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Permits, Licences, Applications, & Taxes

Here you'll find details pertaining to a variety of licences, permits and general applications, administered by departments across the City.


Most businesses require a City of Barrie Business Licence. View the by-law documents below to determine if your business requires a licence, or contact Enforcement Services at 705-739-4241 or 45 Cedar Pointe Drive.

Business Licensing By-Law (General)

Business Licensing By-law (Transportation)


Getting married? Every marriage in Ontario requires a marriage licence before the actual ceremony takes place. Get the details on marriage licences and certificates.


The City introduced Lifetime Registration in 2016, where pet owners pay one fee to register their pet for life. The one-time fee replaces the previous annual licensing fees. Online Pet Registration is available online or in person. Full information is available on The Law & Your Pets.


There are 3 steps to getting a Liquor Licence in the City of Barrie:

1.  Apply to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

2.  Submit a Municipal Information Form (MIF) and Liquor Licence Questionnaire to the City of Barrie.

  • Applications must be submitted to the Legislative and Court Services Department, Legislative Services at 70 Collier Street, Barrie in person during regular business hours.
  • Please be aware that the questionnaire is circulated to various stakeholders and response from the City to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will take up to 30 days.  For further information contact Service Barrie at 705-726-4242

3.  Get a Restaurant/Tavern Licence with the City of Barrie

  • Business Licence applications can be obtained from Enforcement Services at 45 Cedar Pointe Drive, 705-739-4241 or online (see above Business section) 
  • For a Restaurant/Tavern Licence various inspections must be completed such as:
  • I.   Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Inspection and the production of a Liquor Licence Letter;
  • ii.  Planning & Building Department, Building Services inspection and production of a Load Occupancy Report;
  • iii. Barrie Fire and Emergency Services Department inspection and production of a Load Occupancy Report
  • Zoning will need to be consulted to ensure that your property is properly zoned for the use proposed.  For further information, contact the Planning and Building Department, Planning Services at  705-739-4208 or visit 70 Collier Street, Barrie.

All three steps can be started at the same time, they don't need to be completed in the order listed above.  A checklist for the process has been created for your convenience.


Did you know it is illegal to conduct a lottery without a licence?  Find out more and ensure you meet the provincial criteria by referring to the Lottery Licensing By-Law.


Looking to do some renovations or build a shed?  A permit might be required. Information on Building Permits


In addition to municipally run events, the City welcomes a variety of events managed independently. All public events held on municipal property are required to have a Special Event Permit and meet City requirements to ensure a safe and successful event for everyone involved.

Anyone who would like to plan an event on municipal property must first contact the City of Barrie's Special Events Office: 705-739-4285,, 56 Mulcaster Street.

Outdoor Burning

If you want to enjoy an outdoor fire, you are required to have a burn permit.

Outdoor Patio Program

Downtown restaurants can take advantage of summer weather by offering outdoor dining experiences amidst the pleasurable downtown and in proximity to the waterfront. Restaurant establishments can extend outdoor patios to the edge of the street; pedestrian traffic flow will be maintained through the provision of temporary sidewalks, designed for pedestrian safety and temporarily located on some on-street parking spaces. Interested business owners are asked to contact the Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA) (pre-approval from the BIA is required).

To apply for an Outdoor Patio, please complete in full and sign the Outdoor Patio Application. To ensure all information is provided and complete, please refer to the Outdoor Patio Checklist and Fee Schedule.

Business owners interested in obtaining a liquor license for the outdoor patio will require license approval from the AGCO. This is a separate process to be undertaken by the applicant. As a prerequisite, the applicant is required to complete the liquor license questionnaire from the City.


  • HEALTH UNIT – CERTIFICATE OF INSPECTION (15 Sperling Drive, 705-721-7330)
  • COPY OF LIQUOR LICENCE QUESTIONNAIRE – This can also be obtained from the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall.
  • SECURITY: COPY OF CURRENT LIABILITY INSURANCE - General Liability Insurance from an insurer licensed in the province of Ontario for $2 million per occurrence with an aggregate limit of no less than $5 million to the Corporation of the City of Barrie against any liability for property damage or personal injury, negligence including death which may arise from the applicants operations under this agreement. The Corporation of the City of Barrie must be included as an “Additional Named Insured”. In addition the Commercial General Liability shall contain Cross Liability and Severability Clauses and Products & Completed Operations coverage including a standard contractual liability endorsement.

Oversize Load

Find out the details on how to obtain a single or annual Oversize Load Permit.

Right Of Way Activity (ROWA)

You need a permit to undertake any activity within a right of way or on public lands within the City of Barrie. Property owner or contractors must obtain a Right of Way Activity Permit before commencing work. Utility companies must obtain a Municipal Consent prior to recieving a ROWA Permit.


All signs are required to comply with the Ontario Building Code and/or the City of Barrie’s Sign By-law. Various types of signs may or may not be prohibited under the by-law; please review the by-law to ensure you are in compliance at all times prior to any sign being installed or erected

Building Services is responsible for the review of sign permits for compliance with The Building Code Act. 

Enforcement Services is responsible for review and compliance with the City’s Sign Bylaw, which includes height and setbacks restrictions.

Applications for mobile sign permits can be made at the Enforcement Services Office, 45 Cedar Pointe Drive, Barrie, Ontario during regular business hours, Monday to Friday, from 8:30am–4:30pm.

Application for ground or wall sign permits can be made at the Building Services Office, 8th Floor, 70 Collier Street, Barrie, Ontario during regular business hours, Monday to Friday, from 8:30 am-4:30 pm.

Excerpts from City of Barrie Sign By-law

Definition of Mobile Sign: means any mounted sign on a trailer or on a supporting frame which is designed to be transported from one site to another and includes mobile signs with changeable copy and/or illumination.

Definition of Poster Panel Sign: means a sign that advertises goods, products, services or facilities that are not available at the location where the sign is situated or that directs persons to a location different from that where the sign is located, and shall include free standing structures and signs attached in any manner to the wall of a building or structure and includes a standardized sign structure erected and maintained by a business engaged in the sale or rental of space upon which advertising copy is displayed advertising goods or services that are not necessarily conducted within or upon the lot upon which the sign is located.

Definition of Ground Sign: means a sign in a fixed location, wholly supported by one or more uprights, poles, braces or located on a structural base placed in or upon the ground, and includes soft landscape treatment at the base of the sign or supporting structure.

General Applications
BACTS (Specialized Transit)

Full information re eligibility and application process can be found on the Specialized Transit page.

Birth Registration & Certificates

Welcome baby!

Registering your child’s birth is the first step to giving your baby a legal identity. The City of Barrie does not accept or process birth certificate applications. Parents may submit their registration through the following methods:

City Hall Room Bookings

Registered charities and not-for-profit organizations are able to book a meeting room at City Hall. Find out more: City Hall Room Booking Application

Encroachments and Release of Easements

Does your porch or garage encroach on City lands? You need to enter into an encroachment agreement to permit an encroachment. Do you want to install a pool and you have an easement that conflicts? Apply to determine if the easement can be released. 

Application for Encroachment Agreement

Application for Release of Rear Lot Easement

Fire Route Authorization

To permit law enforcement officers to enter a property for the purpose of enforcement with respect to the parking of vehicles in the designated fire route: Fire Route Authorization Form

Handicap Parking Authorization

To permit law enforcement officers to enter a property for the purpose of enforcement with respect to the parking of vehicles in the designated handicap parking spaces: Handicap Parking Authorization Form

Outdoor Blade Signage & Awnings

Blade Signs & Awnings

Blade Signs provide increased storefront advertising and visibility to on-coming vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and attractive outdoor awnings dress up storefronts and provide shelter for pedestrians on days of inclement weather.

Cosmetically, these changes greatly enhance the appearance and visual presence of businesses in the downtown. Business owners can enter into encroachment agreements that will allow the placement of wooden, vinyl or metal Blade Signs and retractable Awnings on the building, overhanging the City sidewalk.

Please contact the Business Development Department at (705) 728-9850 or for more information.

Planning & Development Applications

Official Plan or Zoning By-law Amendments
The information you need to make an application to the City for an Official Plan amendment or a Zoning By-law amendment is outlined within via the Development Review Process.

Pre-Consultation for Concept Site Plan Review
The City of Barrie provides a pre-consultation service for the review of concept site plans prior to making formal application for Site Plan Approval. The intention is to identify any issues that need to be addressed and to inform the applicant of the City’s interests, fees and the anticipated costs of development, up front. Full information is available via Development Review Process.

Site Plan Application
Development of a significant portion of land within the City of Barrie is subject to Site Plan Control. Therefore, applicants must consult City staff to determine if the parcel(s) of land to be developed are located within the City’s Site Plan Control Area. In a designated Site Plan Control Area an application for Site Plan approval is required prior to development. Full information is available via Development Review Process.

The review and approval of a proposed plan of subdivision for draft plan approval is a process which permits the division of a parcel of land into 1 or more lots/blocks in order for them to be sold. Full information is available via Development Review Process.

Real Estate Applications 

Appraisal Calculation of Cash in Lieu of Parkland
The Legal Services Department's Real Estate section provides real property acquisition and disposal, expropriation, market valuation of land, and real property asset management.removed

Road Closing of Purchase Surplus Land
In some specific cases topography, location, or alternate access routes will negate the need for a road, and the road may be considered surplus to the public's needs. If this is the case, the road may be available for sale. The Legal Services Department's Real Estate section provides real property acquisition and disposal, expropriation, market valuation of land, and real property asset management. APPLICATION FOR ROAD CLOSING OR PURCHASE SURPLUS LAND.pdf

Tax Rebate & Deferral 

Full guidelines and applications regarding tax rebate programs are available via Property Taxes.

Two-Unit House Registration / Second Suites

The City of Barrie requires every two-unit house within the city to be registered. As part of the registration process, the City will confirm that the two-unit house is legal under the City’s Zoning Bylaw, and that the house complies with several health and safety regulations. Full information is available via Rental Properties.

Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT)

On December 1, 2017, the Province of Ontario enacted the Transient Accommodation Regulation 436/17, which provides the necessary provisions for municipalities across Ontario to implement a Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT). City of Barrie Council has approved a mandatory MAT that will take effect on January 1, 2019. Similar to many municipalities across Ontario, the City of Barrie will have a four per cent (4%) Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) on accommodation for a continuous period of less than 30 nights provided by a hotel, motel or inn. The MAT is a four percent (4%) tax payable for the purchase price of the room rental accommodation and all guest invoices will include a separate line identifying “Municipal Accommodation Tax”. If the business is an HST registrant, HST is also payable on the MAT portion. Meeting room rentals, food and beverage, room services, internet and phone charges are all excluded from the tax but must be itemized separately.

Tourism Barrie will act as the City’s “Tourism Entity” as defined in Regulation 435/17 and will receive 50% of the MAT as outlined in the conditions of the legislation. Tourism Barrie will also be collecting the MAT on behalf of the City of Barrie. All operators of properties subject to collecting the MAT must register with Tourism Barrie. The MAT fee collected must be remitted to Tourism Barrie within 30 days after the month’s end. Any late remittance will be charged a 1.25% interest rate per month for late charges. For a period of seven years, accommodation providers are required to retain all records and documents necessary to enable an accurate determination of the MAT.

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