Guide to the swimming pool permitting process in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)

If you are a homeowner in the Toronto, Peel and Halton Region who is considering installing a swimming pool in your backyard, congratulations! A swimming pool can provide hours of fun and enjoyment for your entire family. However, installing an inground pool is not simply a matter of digging a hole in the ground. Each city or municipality has its own by-laws and process for installing a swimming pool, and hiring the right pool contractor who is aware of these requirements will make things easier and smoother for you.  Better yet, work with a pool contractor who will take care of all this for you instead of leaving it to you to do all the administrative legwork.

In this article, we have compiled the information to help you better understand the permitting process we do on your behalf to install an inground swimming pool in your backyard.

Permit Process for Your Backyard Pool

Getting a permit is the first step towards installing your dream pool. If you’re planning on installing an inground swimming pool or swim spa in your backyard, you’ll need to submit documents to the city or municipality and pay fees before starting work. While you don’t need a permit for the pool itself, you do need a permit for the pool enclosure.  The process involves applying for a number of different clearances and permits, which varies by city or municipality.

Step-by-Step Approval Process for your Inground Swimming Pool

Before a pool contractor can start the installation of your backyard pool, a legal survey of your property must be obtained, conducted within one year of your enclosure inspection request. A site plan is also required (this information may be incorporated into the legal survey).

  • Pre-review: Zoning services review your survey and determine if your project requires authorization from conservation authority or heritage approval. This applies if your property comes under a green belt zone or is on conservation lands
  • Conservation Authority: The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority administers areas used for flood control, recreation, education and watershed preservation activities, including drinking water source protection. If any part of the construction area is within such an area, you must obtain approval from TRCA first
  • Electric Utilities: Must review your survey plans to make sure you are not interfering with any hydro lines
  • Public Works:
    • Lot grading permit – Lot grading is the slope of the ground on your property. The swimming pool site plan must show the current lot grades, elevations, drainage and any proposed changes.
    • Road occupancy permit – If you need to store construction equipment, machinery or materials on a road, sidewalk or City-owned land during construction, you’ll need to apply for a Road Occupancy Permit.

Once you have obtained the required approvals for your survey/site plan, you may submit your Pool Fence Enclosure Permit. The following documents and fees are required in order to submit a complete application:

  1.  Completed Pool Fence Enclosure Permit Application form
  2. Permit fee for application

Summary of permit fees and additional clearances required in the GTA

  Toronto/Etobicoke Mississauga Milton Brampton Oakville Burlington Guelph
Pool Enclosure Permit Fee $198.59

$358 permit fee
(Grading deposit- $6,500-6800,

$5000 is refundable)
$190 Public works $500. Building $175 $1900 ($5000 refundable deposit) Building $335 Zoning app $105 $225
Property Survey No Yes No No Yes Yes Yes
Architect Sign Off No No No No Yes No No
Pool Enclosure Permit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Arborist Report No Yes No No Yes Yes No
Zoning Clearance Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lot grading permit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Road occupancy permit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

*If required: Tree permit $500-$1500. Conservation permit $515-$1000

What you Need to Know When Installing an Inground Pool in your Backyard

Schedule Pre-Construction Meeting

After the authorities approve your swimming pool site plan, you will have to schedule a pre-construction meeting. Make sure you have marked out the area of construction. Also, if there are any changes to the site plan, submit a revised site plan to the authorities.

Pay Deposits and Additional Fees

You will have to pay deposits such as the Municipal Services Protection Deposit and the Lot Grading Deposit, both refundable. In addition, you will have to pay for the development and construction inspection fee.

Pool Installation

It can take up to two months for the pool permit to come in. Once all your papers and permissions are in order, you can start your backyard swimming pool construction. Make sure there are no changes to the site plan and the lot grading and drainage patterns are as approved. Once the construction is over, ensure that the municipal property is free of debris.

Schedule Final Inspections

Once backyard swimming pool installation is over, schedule the final pool enclosure inspection. Once approved, you will have to request for a lot-grading and municipal right-of-way inspection. It is common for inspectors to show up AFTER the whole project is completed. If everything is in order, you will receive the certificate of approval and receive your refundable deposits through cheques.

Let Mayascapes Pools Take Care of the Full Swimming Pool Installation Process

Applying for a pool enclosure permit can be a very arduous process. Some pool contractors may not be as transparent with their pricing for a swimming pool build, so it is important to properly compare quotes from various swimming pool contractors and understand whether you are expected to take care of the permitting process.  At Mayascapes pools, we take care of everything from applying for permits to building the pool to the pool surround landscaping. Contact us today to get your dream project underway!

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