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Building a Detached Garage or Shed

Thinking of building a detached garage and/or shed on your property? Before you start, here is a guide to help you through the project.

Accessory residential building: A covered building that is not attached to a house. Accessory residential buildings include detached garages, sheds, carports, pergolas, gazebos, arbours, green houses and playhouses.

Backyard suite: A self-contained dwelling unit located in a detached building that has separate living, cooking, sleeping and bathroom facilities. These are commonly referred to as carriage houses, garage suites, garden suites, or laneway homes.

Sight Triangle: Required for corners lots, they provide increased visibility at intersections for the safety of pedestrians and motorists.

Planning Your Project

Before you begin, contact Service Barrie at 705-739-4242 or ServiceBarrie@barrie.ca to ensure your project:

  • Complies with Zoning By-law section 5.3.5 for set-backs and lot coverage
  • Doesn’t require a permit from a local conservation authority
  • Doesn’t infringe on your property’s zoned land use

Call Before You Dig! Always contact Ontario One Call before you dig, even if it’s just with a shovel, to locate any underground cables or lines below the surface.

Zoning By-law Standards

Location Minimum Distance from Lot Line Maximum Height*
Front yard Not permitted Not permitted
Interior side yard  0.6m (2ft)  4m (13.1ft)
Exterior side yard (corner lot) 3m (9.8ft). 4m (13.1ft)
Rear yard 0.6m (2ft) 4m (13.1ft)
Rear yard, corner lot 1m (3.2ft) 4m (13.1ft)
* Shed height is calculated from the average grade height around the building perimeter to the midpoint of the roof which is between the eaves and the ridge.

Considerations

  • All properties on a private septic system will require an on-site sewage system approval prior to issuance.
  • Any outstanding development, parkland dedication, water meter, and/or education development charges must be paid prior to building permit issuance.
  • Ensure that the subdivision agreement is registered on title and check for any special conditions.
  • Detached accessory structures (not including pools) cannot exceed 10% of the lot coverage or a maximum of 50 m2 (538ft2), whichever is the lesser.
  • Setbacks are required from all lot-lines regardless of if a building permit is required or not.
  • If your structure will be connected to a house in any way, the structure would be considered an addition. Please visit additions for more information.
  • If you are building a structure for the purpose of developing a backyard suite, please visit second suites.
  • Sheds cannot be located on easements. You may be able to have the easement released. For f urther information on easements please contact Legal Services 705-739-4220 x 4479.
  • All corner lots shall provide a sight triangle consisting of an unobstructed triangular area where the front lot line and the exterior side lot line intersect. Sight triangles provide increased visibility at intersections for the safety of pedestrians and motorists. If your property is a corner lot, be sure plans comply with sight triangle Zoning By-law standards:

    Location Minimum Distance from Lot Line
    Arterial or Collector Roads 5m (16.4ft) x 5m (16.4ft)
    Local Roads 3m (9.8ft) x 3m (9.8ft)
    Arterial or Collector Road abutting Local Road 5m (16.4ft) x 3m (9.8ft)
    Sight triangles shall be measured from the point of intersection of the lot lines. Planting is not permitted in the area of a sight triangle as plants can grow to become sight barriers.

Completing Your Project

Permits: Apply for a building permit prior to starting any work. When the permit is issued, construction can commence. This project requires:

  • Residential Accessory Building is the structure is 10m2 (107ft2) in size or larger
  • No permit if the structure is smaller than 10m2 (107ft2) in size

Inspections: Below are the commonly required inspections based on permit type. There may be additional inspections required on a case-by-case basis. Contact (705) 739-4231 anytime (24/7) to request an inspection.

Building Inspection When to call
Footings When the footings are formed and reinforcements are installed (if required), prior to pouring concrete.
Foundation When the footings are formed and reinforcements are installed (if required), prior to pouring concrete.
Framing When framing is complete, including roof framing, prior to covering framing on the inside. All electrical items should be installed.
Final exterior When all exterior finished are installed. May be performed at the same time as framing inspection
Construction may be done in phases. Such projects may require additional inspections.

Disclaimer: The information on this page is meant for guiding purposes only. Individual home renovation projects vary in scope and may require additional steps to ensure proper completion. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure work conforms to any restrictive covenants, caveats or other restrictions that are registered on the land title. The information above has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Barrie accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically.​​​​

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