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Building a Second Suite

Building permits give legal permission to begin construction, subject to other required municipal approvals. Building permits ensure that the proposed construction will meet the minimum life and fire safety requirements contained within the Building Code. ​

A second suite is a standalone unit with a kitchen and a bathroom within the primary structure on a property (typically found in the basement of a house). It is often used as a rental property and must be registered with the City. 

Pre-submission Inquiry

Prior to doing any planning on a potential second suite, please contact​ to determine if a second suite is permitted on your property. ​These units are permitted on residentially zoned parcels that have municipal frontage and a primary unit on site. If the property is in a site plan control area, you may require site plan approval prior to applying for a building permit for a second suite. If permitted, you will be provided direction on how to proceed.

Building Permit Submission Requirements

Collect and complete all required supporting documentation:

​How to Apply​ for a Building Permit

Apply online through APLI. Our e-permitting system provides enhanced online features that allow you to quickly and easily submit your application. Benefits include:

  • The ability to start an application, save it, and resume at your convenience
  • Real time status updates and automatic email notifications regarding your application
  • Online payments under $5,000
  • Access to reviewed permit drawings and your building permit placard
  • Requesting inspections online
  • Access to all of your online permits


Fees are assessed according to the type of b​uilding and its size. Please refer to the current Fees By-law. Additional fees for development charges may apply. Contact Finance at (705) 739-4232 to see if this applies to your project.


Please visit Building Inspections​ for building permit inspection requirements.​​

​Second Suite Registration​

A registered second suite advises all City departments and other agencies that there are two separate units on the property. ​Once the second suite has passed all the required inspections, the suite will be automatically registered with the City of Barrie. An e-mail is sent to the applicant, relevant City Departments, and external agencies to advise them of the registration of the Second Suite. View map of all registered second suites.

For questions regarding how to register a second suite where a building permit is not required, contact​.

Other Considerations

The following approvals may be required:

​Additional Resources

The City of Barrie Guide to Building Second Suites and the Province of Ontario's Adding a Second Unit in an Existing House are helpful resources for homeowners considering a Second Suites project.​​

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