Fireplaces

Adding a fireplace provides additional heating and aesthetic value to a room. For exterior fire pits, chimineas, or outdoor fireplaces, see Backyard Fire Pits. For gas appliances or furnaces, see Trade Permits.

Types of fireplaces

Gas burning

A natural gas connection provides the gas fuel for the flame. Consists of a firebox, vent, gas line and electrical connection. There are a variety of efficiencies of models; some can produce a heat equivalent to wood-burning. Gas fireplaces start and extinguish via an electric switch, and do not produce ash residue.

  • Gas and electric permits required.

Solid-fuel burning

Wood burning fireplaces and appliances. Requires a chimney and regular cleaning. Types include traditional fireplaces, stoves, ranges and space heaters. Energy efficiency is very low. Due to high fire safety risk from hot embers, there are strict safety regulations for installation.

  • Building permit is required.
  • A gas permit required if a gas ignitor is included.

Ethanol burning

Appliances which use ethanol (liquid or gel) to provide fuel for the flame. Ethanol (or bioethanol) must be refilled with use and is highly flammable. Although it does not require venting or a chimney, safety precautions must be taken. Often portable, there are a variety of styles, but are more decorative than functional. Not recommended for use for more than one hour.

Electric

Appliances which produce a simulated fire effect and usually include an electric-powered heating element. May be free-standing, wall-mounted or fashioned to insert into the opening of a traditional fireplace. Does not require venting or a chimney. May be designed to plug into a household electrical outlet, or designed to be direct-wired.

  • Electric permit is required if the electric fireplace is designed for hard-wired installation, or if a new electrical outlet will be installed.

What permits do I need?

Building Permit

  • Required for installing a wood burning fireplace or appliance.

Gas Permit

  • Required for installing any gas fireplace or wood fireplace with a gas ignitor.

Electrical Permit

  • Required if there are any electrical services included with the fireplace (i.e., starter).

You may need the following:


Do it yourself

As a homeowner, you are able to get homeowner's permits for limited plumbing, electrical, gas and mechanical work. To apply for any of these homeowner's permits:

  • You must be doing the work yourself
  • You must own and live in the home
  • You must be capable of performing the work in accordance with the Safety Codes Act
  • It must be a single family home (not a condo building, etc.)

Depending on the homeowner's permit you are applying for, other restrictions may apply. 

Homeowner Trade Permits

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 Planning & Development Services 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

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

Book Online

Please review this user guide before booking online:

Guide for ePermit Inspections

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