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Building Permit Drawings in Toronto & the GTA

Acadia Drafting specializes in preparing all the necessary drawings and drafts in order to help you obtain a building permit for your project. Whether you’re looking to build, demolish, renovate or build additions, we’ll create you a design that will fit the specifics of your lot and get quick municipal approvals. No matter if your project is commercial, industrial or residential, we’ll help you prepare and submit the necessary paperwork to your city. All of our drawings are done to code and comply with the municipal zoning regulations.

Our team will provide your city’s zoning department with a complete set of preliminary drawings for faster approval.

We follow all health and safety standards in our projects.

Acadia’s building permits are compliant with the Ontario building code.

All our drawings are stamped by a BCIN professional and/or an Engineer based on project requirements.

Toronto Building Permit Services
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Leading Building Permit Experts

We’ll help you create comfortable interiors and elegant exteriors that fit your needs. In order to minimize delays, our specialists will coordinate and prepare a full list of building permit drawings, including mechanical, electrical, architectural and structural drawings.

  • Demolition permit
  • Load bearing wall removal
  • Second unit building permit
  • Multi unit dwelling permit
  • Underground additions
  • Exterior home renovations 
  • Interior home renovations
  • Apartment building permit
  • Construction permit
  • Second story additions
  • And more
Building Permit Services Toronto



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    Frequently Asked Questions

    We're happy to answer any questions you may have. Every project is unique, but here are some common questions that homeowners usually ask us.

    We can summarize the length of obtaining a building permit in two sections: before and after submission of drawings.

    Before submission

    No two projects are the same, and processing times vary on a case to case basis. Before you submit your application, you must ensure that you have the necessary drawings. If, for example, you want to build an additional story for your home, you will need to prepare the structural drawings for it. However, you’ll also need to prepare the electrical, plumbing and HVAC drawings. This is the point where homeowners usually start making mistakes and that’s what usually makes the process longer. For example, most homeowners will go to an architectural firm to prepare the drawings for their project, but won’t realize until it’s too late that the company they hired does not provide HVAC, plumbing, electrical, or some other necessary engineering drawings. That means they will have to go to a completely different firm to get these drawings. The best thing to do in order to get your application prepared as quickly as possible is to find a consultant that prepares all of these documents under one roof. That way, you eliminate the waiting times that normally come with getting these drawings from different professionals and the very costly mistakes that usually come with it.

    After submission

    How much time it takes to get a building permit also depends greatly on the completeness of the drawings, among other factors. If all the drawings and the necessary paperwork is complete, on average, it takes about 3-4 weeks after submission to get the building permit. Experience plays a big role at that stage.

    Acadia Drafting prepares all your drawings in house, which shortens your waiting times significantly. We make sure that the drawings are done up to code and zoning bylaws the first time, which means there is nothing standing in the way of you getting your permit as soon as possible.

    The FASTRACK building permit service has the goal of issuing a building permit for certain home renovation projects within 5 business days. However, in reality, fastrack applications are for minor interior renovations and jobs that don’t involve any external work. For jobs that do, like additions, garages, new builds etc., the process usually takes longer, depending on the scope of each individual project.

    People often overlook the fact that the city of Toronto has different departments that review different aspects of the application. For example, HVAC, life safety and structural drawings all go through different designated departments. If you’re building an addition or a shed, then the city of Toronto will also have to review your project and make sure it is done according to the zoning by-laws. There is so much more to obtaining a building permit than simply submitting a few papers, which is why the process usually takes longer than 5 days.

    There are several ways you can speed up the process of getting your building permit:

    • Ask the right questions. When looking for a design consultant, you need to ask the right questions and find someone who will take the time to prepare everything at once. Look for someone who can provide you with a complete set of drawings, not just drawings for one aspect of your project.
    • Be flexible. Sometimes, the way you’ve envisioned your project may not work with the city by-laws. Again, the most vital role in this situation is played by the design consultants. How attainable your vision is depends on your design consultants knowing the laws and regulations, but also knowing how and when these rules can be challenged. The right consultants will have your best interests in mind and represent them during the review process.
    • Another thing to keep in mind is that incomplete documentation or drawings can prolong the entire process, so the fastest possible way to get a permit is to submit complete documentation that follows municipal regulations. For example, if you’re building an addition, you have to make sure that your project follows the zoning by-laws of your municipality. Each city within the GTA has its own set of specific rules pertaining to the height, width, and other aspects of building projects. Failure to follow these guidelines will result in longer processing times, which is why you should always look for a more experienced professional.

    At Acadia Drafting, we do our homework before we even visit your site. Depending on your specifications, we’ll study the rules and regulations for your project ahead of time, so that when we arrive at your home, we’ll be able to provide you with an accurate quote and time estimate.

    As we mentioned before, the length of the application varies from case to case. However, there are some things that, if not done right, can take a lot of time. Generally, the most time is wasted in the preparation of drawings. To be more specific, applicants generally waste the most time on revisions. If the drawings you submitted were not done to code or don’t follow the city’s zoning by-laws, that means you’ll have to correct them and re-submit the corrected drawings again. That’s why it is so important you hire someone that knows the regulations and by-laws before they even start the project.

    At Acadia Drafting, we’re always on top of the zoning regulations and city by-laws within Toronto, the GTA or any other municipality, and we come to you armed with the knowledge and decades of experience of working on residential and commercial projects. In addition, we only provide you with a quote after having visited your location, because that is the only way we can provide you with an accurate estimate.

    Certainly. How long it takes you to obtain a permit greatly depends on the scope of the project, specifically the drawings you will need. For example, if you are doing renovations and need to remove a load bearing wall, then you will need structural drawings, but if your interior renovation also includes changes to the plumbing or mechanical systems, then you will need to prepare more drawings, which may take longer.

    The most important thing is to be prepared and hire the right consultants that will know exactly what the scope of your project will be upon inspection. You don’t want to get caught by surprise and discover that your project will take much longer than necessary because you or your designer were not aware of the specific requirement for it.

    In general, constructing any addition or detached buildings takes longer than interior renovations because these projects also involve municipal review of zoning by-laws compliance and other engineering practices.

    The fastest way to obtain a building permit is to prepare all the necessary drawings right from the start. The way to do that is to hire a design consultant that has the knowledge and experience to perform a full inspection of your space in order to determine if your vision follows city regulations and by-laws. Look for a design agency that:

    • Does all drawings required are prepared in house (electrical, mechanical, HVAC, structural and all others)
    • Has a lot of experience dealing with building examiners and inspectors because that means they also know how to act in your best interest. For example, in cases where the rules require interpretation, you need a design expert who can argue your side and work for your benefit.
    • Gives you an estimate only after they have inspected your property. A good consultant will never provide you with a quote without seeing the property first. The inspection is crucial to determining the scope of the project and what types of drawings will be necessary in order to make sure your project is done to code.

    Yes, there are. Cities in the Greater Toronto Area have slightly different requirements and certain rules that may apply in one municipality may not apply to another. However, these regulations are usually nuances that can easily fall through the cracks if you don’t know how to interpret the building code or the local bylaws. Again, this is why it is so important to find a design consultant that actually understands these laws and knows what to look for.

    Not if you hire the right experts. This ties back to finding a consultant that does everything in house. For example, if you hire an architect to prepare your architectural drawings, only to find out that you also need drawings for your plumbing or HVAC system, and you discover that the architects you hired do not specialize in these particular drawings, that means that you’ll be much more involved than necessary in hiring and coordinating between multiple consultants. However, if you hire a consulting agency that does everything in house and prepares all your drawings and applications in one place, that means that from the moment you receive your quote, you can sit back and relax as the consultant does everything for you.

    Some consultants, like Acadia design consultants, also offer full construction management services, so you can get your design and build services all in one place.

    We’ve had many clients come to us with similar issues. They purchase a property only to find out that the second floor addition, deck, or secondary unit wasn’t done to code and was illegally built. The difficult truth is that, if you purchased a property like that, it is now your duty to correct the mistakes of the previous owners, even though they were the ones who made the changes. That’s why you should perform a full inspection before you buy the home in order to make sure everything is done properly.

    The cost of these changes will vary depending on whether they were done to code or not. If the changes were made without a building permit, but built up to the building codes, then it’s only a matter of submitting the drawings and applications to your local municipality for approval. If the changes were not done to code, and poorly constructed, that means you will need to get a contractor and bring it up to code.

    The cost of each project, as we mentioned before, depends greatly on the scope of the project and the extent of the changes you want to make. For example, building a deck compared to a complete second dwelling unit will vary in terms of cost. As for lowering the cost of your project, there are a few things you can do, and they all depend on who you hire as your design consultant.

    Hire a consultant who prepares and plans ahead. At Acadia Drafting, we review the zoning by-laws and other city regulations before we even start the project, because misinterpretation of these by-laws can potentially cost the client several thousands of dollars. We prepare ahead and we give our client our final quote right at the beginning of the project, immediately after we finish our site inspection. Unless our clients change their mind in terms of design, we do not charge a penny above our quote, because we come prepared with knowledge and experience to confidently determine the scope of the project right on the spot.

    Basically, any time you build, demolish, or renovate, you likely need a permit. A building permit is required when you:

    1. Build a new unit, building and so on.
    2. Add to an existing building.
    3. Make structural alterations.
    4. Construct an accessory structure bigger than 10 metres.
    5. Build a deck.
    6. Build a retaining wall that is more than one metre in height and if the wall is adjacent to or on public property.
    7. Demolish a portion of, or a whole building.
    8. Build a tent that is attached to a building and/or within 9 metres from another structure or if it covers more than 60 square metres.
    9. Install a fireplace or a wood burning stove
    10. Install a chhimney.
    11. Modify the plumbing or heating system.
    12. Change use of the building. For example from residential to commercial.
    13. Install a backflow prevention device or a backwater valve.

    There are several stages to obtaining a building permit and completing construction:

    • First, you need to gather all the building paperwork that allows you to start the process.
    • Then you need to submit your drawing to the city, wait for them to review your application and give you the building permit.
    • Upon completion of every construction stage, an inspector will visit the site and determine whether the construction can go on and at the end they will provide you with the final occupancy approval.

    Who Our Clients Are:


    Home renovations, additions, custom home builds and more. We help homeowners get their building permit fast with a complete set of drawings prepared in-house by our experts.

    Commercial Property Owners

    We work with restaurant owners, retail store owners, office managers and any other commercial owners to get their building permits approved fast and make their project reality.

    Industrial Property Owners

    We also specialize in working with all kinds of industrial properties, including distribution centres, warehouses and even grow houses that are sustainable and fully functional.

    Contractors and Builders

    We work with contractors and builders to ensure any project goes smoothly and the building permits get approved fast. We provide a full range of construction management services.