Fences and Retaining Walls

Building without permits can be costly and may force you to do more work than planned, to fix deficiencies. The information on this page will help guide you through your project.

What permits do I need?

A Development Permit is required when:

  • The height of the proposed fence is 2.0 meters (6'-6") or higher in a back yard.
  • The height of the proposed fence is 1.2 meters (4'-0") or higher in a front yard.
  • The height of the proposed retaining wall is 0.6 meters (24") or higher.
  • The proposed retaining wall is likely to alter the surface drainage of the lot, affecting adjacent properties.

Development Permit Application

Keep sight lines clear. 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 encroach on a neighbouring property.

Building Permits

Due to safety codes regulations, 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.

You may need the following:

How to Apply

Online

Apply 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 City Planning and we will assist you.
  2. Have drawings ready: Site plan, elevation plan, floor plan.
    May be required: Floor joist and roof truss drawings.
  3. Have utility locate slips: These show the location of underground and overhead utilities, such as gas and cable lines. See free utility locates below.
  4. Bring all these required documents (USB drive preferred) and apply in person at City Planning.
  5. Payment by debit, cash, cheque, or credit card.

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 project, it is important to know where utilities are located on your property. Locates are free of charge but require at least two days notice.

You must provide utility locate slips with a development application. To get them, contact:

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

Please review this user guide before booking online.

Book by Phone

Phone 403-529-8208 or fax the Inspection Request to 403-502-8036.

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