Elite Agri Solutions strives to provide background information on topics which are hard to research. In cases where no reputable print resources were available for us to reference, we interviewed industry experts, so it is inevitable that the contents of this document will contain inaccuracies and bias. Use this as a resource to help you ask the right questions, not as a source of definitive answers. Elite Agri Solutions and its employee will not be responsible for the consequences of any decision made based on this guide. Where text or data has been copied directly, the sources have been noted, otherwise it can be assumed that all the information in this guide has only been curated by Elite Agri Solutions and is not our original property.
(Information in this document was gathered from the Building Code Act, O.REG 332/12 (the Building Code), the National Farm Building Code of Canada and interviews with municipal building officials.)
Requirements for Construction of Farm Building in Ontario
The Ontario Building Code 2012 and the National Farm Building Code 1995 regulate the construction including renovations, additions and relocation of farm buildings in Ontario. Minor Renovations are not covered under these regulations.
The Ontario building code says that a farm building is defined as a building:
- Not containing a residential occupancy
- That is associated with and located on land devoted to the practice of farming; and
- The building is used essentially for the housing of equipment or livestock, or the production, storage or processing of agricultural and horticultural produce or feeds
The Canadian Farm Building Guide is not a stand-alone design document, but rather supplements the Ontario building code. Therefore, the Ontario Building Code is the primary regulation except for the exceptions and amendments put forward by the National Farm Building Code.
Fam buildings less than 600m2 and not more than 3 stories are deemed to comply with the NFBC if they are designed and constructed by the rules set forth by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Supplementary Standard SB-11, construction of Farm Buildings. Buildings larger than this are designed by an engineer under section 4 of the Ontario Building Code with the necessary exceptions called for by the Canadian Farm Building Code. Buildings that are not totally enclosed are subject to different wind loads than what the code is designed for and these buildings should be designed by an engineer as such.
Ontario’s Electrical Safety Code describes who can complete electrical work, how it is to be completed and the inspection requirements for it. Unlike building permits which are granted by the municipality, electrical permits are grated by application to the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), they are the provincial body that administers the code. A permit from the ESA is required before or within 48 hours of when electrical work starts. The permit must be taken out directly by the electrician doing the work.
Plumbing in Ontario is regulated by part 7 of the Ontario Building Code. Permits are required for plumbing work.
Nutrient Management Strategies are required for any new housing facility or manure storage with more than 5 nutrient units. Municipalities require a record of approval for the nutrient management strategy before a building permit is issued. OMAFRA administers the nutrient management legislation and the strategy can either be prepared by the farmer or a trained nutrient management planner. If the proposed facility is in an area that is significant to drinking water additional stipulations will be applied under the Source Water Protection Program. A site characterization study may be required for the Nutrient Management Strategy depending on the facility type.
Minimum Distance Separation (MDS) is a land use planning tool that dictates the setback between livestock facilities and surrounding dwellings. MDS calculations depend on operation size, type of livestock and style of manure storage. The MDS calculation must be presented to the municipality before a building permit can be approved. If it is not feasible to achieve the MDS on the proposed site a minor variance can be applied for with the local municipality.
Conservation authorities across Ontario regulate development is ecologically sensitive areas such as near rivers, floor planes, wetlands etc. Mapping is available online that shows the approximate area of their jurisdiction. If a proposed build is in one of these areas a separate permit must be obtained from the conservation authority.
Definition of a Farm Building
Definition given in the Ontario Building Code Division A: 220.127.116.11. Defined Terms:
Farm building means all or part of a building,
(a) that does not contain any area used for residential occupancy,
(b) that is associated with and located on land devoted to the practice of farming, and
(c) that is used essentially for the housing of equipment or livestock or the production, storage or processing of agricultural and horticultural produce or feeds.
“The rationale for having special requirements for farm buildings distinct from other buildings, is based on the low human occupancy load, the remote location of typical farm structures or the special nature of the occupancies involved.” (Preface to the National Farm Building Code)
Division A, Ontario Building Code, Compliance
The following text in red is copied form the Ontario Building Code. As there are so many references in this part of the code the black text that follows attempts to follow these references and give the reader an understanding of the code without having to flip back and forth to each reference.
18.104.22.168. Farm Buildings
(1) Except as provided in Sentences (2) to (6), farm buildings shall conform to the requirements in the CCBFC NRCC 38732, “National Farm Building Code of Canada”.
(2) Articles 22.214.171.124. and 126.96.36.199. and Subsections 3.1.4. and 4.1.4. in the CCBFC NRCC 38732, “National Farm Building Code of Canada” do not apply to farm buildings.
(3) In the CCBFC NRCC 38732, “National Farm Building Code of Canada”, references in Articles 188.8.131.52., 184.108.40.206., 220.127.116.11., 18.104.22.168., 22.214.171.124., 126.96.36.199., 188.8.131.52., 184.108.40.206. and 220.127.116.11. to the CCBFC NRCC 38726, “National Building Code of Canada”, are deemed to be references to Ontario Regulation 403/97 (Building Code), as it read on December 30, 2006.
(4) A farm building of low human occupancy having a building area not exceeding 600 m2 and not more than three storeys in building height is deemed to comply with the structural requirements of the CCBFC NRCC 38732, “National Farm Building Code of Canada” if it is designed and constructed in conformance with MMAH Supplementary Standard SB-11, “Construction of Farm Buildings”.
(5) A liquid manure storage tank shall comply with the requirements of Part 4 of Division B of this Code and the requirements of Part 4 of the CCBFC NRCC 38732, “National Farm Building Code of Canada”.
(6) A permanent solid nutrient storage facility shall comply with the requirements of Part 4 of Division B of this Code.
18.104.22.168 Farm Buildings
- Except for the following conditions all farm buildings will conform to the 1995 National Farm Building Code of Canada
- The following articles and subsections do not apply to farm buildings:
- Article 22.214.171.124 says “This code shall be administered in conformance with the appropriate provincial, territorial or municipal regulations or, in the absence of such regulations in conformance with the “Administrative requirements for use with the National Building Coded 1995”.
- ARTICLE 126.96.36.199 Says “lighting protection devices where used shall be installed in conformance with CAN/CSA-B72-M87”, “Installed Code for Lighting Protection Systems” Has been replaced with Electrical Safety Code
- Subsection 3.1.4 regards the placement of Fuel storage tanks has been replaced by fire code.
- Subsection 4.1.4 regards Pesticide Storage. Has been replaced by fire code.
- In the National Farm Building Code of Canada, the following articles refer to the national building code, instead refer to the Ontario Building Code as It read on December 30, 2006. 188.8.131.52. (Conformance to the national farm building code)184.108.40.206 (Loads due to snow roof slope factor)., 220.127.116.11 (Loads due to snow greenhouses)., 18.104.22.168(Allowable stress on masonry and factored loads)., 22.214.171.124. (Deflection limits for load tests), 126.96.36.199. “Unless specifically required farm buildings of low human occupancy need not conform to the requirements of parts 3 and 9 of the National Building Code of Canada 1995 with regard to fire safety or egress but shall conform to the requirements of this part”, 188.8.131.52. (fire separation), 184.108.40.206 (fire resistance less than 30m setback). and 220.127.116.11 (protection of exposed foamed plastic)
- A farm building with less than one person per 40m2, less than 600m2 total and not more than three stories complies with the National Farm Building Code of Canada if it is built in conformance to MMAH Supplementary Standard SB-11 “Construction of Farm Buildings”
- Liquid manure storage shall comply with the requirements of Part 4 Division B of this Code Meaning they will require engineering to conform to the part. Part 4 of the Ontario Building Code classifies liquid manure storage tanks as a special structure and out lines specific design requirements these can be found in this document under the subsection “Design of Liquid Manure Storage Tanks”. Part 4 of the National Farm Building Code specifies the safety requirements for liquid manure tanks, these can also be found in the subsection “Design of Liquid Manure Storage Tanks”.
- Permanent solid nutrient storage facilities shall comply with the requirements of Part 4 of Division B of this Code. Part 4 specifies requirements for structural design, this means that manure storage will need engineering to comply to this part.
Enforcement of Plumbing Code
6.1 Agreement re plumbing
(1) Despite any other provision of this Act, the council of an upper-tier municipality and of one or more municipalities in the upper-tier municipality may enter into an agreement for the enforcement by the upper-tier municipality of the provisions of this Act and the building code related to plumbing in the municipalities and for charging the municipalities the whole or part of the cost. 2002, c. 17, Sched. C, s. 3 (1).
An upper tier municipality can agree with any lower tier municipality to carry out administration and enforcement of the plumbing code. So depending on the municipality the plumbing permit and inspection schedule will be included on your building permit, while in other municipalities it may be required that you obtain a separate permit from the upper tier municipality and you may have to deal with a separate inspector.
Delegation to health unit
(2) If an agreement under subsection (1) is in effect, the council of an upper-tier municipality may by agreement delegate its powers under subsection (1) to a board of health having jurisdiction in the municipalities that are parties to the agreement. 2002, c. 9, s. 10; 2002, c. 17, Sched. C, s. 3 (2).
The upper tier municipality may then pass off responsibility to the health unit for the plumbing code.
Delegation by municipality
(3) A municipality that is not a party to an agreement under subsection (1) may enter into an agreement with the board of health having jurisdiction in the municipality for the enforcement of the provisions of this Act and the building code relating to plumbing. 2002, c. 9, s. 10.
A municipality may directly pass responsibility to the health unit.
Therefore, depending on the municipality, you may either need to deal with the municipality, upper tier municipality or the health unit for plumbing inspections and permits.
Role of Various Persons
Building designer is required to have insurance, prove to director that they are carrying insurance in order to provide designs to the public.
The farmer must check with property insurance policy, to limit liability.
If you are concerned about liability, look for insured contractors and have detailed contracts in place before construction begins.
Role of Various Persons from the Building Code Act:
1.1 Role of various persons
(1) It is the role of every person who causes a building to be constructed,
(a) to cause the building to be constructed in accordance with this Act and the building code and with any permit issued under this Act for the building;
(b) to ensure that construction does not proceed unless any permit required under this Act has been issued by the chief building official; and
(c) to ensure that construction is carried out only by persons with the qualifications and insurance, if any, required by this Act and the building code. 2002, c. 9, s. 3.
Role of Various Persons Interpretation:
It is the role of every person who causes a building to be constructed,
- To build in accordance with both the building code and any building permit issued.
- A permit needs to be issued by the chief building official before work can start.
- Ensure that the builder is qualified and insured if required
(2) It is the role of a designer,
(a) if the designer’s designs are to be submitted in support of an application for a permit under this Act, to provide designs which are in accordance with this Act and the building code and to provide documentation that is sufficiently detailed to permit the design to be assessed for compliance with this Act and the building code and to allow a builder to carry out the work in accordance with the design, this Act and the building code;
(b) to perform the role described in clause (a) in respect of only those matters for which the designer has the qualifications, if any, required by this Act and the building code; and
(c) if the building code requires that all or part of the design or construction of a building be under general review, to perform the general review in respect of only those matters for which the designer has the qualifications, if any, required by this Act and the building code. 2002, c. 9, s. 3
Role of Designers Interpretation
- If their design is to be used to obtain a permit, the design must be in accordance with the code. Documentation must be provided that is detailed enough for the municipality to determine if the design complies with the building code. Must be detailed enough to ensure the builder can carry out work that is true to the design.
- Perform their role only to the limit of their qualifications required under the code.
- If a general review is required, the designer must only perform the general review for matters that they are qualified to do.
Role of Builders from Code
(3) It is the role of a builder,
(a) to ensure that construction does not proceed unless any permit required under this Act has been issued by the chief building official;
(b) to construct the building in accordance with the permit;
(c) to use appropriate building techniques to achieve compliance with this Act and the building code; and
(d) when site conditions affect compliance with the building code, to notify the designer and an inspector or the registered code agency, as appropriate. 2002, c. 9, s. 3.
Role of Builders Interpretation
- Have the required permits before construction proceeds.
- Build within the specifications of the permit.
- Ensure that building techniques comply with the building code.
- When site conditions are different than anticipated, notify the designer and inspector.
Role of Manufacturers from Code
(4) It is the role of manufacturers, suppliers and retailers of products that are intended for use in Ontario in the construction of a building for a purpose that is regulated by this Act or the building code to ensure that the products comply with the standards established under this Act and the building code. 2002, c. 9, s. 3.
Role of Manufacturers, etc. Interpretation
Building products must comply with standards set by the building code.
Role of Registered Code Agencies from Code
(5) It is the role of a registered code agency,
(a) to exercise powers and perform duties under this Act and the building code in connection with reviewing plans, issuing certificates, inspecting construction and performing other functions in accordance with this Act and the building code; and
(b) to carry out the duties of a registered code agency under this Act and the building code in respect of only those matters for which the registered code agency is qualified under this Act and the building code. 2002, c. 9, s. 3.
Role of Registered Code Agencies Interpretation (A registered code agency is a third party that the municipality can hire to act as the building official)
- Exercise powers under the building code to review plans, issue certificates and inspect construction.
- Exercise powers only as far as they are qualified to do under the building code.
Role of Chief Building Officials from Code
(6) It is the role of a chief building official,
(a) to establish operational policies for the enforcement of this Act and the building code within the applicable jurisdiction;
(b) to co-ordinate and oversee the enforcement of this Act and the building code within the applicable jurisdiction;
(c) to exercise powers and perform the other duties assigned to him or her under this Act and the building code; and
(d) to exercise powers and perform duties in accordance with the standards established by the applicable code of conduct. 2002, c. 9, s. 3.
Role of Chief Building Officials Interpretation
- To establish policies within their municipality for enforcing the building code.
- To oversee the enforcement of the building code within their municipality.
- To carry out the duties assigned to them under the building code.
- To exercise their powers and preform duties following the code of conduct.
Role of Inspectors from Code
(7) It is the role of an inspector,
(a) to exercise powers and perform duties under this Act and the building code in connection with reviewing plans, inspecting construction, conducting maintenance inspections and issuing orders in accordance with this Act and the building code;
(b) to exercise powers and perform duties in respect of only those matters for which he or she has the qualifications required by this Act and the building code; and
(c) to exercise powers and perform duties in accordance with the standards established by the applicable code of conduct. 2002, c. 9, s. 3; 2006, c. 22, s. 112 (2).
Role of Inspectors Interpretation
- To review plans, inspect construction, conduct maintenance inspections and issue orders under the building code.
- To only exercise powers and preform duties for matters they are qualified for.
- To act in accordance with the applicable code of conduct.
Construction and Demolition Section: Section 8 Building Permits
The farmer is typically the one who takes out the building permit, though it could be the general contractor or a project manager. During construction, if the farmer is acting as the general contractor then they will be the one notifying the chief building official of readiness for inspection. If the farmer has hired a general contractor, then they can discuss who will be responsible to contact the building official. On the building permit it will be listed what stages of construction require inspection. Explanatory material may be provided with the permit to ensure that the inspection occurs at the correct stages.
It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that they obtain a permit, it is the contractor’s responsibility to ensure that they do not start work before a permit is issued.
Any farm building is not required to have a permit prior to demolition. This includes buildings with pre or post stressed members. In the building code, the section about needing no permit to demolish farm buildings, over-rules the section that says a permit is needed of demolition of any pre-or post-stressed members.
Permits for the demolition of houses on farms is up to the discretion of the chief building official. Regardless of what is decided for the house demolition it is required that septic systems be properly decommissioned to ensure that there is no buildup of dangerous gases or that there is no hazard of falling into an abandoned system. Ensure that Ontario One Call comes and locates all utilities, and that they are disconnected before demolition begins.
A permit can be revised if small changes are made to the building, it is the responsibility of the owner to notify the chief building official of this. The engineer or person who designed the building must submit ‘as-built’ drawings by the end of the project. For major changes to building area or set back, the design must be submitted to the building official for review, and a new permit will be issued.
Conditional permits may be granted if waiting for approval would cause a significant delay in construction. The chief building official will only issue a conditional permit if they feel that there is reasonable certainty that the permit will go through and they don’t foresee any appeals to location of the building. The owner is made aware of their liability to leave the site in a leveled condition if the permit is denied. It is usually advisable to only progress as far as the foundation under a conditional permit to limit risk. Though it would represent a significant financial loss, a foundation can easily be knocked in and buried if need be. Conditional permits are granted totally at the discretion of the chief building official.
Permits should be laminated, or otherwise weather proofed and attached to a stake or building on the site of construction.
An applicant should either check with their municipal building department or directly with their local conservation authority to determine if the proposed building is going to be within an area regulated by the conservation authority. If they are under the conservation authority’s jurisdiction then a permit must first be obtained from the conservation authority before the municipal building permit can be issued. Most counties have an interactive GIS-mapping service on their website where, by selecting the conservation map layer you can get a rough idea of whether the proposed build is in a regulated area, this can be a valuable tool for preliminary discussion.
The chief building official has jurisdiction to inspect the site as soon as the permit is applied for, this may be done if they need additional information to decide regarding the permit. Often the case is that aerial mapping is out of date, so new development in the area has the potential to affect the permit.
Reminder: The following text red is taken directly from the Building Code Act, the black text is our text to help you understand the act.
Construction and Demolition Section
Section 8. Building permits
(1) No person shall construct or demolish a building or cause a building to be constructed or demolished unless a permit has been issued therefor by the chief building official. 1992, c. 23, s. 8 (1); 1997, c. 30, Sched. B, s. 7 (1).
Application for permit
(1.1) An application for a permit to construct or demolish a building may be made by a person specified by regulation and the prescribed form or the form approved by the Minister must be used and be accompanied by the documents and information specified by regulation. 2002, c. 9, s. 14 (1); 2006, c. 21, Sched. F, s. 104 (5).
Issuance of permits
(2) The chief building official shall issue a permit referred to in subsection (1) unless,
(a) the proposed building, construction or demolition will contravene this Act, the building code or any other applicable law;
(b) the applicant is a builder or vendor as defined in the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act and is not registered under that Act;
(b.1) the Architects Act or the Professional Engineers Act requires that the proposed construction of the building be designed by an architect or a professional engineer or a combination of both and the proposed construction is not so designed;
If professional design is required but is not completed, you will not get a permit.
(c) a person who prepared drawings, plans, specifications or other documents or gave an opinion concerning the compliance of the proposed building or construction with the building code does not have the applicable qualifications, if any, set out in the building code or does not have the insurance, if any, required by the building code;
If persons engaged in design, or who commented on building code compliance, aren’t properly qualified or insured you will not get a permit.
(d) the plans review certificate, if any, required for the application does not contain the prescribed information;
If the plans review certificate is incomplete you will not get a permit.
(e) the application for the permit is not complete; or
(f) any fees due have not been paid. 2002, c. 9, s. 14 (2); 2014, c. 7, Sched. 3, s. 1.
(2.1) If the application includes a plans review certificate that contains the prescribed information, the chief building official is not entitled to refuse to issue the permit on the grounds that the proposed construction of the building to which the certificate relates does not comply with the building code. 2002, c. 9, s. 14 (2).
If the plans review certificate says you comply to code the chief building official cannot say that you don’t comply with code.
(2.2) If an application for a permit meets the requirements prescribed by regulation, the chief building official shall, unless the circumstances prescribed by regulation apply, decide within the period prescribed by regulation whether to issue the permit or to refuse to issue it. 2009, c. 33, Sched. 21, s. 2 (2).
If the permit is complete, the permit must be issued or refused within the time period stated in table 18.104.22.168. Which is 15 days for farm buildings under 600m2 and 20 days for farm buildings over 600m2
Same, reasons for refusal
(2.3) If the chief building official refuses to issue the permit, he or she shall inform the applicant of all of the reasons for the refusal of the permit and shall do so within the period prescribed by regulation. 2002, c. 9, s. 14 (2)
If a permit is refused, the chief building official must tell you why.
(3) Even though all requirements have not been met to obtain a permit under subsection (2), the chief building official may issue a conditional permit for any stage of construction if,
(a) compliance with by-laws passed under sections 34 and 38 of the Planning Act and with such other applicable law as may be set out in the building code has been achieved in respect of the proposed building or construction;
You have met municipal planning by-laws and building code.
(b) the chief building official is of the opinion that unreasonable delays in the construction would occur if a conditional permit is not granted; and
(c) the applicant and such other person as the chief building official determines agree in writing with the
municipality, upper-tier municipality, board of health, planning board, conservation authority or the Crown in right of Ontario to,
(i) assume all risk in commencing the construction,
(ii) obtain all necessary approvals in the time set out in the agreement or, if none, as soon as
(iii) file plans and specifications of the complete building in the time set out in the agreement,
(iv) at the applicant’s own expense, remove the building and restore the site in the manner specified in the agreement if approvals are not obtained or plans filed in the time set out in the agreement, and
(v) comply with such other conditions as the chief building official considers necessary, including the provision of security for compliance with subclause (iv). 1992, c. 23, s. 8 (3); 1997, c. 30, Sched. B, s. 7 (2); 1999, c. 12, Sched. M, s. 5 (1); 2002, c. 17, Sched. F, Table.
A conditional permit may be granted if waiting would cause unreasonable delays, however if the conditions of the permit are not met the building must be removed and the site restored, at the owner’s expense.
Delegation re conditional permits
(3.1) A principal authority may, in writing, delegate to the chief building official the power to enter into agreements described in clause (3) (c) and may impose conditions or restrictions with respect to the delegation. 2002, c. 9, s. 14 (3).
The municipality and the chief building official both have input on the conditions.
(4) In considering whether a conditional permit should be granted, the chief building official shall, among other matters, have regard to the potential difficulty in restoring the site to its original state and use if required approvals are not obtained. 1992, c. 23, s. 8 (4).
The consequence of the conditional permit being denied after construction has started will be considered before the conditional permit is issued.
(5) Any agreement entered into under clause (3) (c) may be registered against the land to which it applies and the municipality, upper-tier municipality, board of health, planning board, conservation authority or the Province of Ontario, as the case may be, is entitled to enforce its provisions against the owner and, subject to the Registry Act and the Land Titles Act, any and all subsequent owners of the land. 1999, c. 12, Sched. M, s. 5 (2); 2002, c. 17, Sched. F, Table.
Enforcement of agreement
(6) If the chief building official determines that a building has not been removed or a site restored as required by an agreement under clause (3) (c), the chief building official may cause the building to be removed and the site restored and for this purpose the chief building official, an inspector and their agents may enter upon the land and into the building governed by the agreement at any reasonable time without a warrant. 1992, c. 23, s. 8 (6).
(7) If the building is in a municipality, the municipality shall have a lien on the land for the amount spent on the removal of the building and restoration of the site under subsection (6) and the amount shall have priority lien status as described in section 1 of the Municipal Act, 2001 or section 3 of the City of Toronto Act, 2006, as the case may be. 2002, c. 17, Sched. F, Table; 2006, c. 32, Sched. C, s. 3 (1).
If the permit is denied and you leave it for the municipality to clean it up there will be a lien against the property.
(8) If the building is in territory without municipal organization, the amount spent on the removal of the building and restoration of the site under subsection (6) is a debt owing to the Crown and may be collected under the Provincial Land Tax Act, 2006 as if it was tax imposed under that Act”. See: 2006, c. 33, Sched. Z.3, ss. 4 (1), 34 (2).
If you are in an unorganized township and the Province removes the building, they will recover the cost through your provincial land tax.
Referral of plans, etc.
(9) Upon reasonable grounds, the chief building official or registered code agency may refer drawings, plans or specifications accompanying applications for permits or the reports arising out of the general review of the construction of a building to the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario or the Ontario Association of Architects for the purpose of determining if the Professional Engineers Act or the Architects Act is being contravened. 2002, c. 9, s. 14 (4).
The chief building official can check drawings, plans and specifications with the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario or with the Ontario Association of Architects.
(9.1) At the request of the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario or the Ontario Association of Architects, the chief building official shall refer documents and information described in subsection (9) to those associations for the purpose of determining if the Professional Engineers Act or the Architects Act is being contravened. 2002, c. 9, s. 14 (4).
Revocation of permits
(10) Subject to section 25, the chief building official may revoke a permit issued under this Act,
Section 25 allows persons who consider themselves aggrieved by an order or decision to appeal to court.
(a) if it was issued on mistaken, false or incorrect information;
(b) if, after six months after its issuance, the construction or demolition in respect of which it was issued has not, in the opinion of the chief building official, been seriously commenced;
If you don’t start construction within 6 months.
(c) if the construction or demolition of the building is, in the opinion of the chief building official, substantially suspended or discontinued for a period of more than one year;
If you start construction, then stop for over a year, your permit will be revoked.
(d) if it was issued in error;
(e) if the holder requests in writing that it be revoked; or
(f) if a term of the agreement under clause (3) (c) has not been complied with. 1992, c. 23, s. 8 (10).
Clause 3 (c) is the details of a conditional permit.
(11) No person shall construct or demolish a building or cause a building to be constructed or demolished except in accordance with this Act and the building code. 1992, c. 23, s. 8 (11).
Notice of change
(12) No person shall make a material change or cause a material change to be made to a plan, specification, document or other information based on which a permit was issued without notifying, filing details with and obtaining the authorization of the chief building official. 1992, c. 23, s. 8 (12).
If you make changes to the information that was submitted to get the building permit, you need to let the chief building official know.
(13) No person shall construct or demolish a building or cause a building to be constructed or demolished except in accordance with the plans, specifications, documents and any other information on the basis of which a permit was issued or any changes to them authorized by the chief building official. 1992, c. 23, s. 8 (13).
(14) If a request for authorization referred to in subsection (12) or (13) is accompanied by a change certificate that contains the prescribed information, the chief building official is not entitled to refuse to authorize the change on the grounds that the construction of the building to which the certificate relates does not comply with the building code. 2002, c. 9, s. 14 (5).
A change certificate verifies that the terms of the conditional permit have been met. The chief building official cannot argue with the change certificate.
The chief building official has jurisdiction to inspect the site as soon as the permit is applied for, this may be done if they need additional information to decide on the permit. Often the case is that aerial mapping is out of date so development in the area has the potential to affect the permit.
If a building is inspected and a component is found to be noncompliant to the code the building inspector can issue an order to have the problem resolved. If the problem is significant enough an order is applied to stop all other work until the issue can be fixed. Orders are typically always placed on the landowner, and usually include other partiess such as the general contractor, sub-trades and even the mortgage company. Orders apply to specific building components so something like switching contractors will not exempt you from an order. The inspector will not chase a sub-trade who has already left the site or put the order on a specific person on site, it is up to the owner to have robust contracts in place beforehand that will hold each party accountable to their work.
Stop work orders apply to everyone on site.
10.2 Notice of readiness for inspection
(1) At each stage of construction specified in the building code, the prescribed person shall notify the chief building official or the registered code agency, if any, that the construction is ready to be inspected. 2002, c. 9, s. 17. Inspection
(2) After the notice is received, an inspector or the registered code agency, as the case may be, shall carry out the inspection required by the building code within the prescribed period. 2002, c. 9, s. 17.
At the stages of construction set out in “22.214.171.124 Prescribed notices” the chief building official will be notified that construction is ready to be inspected.
Section 12. Inspection of building site
(1) An inspector may enter upon land and into buildings at any reasonable time without a warrant for the purpose of inspecting the building or site in respect of which a permit is issued or an application for a permit is made. 1992, c. 23, s. 12 (1).
They can come inspect at any reasonable time (business hours of the municipal office typically) without warning.
(2) An inspector who finds a contravention of this Act or the building code may make an order directing compliance with this Act or the building code and may require the order to be carried out immediately or within such time as is specified in the order. 1992, c. 23, s. 12 (2).
If construction is found to not be up to code, the inspector will order that it be corrected.
(3) The order shall be served on the person whom the inspector believes is contravening this Act or the building code. 1992, c. 23, s. 12 (3).
The specific party who broke with the code is the one who the order is given to.
Form and contents
(4) The prescribed form or the form approved by the Minister must be used for the order and it must contain enough information to specify the nature of the contravention and its location and the nature of the compliance that is required. 2002. c. 9, s. 19; 2006, c. 21, Sched. F, s. 104 (6).
The order must follow the ministry approved form and be specific enough to allow the problem to be fixed
(5) The inspector may post a copy of the order on the site of the construction or demolition. 1992, c. 23, s. 12 (5)
Section 13. Order not to cover
(1) An inspector may make an order prohibiting the covering or enclosing of any part of a building pending inspection. 1992, c. 23, s. 13 (1).
Form of order
(1.1) The prescribed form or the form approved by the Minister must be used for an order made under this section. 2002, c. 9, s. 20 (1); 2006, c. 21, Sched. F, s. 104 (7).
The order not to cover must follow a ministry approved form.
(2) The order shall be served on the person to whom the permit is issued, if any, and on such other persons affected thereby as the inspector determines. 1992, c. 23, s. 13 (2).
(3) The inspector may post a copy of the order on the site of the construction. 1992, c. 23, s. 13 (3).
(4) An inspection shall be made within a reasonable time after the person to whom the order is made has given notice that the part of the building is ready for inspection. 1992, c. 23, s. 13 (4).
(5) Section 27 does not apply to a notice under subsection (4). 1992, c. 23, s. 13 (5).
Order to uncover
(6) A chief building official or registered code agency who has reason to believe that part of a building that is covered or enclosed has not been constructed in compliance with this Act or the building code may order the persons responsible for the construction to uncover the part at their own expense for the purpose of an inspection if,
(a) the part was covered or enclosed contrary to an order made under subsection (1);
(b) a notice required to be given to the chief building official, registered code agency or inspector before the part was covered or enclosed under a by-law, resolution or regulation made under clause 7 (e) was not given, or a notice required under section 10.2 was not received;
(c) in cases where a notice required under section 10.2 is received, the period prescribed under subsection 10.2 (2) did not elapse before the part was covered or enclosed;
(d) in cases where a notice required by a by-law, resolution or regulation made under clause 7 (e) is given,
(i) the inspection period prescribed under clause 7 (e) did not elapse before the part was covered or enclosed, or
(ii) if an inspection period is not prescribed under clause 7 (e), a reasonable period after the notice was given did not elapse before the part was covered or enclosed; or
(e) the part has been constructed without a permit being issued. 2006, c. 19, Sched. O, s. 1 (6).
If a building component is covered before it has been inspected or has been constructed without a permit, the inspector can have it uncovered in order at the builder’s expense.
Section 14. Stop work order
(1) If an order made under section 12 or 13 is not complied with within the time specified in it, or where no time is specified, within a reasonable time, the chief building official or registered code agency, as the case may be, may order that all or any part of the construction or demolition cease. 1992, c. 23, s. 14 (1); 2002, c. 9, s. 21 (1).
If first an order is imposed and correction is not made, a stop work order will be imposed.
Form of order
(1.1) The prescribed form or the form approved by the Minister must be used for the order. 2002, c. 9, s. 21 (2); 2006, c. 21, Sched. F, s. 104 (8).
(2) The order shall be served on such persons affected thereby as the chief building official or registered code agency determines and a copy shall be posted on the site of the construction or demolition. 1992, c. 23, s. 14 (2); 2002, c. 9, s. 21 (3).
(3) The order is effective from the time it is posted under subsection (2). 1992, c. 23, s. 14 (3).
Effect of order
(4) If an order to cease construction or demolition is made, no person shall perform any act in the construction or demolition of the building in respect of which the order is made other than work necessary to carry out the order made under section 12 or 13. 1992, c. 23, s. 14 (4).
All work must stop until the correction is made.
Referral to chief building official
(5) When a registered code agency makes an order under this section, the agency shall refer the matter to the chief building official as soon as practicable. 2002, c. 9, s. 21 (4).
When a third-party code agency makes a stop work order, they must inform the chief building official of the municipality.
(6) The referral must be made in the prescribed manner. 2002, c. 9, s. 21 (4).
Effect of referral
(7) After making the referral, the registered code agency shall take no further steps in respect of the matter to which the order refers and the principal authority that issued the permit is responsible for the enforcement of this Act in respect of the matter. 2002, c. 9, s. 21 (4).
Powers of chief building official
(8) The chief building official may amend or rescind any order made by the registered code agency in respect of the matter. 2002, c. 9, s. 21 (4)
The chief building official has the final say over the order.
126.96.36.199. Prescribed Inspections
(1) Except as provided in Sentence (2), an inspector or registered code agency, as the case may be, shall, not later than two days after receipt of a notice given under Sentence 188.8.131.52.(2), undertake a site inspection of the building to which the notice relates.
The inspector will come to the site within the next two days after they are notified.
(2) Where a notice given under Sentence 184.108.40.206.(2) relates to matters described in Clause 220.127.116.11.(2)(l) or (m), an inspector or registered code agency, as the case may be, shall, not later than five days after receipt of the notice, undertake a site inspection of the sewage system to which the notice relates.
Sewage system inspections will occur within the next five days after they are notified.
(3) When undertaking an inspection required under Sentence (1) or (2), the inspector or registered code agency may consider reports concerning whether the building or a part of the building complies with the Act or this Code.
During the inspection, the building official will determine if the building is up to code.
(4) The time periods referred to in Sentences (1) and (2) shall begin on the day following the day on which the notice is given.
(5) The time periods referred to in Sentences (1) and (2) shall not include Saturdays, holidays and all other days when the offices of the principal authority are not open for the transaction of business with the public.
Change of Occupancy
Section 10. Change of use
(1) Even though no construction is proposed, no person shall change the use of a building or part of a building or permit the use to be changed if the change would result in an increase in hazard, as determined in accordance with the building code, unless a permit has been issued by the chief building official. 2002, c. 9, s. 16.
(2) The chief building official shall issue a permit under subsection (1), unless, (a) the building if used as proposed would result in a contravention of this Act or the building code or any other applicable law; (b) the application for it is incomplete; or (c) any fees due are unpaid. 1992, c. 23, s. 10 (2).
Even if you don’t structurally add to or change a building, you still need a permit to change the use of the building.
18.104.22.168. Permits Under Section 10 of the Act
(1) Except as provided in Sentence (2), the following changes in use of a building or part of a building constitute an increase in hazard for the purposes of section 10 of the Act and require a permit under section 10 of the Act:
(d) a farm building or part of a farm building is changed to a major occupancy,
Below are the Major Occupancies that would classify a change of use. Any change from the low human occupancy aspect would generally constitute a change from a farm building establishment and a major occupancy.
“Examples of a change of use from a farm building establishment to other occupancies could be providing retail sales, open for eating/drinking/viewing/gathering by outsiders with a large amount of occupants, animal racing, processing/manufacturing of agricultural and horticultural produce or feeds NOT devoted to its own land (i.e. taking from other properties).”- Danny Hui (MMA)
Major occupancy means the principal occupancy for which a building or part of a building is used or intended to be used and is deemed to include the subsidiary occupancies that are an integral part of the principal occupancy. The major occupancy classifications used in this Code are as follows:
(a) Group A, Division 1 – Assembly occupancies intended for the production and viewing of the performing arts,
(b) Group A, Division 2 – Assembly occupancies not elsewhere classified in Group A,
(c) Group A, Division 3 – Assembly occupancies of the arena type,
(d) Group A, Division 4 – Assembly occupancies in which occupants are gathered in the open air,
(e) Group B, Division 1 – Detention occupancies,
(f) Group B, Division 2 – Care and treatment occupancies,
(g) Group B, Division 3 – Care occupancies,
(h) Group C – Residential occupancies,
(i) Group D – Business and personal services occupancies,
(j) Group E – Mercantile occupancies,
(k) Group F, Division 1 – High hazard industrial occupancies,
(l) Group F, Division 2 – Medium hazard industrial occupancies, and
(m) Group F, Division 3 – Low hazard industrial occupancies.
Design of Liquid Manure Storage Tanks
Liquid manure (22.214.171.124. Defined Terms)
means manure having a dry matter content of less than 18 per cent or a slump of more than 150 millimetres using the Test Method for the Determination of Liquid Waste (slump test) set out in Schedule 9 to Regulation 347 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990 (General — Waste Management) made under the Environmental Protection Act. 4.4.5. Manure Storage Tanks
126.96.36.199. Liquid Manure Storage Tanks
(1) Liquid manure storage tanks shall be constructed of steel, reinforced concrete or prestressed concrete.
(2) Liquid manure storage tank walls, bases and appurtenances, including piping for the conveyance of liquid manure and associated connections and joints, shall be designed and constructed to prevent leakage of contents.
(3) Concrete for liquid manure storage tanks shall,
(a) be made from HS or HSb cement, (High sulfate resistance or blended High sulfate resistance)
(b) have a 28-day strength of at least 32 MPa, and
(c) have a water/cement materials ratio of not more than 0.45.
(4) Liquid manure storage tanks shall be placed on undisturbed soil free of any organic, deleterious and extraneous materials and capable of supporting the superimposed design loads from the tanks.
(5) Where granular fills are used between the bases of liquid manure storage tanks and the undisturbed soil, the granular fills shall be compacted to a Standard Proctor density of not less than 95%.
The following is the safety requirements for Liquid Manure Storage as given by Part 4 of the National Farm Building Code:
4.1.1. Liquid Manure Storage
- Covers providing access to liquid manure storage tanks shall be
- Designed to prevent them from being dropped through their opening s or
- Be permanently secured with safety chains.
- Liquid manure storage tank tops shall be designed to support loads due to the use and occupancy of the area
188.8.131.52. Connection to an Animal Building
- Where a separate liquid manure storage tank is connected to an animal building, traps or valves shall be installed to prevent gases from the manure storage tank from entering the building.
- Ladders shall not be installed in closed liquid manure tanks.
184.108.40.206. Safety Fence or Wall
- Liquid manure storages without fixed covers shall be enclosed with a permanent safety fence or wall extending to not less than 1.5m above adjacent grade or floor level, adequately secured at ground level and having gates with latches to deter access by children and livestock.
4.1.2 Manure Hopper openings
220.127.116.11. Safety Railings or Floor Grills
- Manure hopper openings at or below floor level shall be fitted with a safety railing or floor grill having an opening of not more than 100mm in width.
4.1.3 Milk Centre Wastes
18.104.22.168 Gas Traps
- A gas trap shall be provided on the delivery pipe for milk centre wastes between the milk centre and the sediment tank or other storage.
Farm Buildings are exempt from the Section Ontario Building Code Section 12.2. “Energy Efficiency, Carbon Dioxide Equivalents and Peak Electric Demand”
Period Within Which Permit Shall be Issued or Refused
From Table 22.214.171.124. Period Within Which permit shall be issued or refused.
2 (b) Farm buildings that do not exceed 600m2 in building area. 15 days
3 (b) Farm buildings exceeding 600m2 in building area. 20 days
Qualifications-Persons Engaged in the Business of Providing Design Activities to the Public
3.2.4. Qualifications – Persons Engaged in the Business of Providing Design Activities to the Public
(1) Except as provided in Sentences (3) and (4), every person engaged in the business of providing design activities to the public must have the following qualification:
(a) the person must be registered with the director.
(2) A registration shall be in a form established by the director.
(3) A person is exempt from the requirement to comply with the qualification in Sentence (1), if the person’s design activities relate only to,
(c) construction of a farm building that,
(i) is of low human occupancy,
(ii) is 2 storeys or less in building height, and
(iii) has a building area of less than 600 m2
This means that if you are designing a farm building under these requirements it does not have to be engineered, provided it is fully enclosed and built to the specifications of Division B Part 9. Buildings are deemed to meet the requirements of part 9 if pole or stud framing is designed to the tables found in supplementary standard – 11. The building code is available online, but the supplementary standards are not, they are only available in the print version of the code. You can either buy the building code or ask to see these tables at the municipal office when you are designing the building. You will still need to have accurate drawings of the building for the municipal office to approve before they will issue a permit.
3.2.5. Qualifications – Other Designers
The following text is from the Ontario Building Code Division C
3.2.5. Qualifications — Other Designers
(1) Except as provided in Sentence (3), a person who carries out design activities but is not required under Sentence 126.96.36.199.(1) to be registered with the director under Sentence 188.8.131.52.(1) must have the following qualification:
(a) the person must be registered with the director under Sentence 184.108.40.206.(1).
(2) A registration shall be in a form established by the director.
(3) A person is exempt from the requirement to comply with the qualification in Sentence (1), if his or her design activities relate only to,
(a) design activities in respect of which a person described in Clause 220.127.116.11.(1)(c) or who has the qualification required under Sentence (1) will review and take responsibility,
(b) construction of,
(i) a detached house, semi-detached house, townhouse or row house owned by the person and containing not more than two dwelling units in each house, or
(ii) an ancillary building that serves a building described in Subclause (i),
(c) construction of a farm building that,
(i) is of low human occupancy,
(ii) is 2 storeys or less in building height, and
(iii) has a building area of less than 600 m2,
Farm buildings are exempt from having professional design if they are under 600m2, are less than two stories and have low human occupancy. Under these conditions they must be designed in accordance with part 9 of the Ontario Building Code and supplementary standard SB-11 “Construction of Farm Buildings”. However, the standard SB-11, is only intended for the design of totally enclosed buildings, such as a drive shed with siding and doors or a livestock barn with relatively small air inlets and fans. Therefore, even if a building meets the first requirements it must be engineered if it has even one open side. This means that open front cattle sheds, curtain sided barns and open sided hay storage, all must be engineered to resist the unique wind loads that these buildings experience. In any case, up to the discretion of the chief building official, it may still be required that an engineer design the bracing if not the entire structure.
Lean-to additions onto existing buildings require permits as well but may not need to be engineered if the total building area does not exceed 600m2 and the main building is a closed building and is properly braced.
All final decisions in this regard are up to the individual chief building official’s interpretation of the code and can vary municipality to municipality.
In the case where the farmer is designing their own building if they fit the exceptions, they or their contractor will have to draw up plans for the proposed building, in this case it is wise to be in correspondence with the chief building official early in the planning stages to ensure that your plans meet requirements. This ensures that any changes to building components are made before materials are ordered or installed.
Since most farm buildings are required to have professional engineering, as part of the permit application a general review commitment certificate must be included. Throughout the build, the engineer must come out to the site and inspect at certain periods of the build. This general review ensures that the building components are built to the standard that the engineer designed them to be. For example, the general review of the structure will be done by the structural engineer and mechanical ventilation components will be done by a mechanical engineer. The stages during which they will come out to do the review will vary but generally it is during or after each critical stage of construction, for example the engineer will come inspect how the rebar was tied before concrete is poured.
18.104.22.168. Designated Structures
(1) The following structures are designated for the purposes of clause (d) of the definition of building in subsection 1 (1) of the Act:
(a) a retaining wall exceeding 1 000 mm in exposed height adjacent to,
(i) public property,
(ii) access to a building, or
(iii) private property to which the public is admitted,
(d) an exterior storage tank and its supporting structure that is not regulated by the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000,
(f) a solar collector that is mounted on a building and has a face area equal to or greater than 5 m²,
(g) a structure that supports a wind turbine generator having a rated output of more than 3 kW,
(k) a permanent solid nutrient storage facility with supporting walls exceeding 1 000 mm in exposed height.
Some of the common structures that fall outside of typical structures, are defined in this list.
A bunker silo wall would be considered a retaining wall, interpretation of the code is up to the discretion of the chief building official. Typically, they are not required to have a permit. In the case where a farm business is open to the public, say for agritourism, or if the bunker silo was right beside an entrance to a building, it would be interpreted that they would require engineering. A concrete pad without walls for a silage pile is never required to get a permit. Removable concrete blocks are again a grey zone but can be easily adjusted if required. Typically, pre-cast bunker walls are engineered in the factory and if it is required engineering documents could be made available to check if it is compliant for a building permit.
Grain storage and supporting structures are considered an exterior storage tank and therefore are a building. Some municipalities don’t enforce this, but be prepared to have the concrete pad engineered and obtain the original engineering documents for the bin, or have bin reverse engineered to obtain a building permit. Feed bins concentrate tanks and water cisterns are included in this as well.
Solar collectors that are mounted to building with a face area equal or greater than 5m2 could include solar panels, passive collectors for heating of incoming air, or hot water tubes. The scale of nearly any project on a farm would require that you obtain a permit. Similarly, for wind turbines, a 3-kW turbine is rather small, typically having a sweep diameter around 10 ft. therefore most farm scale projects would require a permit and engineering.
The OBC says that permanent manure storage will only need a permit if the retaining wall around the storage is more than 1m tall. However, the OBC stipulates that all applicable law must be followed, which includes the nutrient management act. The nutrient management act stipulates that unless:
- the permanent solid nutrient storage facility has a volume of less than 600m3,
- a surface area of less than 600 m2,
- and walls that do not have an exposed height of more than 1 meter,
Then no one shall construct or expand a permanent nutrient storage facility used on a farm unless:
- a professional engineer designs the construction (including monitoring systems) so that,
- The facility is designed to minimize leakage, corrosion and be structurally safe and sound,
- The construction complies with part 8 of the nutrient management act
- A professional engineer performs a general review of the construction to ensure it complies with part 8 of the nutrient management act.
The Nutrient Management Act also dictates that all nutrient management storages even those that don’t require engineering must comply to the two following conditions:
- No one shall construct or expand a permanent nutrient management storage facility within
- 15 metres of a drilled well that has a depth of at least 15 metres and a watertight casing to a depth of at least six metres below ground level.
- 100 metres of a municipal well.
- 30 metres of any other well.
- No person shall store nutrients in a permanent solid nutrient storage facility unless it is equipped with a runoff management system which may be one of:
- Diversion of up-slope water away from facility and a roof to prevent entry of precipitation
- A vegetated filter strip
- A runoff collection and storage system
- A Permanently vegetated area
- A sewage works approved by the Ontario Water Resources Act
- A sewage system regulated by part 8 of the Ontario Building Code
Limiting Distance & Spatial Separation
Limiting distance means the distance from an exposing building face to a property line, to the centre line of a street, lane or public thoroughfare or to an imaginary line between two buildings or fire compartments on the same property, measured at right angles to the exposing building face.
Unprotected opening means, when applied to an exposing building face, (a) a doorway, window or opening, other than one equipped with a closure having the required fire-protection rating, or (b) any part of a wall forming part of the exposing building face that has a fire-resistance rating less than required for the exposing building face.
22.214.171.124 Except for greenhouses, where exposing building faces of a farm building of low human occupancy are located less than 30m from property line, the centreline of a public thoroughfare, a residence or a farm building of other than low human occupancy on the farm property, the appropriate requirements in subsection 9.10.14. of the National Building Code of Canada 1995 for medium hazard industrial occupancies shall apply to those faces.
From the Ontario Building Code Division B:
126.96.36.199. Area and Location of Exposing
(4) The required limiting distance for an exposing building face is permitted to be measured to a point beyond the property line that is not the centre line of a street, lane or public thoroughfare if,
(a) the owners of the properties on which the limiting distance is measured, and the municipality enter into an agreement in which such owners agree that,
(i) each owner covenants that, for the benefit of land owned by the other covenantors, the owner will not construct a building on his or her property unless the limiting distance for exposing building faces in respect of the proposed construction is measured in accordance with the agreement,
(ii) the covenants contained in the agreement are intended to run with the lands, and the agreement shall be binding on the parties and their respective heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns,
(iii) the agreement shall not be amended or deleted from title without the consent of the municipality, and
(iv) they will comply with such other conditions as the municipality considers necessary, including indemnification of the municipality by the other parties, and (b) the agreement referred to in Clause (a) is registered against the title of the properties to which it applies.
(5) Where an agreement referred to in Sentence (4) is registered against the title of a property, the limiting distance for exposing building faces in respect of the construction of any buildings on the property shall be measured to the point referred to in the agreement.
If you make an agreement with your neighbours you can build closer to the lot line, by moving the point from which the limiting distance is measured onto the neighbour’s property. You cannot move any closer to the road, however.
188.8.131.52. Openings in Exposing Building Face
(1) Except as provided in Sentences (3) to (7) and Sentence 184.108.40.206.(1), the maximum aggregate area of unprotected openings in an exposing building face shall,
(a) conform to Table 220.127.116.11.,
(b) conform to Subsection 3.2.3., or
(c) where the limiting distance is not less than 1.2 m, be equal to or less than,
(i) the limiting distance squared, for residential occupancies, business and personal services occupancies and low hazard industrial occupancies, and
(ii) half the limiting distance squared, for mercantile occupancies and medium hazard industrial occupancies.
Farm buildings are not their own major occupancy and are typically classed as medium hazard industrial occupancies.
(Farm Buildings Fall Under Medium-Hazard Industrial)