Fences and Retaining Walls

The information on this page will help guide you through developing a fence or retaining wall on your residential property. It is important to first obtain the necessary permits, to avoid incurring extra cost to fix deficiencies.

What permits do I need?

A development permit is required when:

  • The height of the proposed fence is higher than 2.0 meters (6'-6") in a back yard.
  • The height of the proposed fence is higher than 1.2 meters (4') in a front yard.
  • The height of the proposed retaining wall is higher than 1.2 meters (4').
  • The proposed retaining wall is likely to alter the surface drainage of the lot, affecting adjacent properties.

For more information about development permits, visit:

Development Permits

Keep sight lines clear for vehicles. A fence or other obstruction must not be higher than 0.9 meters (2'-11") within a Corner Visibility Triangle. A fence, retaining wall or other development must not infringe on a neighbouring property.


A building permit is required when:

  • The height of the proposed retaining wall is 0.6 meters (24") or higher and will be located at or near the property boundary.
  • The height of the proposed retaining wall is 1.2 meters (4') or higher. In this case, the design must be approved by a professional engineer.

For more information about building permits, visit:

Building Permits

How to Apply

Online

Apply online

Please review this ePermit user guide before applying online.

In Person

  1. Determine which application(s) you need. You can then download checklists and forms below to complete them, or come in person to Planning & Development Services at City Hall and we will assist you.
  2. Have drawing of site plan ready.
  3. Have utility locate slips: These show the location of underground and overhead utilities, such as gas and cable lines. See Line Locates below.
  4. Bring all these required documents and apply in person at Planning & Development Services.
  5. Payment by debit, cash, cheque, or credit card.

Depending on your project, below are forms you may need when applying in person:

Payment Methods

Online or phone:

  • Visa or Mastercard

In-person:

  • Debit
  • Cash
  • Cheque
  • Visa or Mastercard

Mail:

  • Cheque

Fees and Charges

How long will it take to approve permits?

  • Development permits: Timelines vary based on application type and the impact to the community.
  • Building permits: Typically less than 6 business days, provided that an approved development permit (if required) has been released.

Line Locates

When planning your fence or retaining wall project, it is important to know where utilities are located on your property. Locates are free of charge but require three days notice.

You must provide utility locate slips with your application. To obtain line locates, visit:

Line locates

Inspections

If a building permit was required for your project, then you must book a City inspection. At the discretion of the Safety Codes Officer, most projects require rough-in and final inspections, depending on the complexity of the project.

Book online

To book an inspection online, use one of the following options (do not apply with both):

Web form  OR  ePermit

Please review this user guide before booking with ePermit.

Book by phone

Phone 403-529-8208 (automated inspection request line)

 

Risks when permits are not obtained

By not obtaining permits for work done on your home, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to potential future legal and financial issues when selling your property or making an insurance claim. There could also be consequences if you do not correct the situation, such as:

  • Enforcement action issued by a Safety Codes Officer.
  • A fine for building without a permit.
  • Having to undo work that has been completed.
  • Future legal and financial issues when selling your property or making an insurance claim.
  • Having to do more work than was originally planned and budgeted, to fix deficiencies.
  • Potential liability to you, the homeowner, in the event of an accident.

As a homeowner, you are responsible for paying any penalties, even if you hired a contractor who assured you that permits were not required.

What if I am not the property owner?

If you are not the owner of the property, then you must get the owner's consent to apply for any changes.

Owner Consent