Customer Service Standards
Building Services is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Building Code Act and the Ontario Building Code regulations to ensure minimum standards are achieved for all building construction including septic systems, change of use and demolitions.
We accomplish this this by reviewing permit applications and drawings for proposed construction; issuing building permits; conducting routine building inspections; enforcing minimum standards for non-compliance and securing unsafe buildings.
We assist homeowners, business owners, contractors, builders and design professionals during the construction and development of buildings in their efforts to achieve healthy and safe living environments by promoting excellence in design and to minimum building construction standards.
Building Services also administers several Town by-laws including the Sign By-law, Fence By-law and Swimming Pool By-law. Building Services issue permits for all signage in the Town and is the liaison for the Collingwood Heritage Advisory Committee and issues heritage permits. Building services also administers the 911 addressing and street names within Collingwood.
In all of our activities, our focus is public safety and providing excellent customer service.
Roles & Responsibilties
Each stakeholder has a defined role in the building permit process; there are responsibilities attached to each role. Knowing your role in the construction and demolition permit process is beneficial because:
• It sets expectations for yourself and others;
• Helps mitigate risk as things are less likely to be missed or overlooked;
• Increases production and less energy is wasted;
• Creates a collaborative working environment with fewer discrepancies; and,
• Ultimately: it’s the law.
You can contribute to the success of your project by understanding the various roles in the building permit process.
Roles of Various Persons Involved in Building Construction & Demolition
Every person who causes a building to be constructed or demolished must ensure that:
- The construction or demolition proceeds in accordance with the Building Code, the Building Code Act, and the Issued Permit Package issued by the Chief Building Official i.e. Reviewed Drawings, Permit Placard, etc.);
- That no construction commences without an issued building permit; and
- Where required, ensure that construction or demolition is carried out by a qualified professional with the appropriate insurance as per the Building Code Act.
- The Role of the Applicant is to ensure that a complete application is submitted to the Building Services Division:
- In accordance with the Building Code Act, Building Code, and Building By-Laws:
- Drawings are required to be drawn to scale.
- Drawings require enough detail to perform both plan review and inspections, once issued
2. The Applicant is the principle contact for the project and is responsible for all communication between the Building Services Department, Designers, Contractors, Owners, Prime Consultants, and any other person(s) with a vested interest in the project.
3. If the Applicant is not the Owner of the property on which a building will be constructed or demolished, a Property Owner Consent Letter must be provided with the building permit application.
4. The Applicant must ensure that all fees associated with the proposed construction are paid upon receipt of the invoice.
5. Regarding revisions to building permits, the Applicant shall only schedule an inspection once the revision has been approved by the Building Services Division.
6. If there are any changes in major project stakeholders (i.e. Consultants, Builders/Contractors, Designers, or Owner), the Applicant must notify the Chief Building Official.
The role of the Owner is to ensure that the building is maintained, repaired, and evaluated in accordance with the Building Code Act and the Building Code. The Owner is also responsible for ensuring that documents, records, and other information about the building are kept safe and can be provided in accordance with the Act.
1. The role of the Builder/Contractor is to proceed with construction when a building permit required under the Act has been issued by the Chief Building Official.
2. The Builder/Contractor will:
- Construct in accordance with the reviewed permit drawings
- Use appropriate building techniques to achieve compliance
- To notify the Designer and Building Inspector of any changes are required to be made from the reviewed permit drawings.
The role of the Building Services Division is to ensure that proposed construction meets the requirements of the Building Code Act, Building Code, Town Building By-law, and all other Applicable Law as defined under Article 126.96.36.199. of Div A, Part 1 of the Ontario Building Code.
The role of a Building Inspector is to determine compliance with the Building Code Act, Ontario Building Code, Town Building By-Law, and Applicable Law prior to issuance of a building permit.
Before the Building Permit is Issued
1. During the permit application stage the Building Inspector will:
a. Perform a review of the permit application package
b. Provide review comments to the Applicant in a timely manner
c. Issue permits once compliance is shown
After the Building Permit is Issued
2. Perform an inspection to confirm construction is in accordance with the reviewed permit drawings approved plans and the Building Code. Upon inspection, the Building Inspector will:
a. Provide inspection reports with deficiencies found during inspection
b. Place an Order in accordance with the Building Code Act, when required.
c. Approve minor on-site revisions due to construction difficulties
Chief Building Official
The role of the Chief Building Official is to coordinate and oversee the enforcement of the Building Code Act, Building Code, and the Town Building By-law by establishing operation policies for the enforcement of the Act.
This Code of Conduct applies to all Town Building Inspectors and must provide for its enforcement and include polices or guidelines to be used when responding to allegations that the Code of Conduct has been breached and disciplinary actions that may be taken if the Code of Conduct is breached.
The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to:
- Promote appropriate standards of behavior and enforcement actions by Town Building Inspectors in the exercise of a power or the performance of a duty.
- Prevent practices which may constitute an abuse of power, including unethical or illegal practices, by all Town Building Inspectors in the exercise of a power or the performance of a duty; and to
- Promote appropriate standards of honesty and integrity in the exercise of a power or the performance of a duty by all Town Building Inspectors.
Code of Conduct
Building Officials in exercising their power and performing their duties under the Act, shall at all times:
- Promote the safety of buildings with reference to public health, fire protection, structural sufficiency, conservation and environmental integrity, and barrier-free accessibility;
- Take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of the public, Town staff and themselves;
- Apply the Building Code Act and the Building Code impartially, without influence and in accordance with all applicable legislation;
- Perform duties with due diligence, honesty, and integrity and with the highest professional standards in a fair and consistent manner that maintains and promotes public safety at all times.
- Only act within their area of qualifications obtained under the Building Code Act and to obtain qualifications as required to be appointed and to remain appointed under the Building Code Act.
- Maintain their specialized knowledge and understanding of the current and evolving building practices, building laws and regulations through continuous professional development;
- Comply with the Chief Building Official’s Conflict of Interest Policy, and
- Manage confidential and sensitive information according to the Town’s guidelines and relevant legislation and ensure that no information collected, produced or obtained in the course of their duties, whether reports, memos, verbal/written/electronic communication is disclosed without proper approval.
- A complaint from a member of the public must be in writing and must be signed by the person making the complaint. The complaint may be a letter, e-mail, facsimile or submitted via a prescribed form authorized by the Chief Building Official.
- A complainant may withdraw his/her complaint at any time; although the Town may continue to investigate the complaint if deemed appropriate to do so.
- The entire investigation process will be handled in as confidential a manner as possible by all parties involved. All records are subject to the provisions of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and may be subject to disclosure under the Act or by a court of law.
Guideline for Investigating Allegations of Breaches of the Code of Conduct
- Upon the receipt of a complaint, the Chief Building Official will review any allegations of breaches of this Code of Conduct made against a Building Services staff member.
- Where the allegations are against the Chief Building Official, the Director of Building & Planning, will review the allegations.
- Disciplinary action arising from violations of this Code of Conduct is the responsibility of the Town and will be based on the severity and frequency of the violation in accordance with relevant employment standards.
- The Chief Building Official or Director, as the case may be, will provide a written response to the complainant within 30 calendar days of receipt of the written complaint.
Disciplinary action arising from violations of the Code is the responsibility of the Town of Collingwood and the Chief Building Official, and will be based on the severity and frequency of the violation in accordance with employment laws and standards, and relevant collective agreements.
Public Notice for the Code of Conduct
The Building Code Act states that the Code must be brought to the attention of the public. Building Services will advertise the Code on an ongoing basis via the Town website and will be posted in a conspicuous location at the Building Services front service counter.
Building Services is committed to creating a positive experience for our customers.
Our customers will be our priority. We are committed to the following:
We will treat our customers with empathy, respect, courtesy, patience, fairness and in a professional manner. We will listen, ask questions to clarify the situation. We will be solution-focused.
We will use our technical knowledge with the objective of assisting the customer to understanding the intent and purposes of the prescriptive standard, to understand the legal obligations for compliance and to resolve a construction issue. Where we do not know a prescriptive standard or are unsure of how a standard might apply or are unable to answer a question, we will offer to provide an answer following consultation with fellow staff or through research and we will do so in a timely fashion.
We will respond to a problem or complaint quickly and we will communicate to the customer how it will be handled and tell them when they can expect a response. We will not make promises we cannot fulfill.
We will regularly evaluate how we have dealt with our customers by asking them whether we have resolved their problem and whether we can improve our service.
We will operate as a team and will coordinate our efforts to providing a consistent, comprehensive and solution-focused approach to customer service.
Building Permit Awareness
We will keep the public informed of the benefits of the Building Inspection Service through programs such as Building Awareness Week and sharing new information and technologies with the public and the building industry.
Staff will be required to undertake continuous professional development to maintain minimum building code qualifications (hard skills) and to continuously develop communication and leadership skills (soft skills).
It can take anywhere from 10 to 40 days to obtain your building permit. Delays in issuing permits are often a result of:
- Incomplete drawings
- Zoning compliance mistakes
- Incomplete applicable law approvals (such as Planning approvals or Conservation Authority permits)
When the permit application is received it will be deemed complete or incomplete. A complete application includes all required forms, documents and drawings and applicable law approvals.
Our target review timelines for an application depend on the application’s status as complete or incomplete. Below is a summary of our target review timeframes for the first review cycle, measured in business days. These timelines begin from the date that you complete the Pre-Application Review ("Pre-screen").
Houses, tents and other small projects
Small buildings other than houses
|Interior alterations of non-housing projects||10||20|
|Pool Enclosure Permits||10||20|
|Plumbing - Housing||10||15|
|Plumbing - Other than Housing||15||20|
We cannot process incomplete applications. We may abandon your application if it is inactive for 6 months or more.
2 Business Days
Building inspections will be conducted within 2 business days in accordance with Division C, Sentence 188.8.131.52.(1) of the Ontario Building Code. The time frame from which notice is given begins on the following business day that an inspection notice is received and does not include, Saturdays, Sundays or holidays and/or days the Building Services’ office is closed.
2 Business Days