under exceptional circumstances with the approval of the General Manager of Infrastructure & Operations, or their designate in accordance with By-law 008-2005. In those exceptional circumstances, the applicant will be responsible for the full costs associated with any tree removal, tree stump grinding and replacement of trees with two sixty (60) millimeter caliper trees ($500 per tree) and maintenance of the same, in accordance with By-law 008-2005. The replacement species and proposed locations will be determined in accordance with By-law 008-2005.

Application Review and Approval
Applications will be reviewed by Municipal staff for completion and compliance. A site inspection by Municipal staff will normally be performed within 10 business days of following receipt of completed application. Requirements for culverts, curb cuts or other work will be determined during the site inspection.

If requested, applicants will be notified by phone when their application has been approved. As noted on the application, the approved permit can be mailed to the applicant or can be picked up at our office.
3. Review the Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why are there driveways wider than 6m on my street
The current driveway policy allows for a maximum of 6m at the curb. Many driveways were constructed prior to this policy so those driveways were exempt.
2. Can my driveway be right at the edge of my property?
Yes, your driveway can be adjacent to your property line. Owner is responsible for ensuring accurate property line. Failure could result in cost of restoration.
3. Can my driveway be beside my neighbour’s driveway?
Yes, there are many adjoined driveways throughout the City.
4. Can I put my driveway on an easement?
Yes you can. However, be aware that utility companies have the right to perform work in these easements which could result in a disturbance to your driveway. However, restoration cost is the responsibility of the utility company.
5. Can I flare out my driveway in front of my neighbour’s property?
If the street has curb and gutter, then no. However, on a street with no curb and gutter, a flare to match the edge of pavement may end up slightly in front of the neighbouring property.
6. Why can’t I flare out my driveway exceeding the 6m?
If a street has curb and gutter, the city does not allow more than 6m at the curb. This distance was decided taking lot sizes, parking and snow storage into consideration.
7. Can I build my own driveway?
Yes, as long as you complete and sign the Hold Harmless and Indemnification Agreement and submit proof of your valid insurance policy with $2M liability coverage.

Easement reduction

If you wish to create more buildable area within your property by removing or reducing the area of the easement, you need to apply for an Easement Reduction. Reductions will only be granted with the approval of all utility providers. Please contact Realty Services for more information, or call (807)625-2991.

Event permits

All forms are to be submitted to Event Services once completed. Applications should be submitted at least eight weeks prior to the event.

Learn more about Event Hosting.

Freedom of information application

Everyone has the right to request access to City records. You can request access to City records by completing a Freedom of Information application.

Access to records is governed by the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

For more information, visit the City Archives' Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy page.

Heavy and Oversized Loads

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s Reduced Load Period comes into effect each spring. The start date of the restrictions varies and depends on weather conditions.

In conjunction with these regulations, every spring during the thaw, municipal Heavy Load Restrictions are put into effect within the limits of the City of Thunder Bay to protect our roads from damage. We announce the start date in a Media Release - see the City's homepage for an index of Releases.

Learn more about the City's heavy and oversized loads restrictions.

Lead water service replacement loan program application

City Council has approved an interest-free loan program that will allow property owners to borrow funds from the City to assist in the replacement of privately owned lead water service pipes.

This program provides financial assistance to homeowners to reduce lead levels in drinking water at the tap. Loans for up to $5,000 of eligible costs are available for five years. There is also a 10-year loan option for property owners that qualify under the Tax and Credit Program for Low-Income Seniors and Low-Income Persons with Disabilities, or the Tax and Water Credit Program for Low-Income Persons, and a $1,500 grant will also be provided. Loan and Grant approvals will be subject to the availability of funding and priority given on a first come first serve basis.

Licence of access

If you need access over City lands or lanes, you will need to apply for a Licence of Access.

Licence of occupation - existing encroachment

If you have a portion of a building, retaining wall or other structure that extends onto City property, you will need to complete a Licence of Occupation. Once completed you will need to bring this to the Realty Services Department to process. 

Licence of occupation - new construction

Prior to building something on your property that will extend onto City property, you will need to complete a Licence of Occupation - new construction. Once completed you will need to bring this to the Realty Services Department to process.

Licence of occupation and access - fair market value

If you are using, or need to use, City lands you need to complete a Licence of occupation and access. Once completed you will need to bring this to the Realty Services Department to process.

Liquor licence

Liquor licences are available from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

For all liquor licences in the city, it is important that establishments are in compliance with the fire code. Our Fire Prevention Division is commonly requested to review applications. This will also involve a Fire Code inspection. If you have any questions about obtaining a liquor licence, please call the Fire Prevention Division and the Office of the City Clerk.

Learn more about Event Hosting.

Lottery licence

Eligible charitable and religious organizations may raise funds through provincially or municipally licensed lottery events.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO) is responsible for administering the lottery licensing program in the province of Ontario. Municipalities are partners with the AGCO in issuing lottery licences to eligible charitable and religious organizations.

Read more about Lottery Licensing.


Book a lottery licensing appointment

Marriage licence

Congratulations on your engagement!

One of your next important steps is to follow provincial requirements, such as the process of applying for a marriage licence. A marriage licence is required in order to be legally married in Ontario.

Marriage licence application forms are available from the Office of the City Clerk, 1st Floor City Hall, or from Service Ontario.

Read more about getting a marriage licence and how to book a civil marriage ceremony with the City of Thunder Bay.


Book a marriage license appointment

Patio licence

View our Pop-up Patio page for details.


Planning applications

Find more information on requirements and apply for a zone change, site plan, minor variance, consent to sever and more on our Submit a Planning Application page.

Sign permits

Contact Licensing & Enforcement for sign permit inquiries at 807-577-MLEO (6536) or email us.

You may also need a building permit for a new sign. Check out the Apply for a Building Permit page for more information.

Street and lane closing

If you are interested in buying a portion of a City street or lane, you can complete a Street and Lane Closing Application. You must call Realty Services at 807-625-2991 prior to completing the form.

Swimming pool fence permits

You need a pool fence for all swimming pools with a depth greater than 0.6M (23.6"), and you need a permit for new pool fences being installed. Get more information about Swimming Pool Fence Permits.


Utility location permits

All underground work, which will take place within the Right of Way of all City of Thunder Bay owned property, must first be approved by engineering department staff. When doing underground work, a Utility Location Permit must be obtained from the City of Thunder Bay's Engineering Department.

Water service connection

You need a water service connection for any new house. If you are looking to add a second suite to your home, among other approvals, you may need to upgrade your current service. Please contact Building Services for more information at 807-625-2574.

If you require a PDF in an accessible format, email our Municipal Accessibility Specialist.

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