Building Services forms a part of the Town’s Development Services Department. Building Services deals with all matters that fall under the Ontario Building Code Act and the Ontario Building Code including new constructions, demolitions, renovations, changes of use, etc. Building Services’ role is to review and approve building permit applications and related processes.

If you are planning a construction or renovation that expands the building, changes the use or adds new residential units, it is strongly recommended that you consult with Planning and Land Use staff to confirm your project meets the Town's Zoning By-law

In this section you will find useful guidelines and information relating to building permits, development charges, pools, fences and business licencing.

NEW Online Building Permit Application

The Town of Smiths Falls proudly launches the new online electronic permit application. Use the link below to submit your application to construct or demolish through the Electronic Building Permit Application Portal.

Getting a Building Permit

To obtain a building permit you must submit an application to construct or demolish. Building permit applications must be accompanied by appropriate documentation in order to review the proposal in accordance with the Ontario Building Code. Schedule C of the Building By-law outlines the documents that must be submitted with your application.

Your application may be submitted:

Depending on your experience and comfort with the building permit process, it may be desirable to hire a qualified professional in Town or within our region to assist you.

Processing times for applications may very depending on the complexity of your project and completeness of your application. Each permit application is reviewed internally by the following services areas to ensure Applicable Law, as defined by subsection of Ontario Regulation 205/03 (Building Code), is met:

  • Planning and Land Use Services;
  • Department of Public Works and Utilities;
  • Fire Department; and,
  • Building Services/Chief Building Official.

Applicable law must be met before the Town can issue a building permit. An application is not complete until applicable law is achieved. The Town of Smiths Falls handles the process of clearing applicable law internally on behalf of the property owner which may lead to variations in processing timelines.

Building Permit Fees & Development Charges

The cost of your building permit will vary depending on the type of use subject to the permit, the type of permit needed and the estimated cost of your project. Building permit fees are in accordance with the Town’s Building By-law and subject to annual consumer price index (CPI) increases.

Classes of Permits – Building Permit Fees 2024

New or expanded residential and commercial development may also be subject to Development Charges. Development Charges are collected through the Building Permit process to help the Town recover costs related to increased pressure on our infrastructure and services resulting from new development. For more information, please visit our Development Charges webpage and/or review the documents below:

Project Guidelines

Building Services staff have developed helpful information to assist you with your specific project. These guidelines can be found below.


Residential Guidelines
Non-residential Guidelines
Other Helpful Guidelines
Pool Permits

Pools on private property must comply with the Town’s Pool By-law. To apply, please complete a pool permit application to submit to Building Services.

To assist you with the application process, Building Services staff have prepared a pool permit guideline.

Business Licences

All new businesses must obtain a business licence from the Town in accordance with the Business Licencing By-law. For more information, visit our Business Licencing webpage.

Note: Other approvals may be required for your business to be eligible for a business licence. These requirements will be communicated to you through the business licence application process.


A permit is not required to construct a fence. However, fences must be constructed in conformance with the Town’s Fence By-law.

If you have any questions regarding the construction of a fence on your property, please contact Chief Building Official Andrew Willows at ext. 1128 or


Signs within the Town of Smiths Falls may be subject to a sign permit as per the Town’s Sign By-law. Sign Permits are the responsibility of Planning Services staff.

To apply for a sign permit, please complete the sign permit application and submit to Planner 1 Richard Grant at or in-person at Town Hall during regular office hours.

Pylon signs over 7.5 metres in height or signs more than 200 pounds in weight are also subject to an application to construct or demolish issued by Building Services.

Patios & Merchandise Displays

Patios and merchandise displays within the Town must be approved by Planning Services staff. A patio or merchandise display on Town-owned property such as a sidewalk or on-street parking space is subject to the Town’s Patio & Merchandise Display By-law.

To apply for a sidewalk lease permit, please complete a patio & merchandise display application and submit to Planner 1 Richard Grant at or in-person at Town Hall during regular office hours.

Depending on the nature of your proposal, other applications and approvals such as encroachment agreements, building permit, etc. may be required.

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