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Standards & Inspections

This page includes information on Building Standards and Inspections. 

Tents/Portable Shelters

Tents are buildings, and the general rule is that any building exceeding 10 m2 in building area is regulated by the Building Code and requires a permit. Division C Sentence 1.3.1.1(5) of the Building Code exempts certain tents from any permit or Code requirements;
Tents that are;

  1. Less than or equal to 60 m2 (646 ft2) individually or in aggregate (aggregate is when any individual tent is within 3 metres of another tent, then the two areas must be added together),
  2. Not attached to a building
  3. At least 3 metres (10 ft) away from any structure.

Regardless of the permit provisions/exemptions, a tent structure is still a structure under the Zoning Bylaw, and would be subject to its provisions.

Fire Prevention Measures

  • All exits, aisles, exit signs, emergency lighting units, fire alarm pull stations, fire extinguishers, hose cabinets, sprinklers, Fire Department access routes, pumper connections and hydrants must be unobstructed at all times
  • Drapes, curtains and other decorative textiles must meet NFP 701 for flame resistance. (Provide Documentation to Fire Department)
  • No open flames are permitted
  • No combustibles such as hay, straw, shavings, wood chips etc. are permitted
  • Barbecues must be 3 metres (10’) from structures. (Valid propane certificate required)
  • Music or theatrical performances to be shut down in the event of an emergency
  • Phone to be provided on-site for emergency notification of 911
  • Maximum occupant load sign required if more than 60 people
  • Install NO SMOKING signs throughout tent
  • Mount 10 lbs. ABC fire extinguishers at all required exits
  • Fire-watch to be implemented if more than 150 persons (see below).

A person employed for fire-watch must:

  • Patrol the area and ensure all fire prevention measures are enforced
  • If windowless or after dark hours, have flashlights on-scene to assist with exiting in the event of a power failure
  • Have a system to notify occupants of an emergency if no fire alarm is present (such as a P.A. system or bull horn).
  • Call 911 to report an emergency – give address, name and call-back number.

A copy of these measures must be maintained on-site.

Required Inspections

It is the responsibility of the person to whom the permit has been issued to notify the Building Services Department of readiness to inspect at various stages of construction. The following is a list of inspections that are required by the Ontario Building Code:

  • The commencement of the construction of the building
  • The readiness to construct the footings
  • The substantial completion of the footings and foundations
  • Where the building is within the scope of Part 9, of the substantial completion of:
    • Structural framing
    • Insulation and vapour barriers
    • Ductwork and piping for heating and air-conditioning systems
  • Where the building is within the scope of parts of the code other than Part 9, of the substantial completion of:
    • Structural framing of each storey
    • Insulation and vapour barriers
    • Roughing-in of heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and air-contaminant extraction equipment
  • The commencement of the construction of masonry fireplaces and masonry chimneys, factory-built fireplaces and allied chimneys, stoves, ranges, space heaters and add-on furnaces using solid fuels and allied chimneys
  • The substantial completion of all required fire separations and closures and all fire protection systems including standpipe, sprinkler, fire alarm and emergency lighting systems
  • The substantial completion of interior finishes and heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and air-contaminant extraction equipment
  • The substantial completion of exterior cladding, fire access routes and site grading
  • The completion of construction and installation of the minimum components required to permit occupancy by Sentences 2.4.3.1.(2) and 2.4.3.2.(1),
  • The readiness for inspection and testing of building sewers and building drains, water service pipes, drainage systems and venting systems, water distribution system, and plumbing fixtures and plumbing appliances
  • The completion and availability of drawings of the building as constructed.

Request an inspection

Request an inspection by contacting the Building Services Department. You may call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the year. Inspection requests received before 8 a.m. of a business day will be scheduled for the same day.

When can I move in?

New buildings and additions are required by the Ontario Building Code to be inspected prior to occupancy to verify that all items that relate to occupant and building safety are completed to the minimum requirements as set out by the Code. You will find those requirements in sub-section 2.4.3. of the Ontario Building Code.

Things required on-site for the inspector

The building inspector will need to see the drawings that were reviewed by the plans examiner or permit coordinator in the Permit Branch. It is also required that suitable and safe access is provided on-site to allow the inspector to conduct the inspection safely and efficiently.

Depending on the type of inspection requested, you may need to provide instruments in order to perform a test. It is the owner and/or builder’s responsibility to conduct tests and take measurements. The building inspector is there to advise and record the observations. Contact the Building Services Department to verify what may be required to complete the inspection.

 

Private On-Site Sewage Systems

It is the responsibility of the person to whom the permit has been issued to notify the Building Services Department of readiness to inspect at various stages of construction. The following is a list of inspections that are required by the Ontario Building Code at the different stages of construction:

  • The readiness to construct the sewage system
    • The inspector may need to inspect a test pit to verify site conditions. The inspector will witness this and record his/her observations. If a contractor is constructing the septic system, the building inspector will require the name of the contractor and their license number at this time. The installer must provide equipment to conduct a measurement of elevations once the excavation is completed and before any backfill is placed.
  • The substantial completion of the installation of the distribution pipes and septic tank before backfilling
    • The installer must again provide equipment to conduct a measurement of elevations. The inspector will witness this and record his/her observations. You will need to provide a copy of the soil analysis report of the backfill material to verify the percolation time of the soil.
  • The completion of the sewage system
    • The final inspection is conducted once the site is properly graded and seeded or sodded.

Contacts

For inquiries into all septic systems greater than 10,000 litres/day, contact:

Ministry of the Environment
Barrie District Office
54 Cedar Point Drive, Unit 1203
Barrie, Ontario
L4N 5R7

Tel: 705-739-6441
24 hour emergency: 1-800-268-6060

For inquiries about installations or alterations of septic systems and for complaints about unsafe conditions of systems that are older than one year with a capacity of less than 10,000 litres/day, contact:

The City of Barrie
Building Services Branch
P.O. Box 400, 70 Collier Street
Barrie, Ontario
L4M 4T5

Tel: 705-739-4212
Fax:   705-739-4240
building@barrie.ca

For complaints of unsafe conditions for septic systems older than one year and with a capacity of less than 10,000 litres/day, contact:

The City of Barrie
Operations Department
Water Pollution Control Centre
249 Bradford Street
Barrie, Ontario
L4M 4T5

Tel: 705-739-4221

Questions and Answers
Who inspects the construction of septic systems? Answer
The City of Barrie, Building Services Department assumed the responsibility of inspecting the construction and alterations of septic systems from the Simcoe Health Unit on January 1, 2002.
The yard is wet and smells of sewage in the area of the septic system. Answer
This may be the result of a failed septic system that could pose an unsafe condition. The Building Services Department, upon notification in writing, will investigate and take the action necessary to ensure the system is repaired. A licensed installer or repairperson should be called to evaluate the situation and effect repairs.
Does the city have a re-inspection program to ensure septic systems continue to operate correctly? Answer
Yes, the City of Barrie has initiated a program to ensure existing septic systems operate as they should.
Do I need a permit to install a new, or alter an existing septic system? Answer
Yes, the construction of septic systems requires a permit under the Ontario Building Code. The system needs to be designed by someone competent and knowledgeable and installed by a licensed installer. Please contact the Building Services Department for more information.
Are there areas in Barrie where septic systems are not permitted? Answer
The City of Barrie’s zoning bylaws specify the areas where septic systems are still permitted.
What if I build a septic system without a permit? Answer
If we find that you have built without a permit, you will be required to apply for a permit, at which time a surcharge will be placed on the cost of the building permit. You will also be required to uncover any portion required to be inspected.
How far from the property line, buildings, wells and other site features do I have to be? Answer
The Ontario Building Code is specific on clearance distances to the septic system components.
Can I design and construct my own on-site sewage system without professional help? Answer
Yes, you will be required to submit a completed design with all of the calculations used to arrive at the final design.

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