Building Department

The Building department is responsible for administering permit applications, issuance and inspections in accordance with the Ontario Building Code, as well as other applicable laws and regulations to ensure the standards for construction are consistent throughout the Province. Our goal is to provide efficient service in administering the Ontario Building Code and various municipal by-laws and programs. In addition to building permits, the Building department is also responsible for the inspections of properties as set out in the Property Standards By-law 2010-03.

 Do you need a building permit?
Building permits regulate the type of construction allowed in our community, and ensure that building standards are met. The objective of a permit is to protect the homeowner and community by ensuring the structure is safe, sound and legal. Under the Ontario Building Code Act, a permit is required for the following projects under 108 square feet:
  • Construct a new building
  • Renovate, repair or add to an existing building
  • Demolish or remove all (or a portion) of a building
  • Change a building's use
  • Install, change or remove partitions and load bearing walls
  • Make new openings for, or change the size of, doors and windows
  • Build a garage, balcony or deck – or to enclose an existing deck
  • Build a utility shed over 108 square feet.
  • Excavate a basement or construct a foundation
  • Install or modify any life safety or fire suppression systems such as fire alarms, sprinkler or standpipe or fixed extinguishing systems
  • Install or modify plumbing, fireplaces, fireplace inserts and wood stoves
  • Install kitchen or bathroom cupboards with plumbing
  • Reconstruct a chimney
  • Build a deck that is over two feet (0.61 meters) in height above ground level and that is attached to the building
  • Erect signage
  • To finish a basement or to convert a room into a bedroom
 What if I am caught without a permit?
It is an unlawful violation under the Building Code Act to carry out work for which a Building Permit is required without the necessary permits. The individual can be found guilty of an offence under the Ontario Building Code Act of 1992 (Building without a permit) and charged for the work that has already been done. The fine for an individual on the first offence can range from $50,000 to $100,000. A Corporation can be fined between $100,000 and $200,000 for a first offence. If you are caught without a building permit and plan on continuing to build, you will be required to obtain a permit from the office. The fees for the permit will double in this case. 

Before you get started you should contact your Building Official to see if there are any building or zoning requirements you have to meet. For building applications and forms, please see our Applications, Licenses and Permits page.
 A Homeowner's Guide to Building Permits
If you are looking for more information on Building Permits, including inspections, requirements and occupancy permits please look at our Homeowner's Guide to Building Permits.

Planning Department

Planning and Development services manages the growth and physical form of the Municipality through the land use planning process and by establishing goals and objectives for future growth and development. The Planning department is responsible for the review, processing and approval of all planning applications under the Ontario Planning Act, and heritage applications under the Ontario Heritage Act.

Services offered by the Planning department include the processing of plans of subdivision, zoning, official plan amendments and site plans. The Planning Division also administers the Committee of Adjustment, which considers minor variance and severance matters. Council, other boards, commissions and departments are advised through the Planning Division of applications to change the Official Plan, Zoning By-Law, and other planning documents.

For Planning applications, please see our Applications, Licenses and Permits page. Applications may be subject to review agencies including Lower Trent Conservation and Northumberland County. There are additional agency fees that may be collected at the time of application. If your property has frontage on a County Road, you will need to receive approvals from the Northumberland County Planning department and may be subject to their own application fees.

 Land Use Planning
Land use planning means managing our land and resources. It helps communities set goals about how they will grow and develop and to work out ways of reaching those goals while keeping important social, economic and environmental concerns in mind. It balances the interests of individual property owners with the wider interest and objectives of the whole community.


Nicole Hamilton
Customer Service Coordinator
Township of Cramahe
1 Toronto Street, Colborne
Ontario, Canada K0K 1S0

T.: 905-355-2821 ,x 240
Toll Free:: 866-293-8379
F.: 905-355-3430
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