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Work not requiring a permit

General rule

It is necessary to obtain a permit before you undertake construction work, indoor or outdoor renovations or building demolition. By issuing a permit, the Borough is able to verify that the work is in compliance with the regulations in force in order to ensure public safety and quality of life.

It is therefore forbidden to carry out, without a permit, any work on a building or part of a building that consists of transforming, modifying or replacing an element cited as a requirement under the building code or the By-law concerning urban planning (Règlement d’urbanisme de l’arrondissement de CDN-NDG) or an element required to bring a building into conformity.

Exceptions

A permit is not required to carry out some maintenance, repair or replacement work that does not have an impact on public safety. The exceptions are described below.

Please note that a permit is required at all times for all outdoor work on a building located in the Mount Royal historic and natural district and in some significant sectors.

Cupboards, sinks, taps and bathrooms

A permit is not required to repair or replace kitchen or bathroom cupboards or other integrated furniture elements. Please make sure that no changes are made to interior divisions.

Interior doors in a dwelling unit

A permit is not required to replace interior doors in a dwelling unit, except where the doors are located in a fire separation required under the building code. For example, when the doors lead to a common space shared by several tenants, such as a corridor or staircase. In such cases, a permit is required for fire safety reasons.

Electricity or natural gas

The Ville does not issue permits for electrical and electric heating system work or natural gas work, but compliance with provincial regulations is still required. For further details, please contact the Régie du bâtiment offices in your sector.

Exterior facing

A permit is not required to carry out occasional repair or maintenance work on exterior facing, including replacing one section or more of a brick wall (sagging, splitting, cracks, etc.) when the replacement elements are identical to those being replaced, and provided that the work does not exceed 25% of the wall or facing in question. Brick pointing does not require a permit. A permit is required to change a material or add insulation. For example, if you observe a crack in your masonry walls and you decide to replace the entire wall or more than 25% of the wall, a permit is required. A permit is also required to modify inserted features or other specific architectural elements.

Roofing

A permit is not required to replace a flat roof membrane. However, is the building has heritage status or is located in one of the significant sectors, please ensure that you do not change the dimensions of the flashing. A permit is not required to replace asphalt shingles, except when the building has heritage status or is located in one of the significant sectors.

Please note that a permit is always required for exterior work in the Mount Royal historic and natural district and in some significant sectors.

Foundation and foundation drains

A permit is not required to carry out maintenance (ex. cracks) or waterproofing work on foundations or to replace French drains. However, where it is necessary to add pilings, a permit is required. Note that depending on the location of the work, a permit to excavate on public property may be required. In order to avoid conflicts with your neighbours, please make sure that any work is carried within the limits of your property.

Heat pumps and air conditioners

A permit is not required to install an air conditioner or a heat pump, except when such work is carried out in the Mount Royal historic and natural district. However, standards pertaining to location, depth, height, noise, and so forth must be observed. Exception: It is important to emphasize that regulations permit the installation of a removable individual air conditioner on a building facade.

Landscaping

A permit is not required to carry out ground-level landscaping work, except when the work is carried out in the Mount Royal historic and natural district or in a significant sector corresponding to the Mount Royal sector. However, a permit is required at all times to cut down a tree with a trunk diameter of 10 cm or more or to raise the ground level beneath the crown of a tree by more than 20 cm. A landscaping permit must be obtained to carry out filling or excavation operations where the operations are carried out in whole or in part in a wooded area or an ecoterritory or less than 30 metres from a wooded area located within an ecoterritory.

Fences

In general*, a permit is not required to install a fence. However, the standards pertaining to height, clearance and construction set out in the By-law concerning fences must be observed (C-5). For example, fence height can vary from 0.9 m (3’-0’’) to 2 m (6’-6’’), depending on its location. But beware of “fence disagreements”! Even if the installation of a fence on a property line is authorized, the rules of good neighbourliness must be respected.

*A permit may be required in certain specific cases, such as for daycare centres and service stations, and in the Mount Royal sector, on the grounds of a large institutional property, or in the front yard of a building located in a significant sector. Please go to our offices in order to obtain the necessary information prior to installation.

Sheds and dependencies

A permit is not required to construct a dependency measuring 15 m2 or less and 4 m or less in height in order to serve a residential building. While a permit is not required, construction and the By-law concerning urban planning (Règlement d’urbanisme de l’arrondissement de CDN-NDG) must be respected. For example, a distance of one metre (3’-3’’) must be maintained between your shed and your residence. In addition, a distance of at least 0.6 m (2’-0’’) must be maintained between your dependency and your property line, failing which a fire endurance rating of at least 45 minutes is required.

Parking spaces

No permit is required to repair, maintain or replace parking surfaces in locations where parking is already permitted. However, building a new parking unit or modifying an existing parking space does require a permit.

Balconies, stairs and decks

A permit is not required to repair or maintain balconies, verandas and perrons, as well as the ramps and stairs leading to them and the balustrades and roofs protecting them. For example, a permit is not required to change a few small beams or steps in poor repair or to repair balcony planks without rebuilding the entire surface. However, a permit is required to replace all these elements.

Concerning decks for residential use, a permit is required to construct or replace a deck unless the deck is located somewhere other than the front yard and its floor is 0.6 m (24 inches) or less from the adjacent ground. For example, a permit is not required to build a backyard deck standing 0.6 m (24 inches) above the ground.

Pools, whirlpool baths and hot tubs

A permit from the borough is not required to install a whirlpool bath or a hot tub with a capacity not exceeding 2,000 litres. A permit is required to install an in-ground, semi in-ground or above-ground swimming pool (including a portable or inflatable swimming pool).

Work in complete legality

While the work described above may be carried out without a permit, the applicable regulations in force must be observed. Otherwise, you will be subject to a fine.

Please go to our permits and inspections offices in person and speak to a permit officer before you undertake any kind of work. In doing so, you will be able to make sure that your work is in compliance, whether or not a permit is required.

Help us serve you better

When you visit the permits and inspections offices, bring everything likely to help us clearly understand your project. This will also allow you to avoid any unnecessary return visits.

For example, the following paper documents may be useful:

  • Certificate of location
  • Scale plans, dimensions, etc.
  • Printed photos