Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

An except image from the zoning by-law.


Municipal Office

395 Mulock Drive P.O. Box 328 Station Main, Newmarket, Ontario
L3Y 4X7

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​​​​​​​​​​This page provides answers to frequently asked questions about planning, zoning, and building in Newmarket.​ You can quickly search the page for key words related to your subject by pressing Ctrl+F and using your browser's built-in search function to see if a word appears on this page.

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What is my zoning?

You can determine the zoning designation of your property quickly and easily by using our online tool, at You can look up all relevant zoning information by following the instructions on that page.

What can I build under my zo​ning? How high can I build on my property?
Once you've found your property using the online map at, follow the instructions to read the appropriate table of permitted uses and table of permitted development standards.
Is there any way to get a variance fr​​om the zoning regulations? How do I get one?
Variances from the existing zoning are possible. Applications for a variance are considered by the Committee of Adjustment. You can read about the application process and find the appropriate forms on the Committee's web page.
Can I run a business out of my ​home?
Yes, but limitations apply. In most areas of Newmarket, Section 4.6 of Zoning By-law 2010-40 sets out limits on "Home Occupations". The By-law limits them to 35% of the size of home, or 42 square metres, whichever is less. The By-law sets out limits on the types of businesses that are permitted, imposes parking requirements, and limits where the business can take place - namely, in the main structure and not in an accessory building. Read Section 4.6 of Zoning By-law 2010-40 for more details or contact the Planning Department to confirm.
How can someone change the zoning o​​n a property?
Zoning changes can be proposed by any private individual, corporation, or by the Town itself. The proposed changes need to meet with the policies of the Town's Official Plan and required policies of the Province of Ontario. You can read more about the application process here, or read this guide  prepared by the Province of Ontario about the land use planning process. 
How do I know if my proper​​ty is heritage-designated?

Consult the Heritage Conservation Planning web page for a guide to finding out if your property is heritage-designated.

My bank (or licensing agency) ​says I need a letter verifying my property's zoning. How do I get one?
Zoning Confirmation Letters are provided by Planning Services and Building Services for a fee set out in the Fees & Charges By-law. Please refer to the Fees & Charges page for up-to-date information on current fees. For matter related to zoning compliance, contact and for matters related to building permits contact Requests must include the address, plus the proposed use of the property (type of business or residence).
Where can I put a curb cut on my property? W​​hat kinds of permits do I need?
The installation of new curb cuts will require that the locations comply with zoning regulations. Permitted driveway widths can vary. Contact the Planning Department for assistance with zoning requirements for new curb cuts. You are not permitted to modify the curb yourself. If your proposed change meets with the requirements of the zoning by-law, you may be permitted to pay for the Town's contractor to make the changes. For more information on how to obtain the necessary permits, click here.​
Can I sever a property and create a new lot?

A severance, also known as a consent, is permitted through an application to the Committee of Adjustment. An application for consent may be possible for a property, subject to the requirements of the Town's Zoning By-law and Official Plan. 

A new lot will be required to conform to the minimum lot area and minimum lot frontage requirements of the Zoning By-law. You can find the zoning for any property in town using this guide on our website, which also explains how to access the Zoning By-law online and find the development standards particular to a property. ​​

In addition, policies such as 16.1.5 in the Town's Official Plan, available online here, set out when approval should be granted to create new lots.  If the property is located in the regulated area of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority.

  • ​You can find information related to the Committee of Adjustment online here
  • You can find the agendas and minutes of the Committee of Adjustment and its decisions online here.
  • ​The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has information on the consent process online here.
Where does my property end? Can I have a copy of the survey for my property?

The Town of Newmarket does not regulate property lines, it is managed by the province.

To determine the location of a property's lot line, consult a copy of a registered survey of the property. When a house is purchased, the new homeowner's lawyer usually provides a copy if it exists. There might be a copy on file at the Land Registry Office at 50 Bloomington Road West in Aurora.

If no survey exists, a private surveyor will need to survey the property.

Names and mailing info for property owners are available in the Town's Tax Office, prepared by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). The Tax Office is part of the Finance Department and is located at 395 Mulock Drive.

Where does the Town's right-of-way (road) begin?

This term refers to the Town-owned portion of a piece of land.  It is very often wider than the road and sidewalks that may abut your property and can extend to a considerable extent onto your property.  The Town maintains a right-of-way wider than the width of the road in the event that a road widening becomes necessary at some point in the future.

Notwithstanding this, a property owner is still responsible for maintaining the Town-owned portion of their land, with respect to matters such as grass cutting and snow clearance.  The exact extent of the Town's right-of-way can be determined through a Plan of Survey and the Town's Navigate Newmarket program can provide a rough guide as to the exact extent of the right-of-way.

By-law En​forcement

How can I find out about property violations?
Please contact Legislative Services at 905-895-5193 or email for more information. 
What kinds of ​​signs c​​an I put up?
Legislative Services is responsible for the Sign By-law and its administration. You can read more information here, including contact information for any questions.
I would like to make a complaint about a by-law violation.​​​ Who should I call?

Please contact Customer Service at 905-895-5193 to lodge a complaint. An investigation will be opened by the By-law Department. 

What are the rules about parking on​​ the sidewalk?
Cars are not permitted to park on the sidewalk at any time. Contact the Customer Service at 905-895-5193 to lodge a complaint. An investigation will be opened by the By-law Department.

Building and Renovating

I'm thinking of finishing my basement. Do I need a Buildi​​ng Permit?

Yes, you may require a Building Permit. If your renovation activity includes installation, erection, extension or material alteration or repair, a Building Permit is required. You should refer to the following web pages for more information:

Where can I obtain information on h​ow far my new addition or structure must be from my lot line?
The Zoning Examiner can provide the zoning requirements for your property. The Zoning Examiner can advise you on the required setbacks to lot lines, building height and lot coverage restrictions that may impact on the location of your new structure/addition. 
Where can I apply for my​​​​ permit?
You may apply online using our Development Portal for a Building Permit. When the review of your application is complete and all requirements have been met, you or your agent will be notified by e-mail.
I have purchased a new home, but I hav​​en't taken ownership yet. Can I apply for a Building Permit before the closing date?
Yes, you may apply for a Building Permit before you take possession of the house; however, you must provide proof of ownership before the permit can be issued, i.e. copy of deed.
Who is responsible for applying​ for the Building Permit?
It is the owner's responsibility to ensure that a Building Permit  is obtained when required. You may authorize your contractor or designer to apply for the permit, but as the owner, you should ensure that they have the permit prior to starting any work. Many owners prefer to submit the application themselves to ensure the permit application is received by the Town. In addition, this provides the owner with the opportunity to have questions answered by our Building staff. Both the owner and the builder/contractor are responsible for the process and are equally liable under the Ontario Building Code Act. Building permits are necessary to ensure that the minimum building standards for safety, structural sufficiency, accessibility, energy and water conservation, and other standards such as those set out in the zoning By-law are met.
I want to upgrade my electrical service. Do​ I need a Building Permit?
The Town does not regulate electrical installations and thus a Building Permit is not required for work that is exclusively electrical. Information regarding electrical permits and standards should be directed to the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) at 1-877-372-7233.

How much does a Buildi​ng Permit cost?

The Building Permit fee is established through the Fees and Charges By-law. The fee covers the cost of reviewing the construction plans for compliance with the Ontario Building Code and applicable laws, such as the zoning by-laws, the Heritage Act, etc., as well as the issuance of the permit and the required inspections of the construction at specific stages of completed construction. You may review a comprehensive list of Building Services related fees on our Fees and Charges web page. Building Permit fees must be paid at the time the application is submitted.

Your project may also be subject to development charges, including education development charges. Development Charges vary based on the type of proposed construction, the location of the proposed construction, etc. Development Charges are calculated once the review of your application is completed, (i.e., zoning, grading and Building Code reviews have been completed), prior to issuing the Building Permit. Development Charges are calculated at the time the permit is issued.

What does the Building​ Permit fee cover?
Building Permit fees are set to cost recover all costs associated with servicing Building Permits and enforcing the Building Code Act and Building Code. Building Permit fees cover the cost of reviewing the construction plans for compliance with the Ontario Building Code and applicable laws, such as the zoning by-law, the Ontario Heritage Act, etc., in addition to the issuance of the permit, the required inspections of the construction at specific stages of completed construction and the occupancy permit.
Once I have applied for the Buildin​g Permit, how long will I have to wait for my permit to be issued?

Once the building permit application form, fees, and all submission requirements have been received and deemed complete, we require approximately ten to fifteen working days to review the documentation and advise whether the Building Permit will be issued or not. If not, we will provide a deficiency letter outlining the elements that must be addressed before the permit can be issued. It is not possible to predict beyond the first turnaround time, as your timeliness in responding to our letter of deficiency will dictate the timing of the issuance of the permit. Thus, the more complete and comprehensive your application and submission documents, the quicker the permit review process will be.

To help you ensure that your application is complete, please review the following information that is required as part of your permit.

Once the Building Permit ​has been issued, how long do I have before I must begin to construct?

Construction can commence once the building permit has been issued. The construction must seriously commence within six months of the building permit being issued, or the permit can be revoked.

I have applied for and received my Building Permit and I have started to construct the project, but I want to know how long I have to complete the project. If the construction has been substantially suspended or discontinued for more than a year, the building permit may be revoked.

I've been issued my building p​​ermit. Do I have to post it somewhere?

Yes, you must post your Building Permit for the duration of construction, in a visible location on-site in order to permit the public and the Building Inspector to view the permit.

What should I do if I think my neighbo​​ur is building without a permit?

If you suspect that construction is proceeding without a building permit and you wish to take further action, please contact our Building Department at 905-953-5300 extension 2400. 

Do I need a building permit to w​​iden my driveway?

A building permit is not required; however, zoning regulations and/or site plan control may impose restrictions on the width and location of your driveway. You can obtain this information from the Zoning Examiner. You may also wish to review the deed of transfer of your property (title documents provided by your solicitor following the purchase of your home) as the deed may include restrictions that will also apply, particularly if your home is part of a cooperative development, a condominium development or a multi-residential project.

You do require a permit in order for any changes to occur to the curb. For more information on how to obtain the necessary permits, click here.

If I turn my hardware store into a restau​rant or make another change of use, do I need a Building Permit?
Yes, you require a building permit if you intend to change any portion of an existing lot, building or structure, including the way it is currently used. By obtaining a building permit, you ensure that your premise is equipped with the prescribed washrooms, fire exits and other safety standards that are required for your proposed use.
I want to build a deck. Do I ​need a permit?

A building permit is required for a deck that is attached to a building. Other decks that have an area greater than 10 square metres (approximately 108 square feet) also require a building permit. For more information, please visit our guide to deck building.

Regardless of whether or not a building permit is required for your deck, you should contact the Zoning Examiner to determine whether or not your proposed deck will meet the zoning requirements for your property, mainly the setback to lot lines. 

I want to build a shed. Do I n​​eed a permit?

Construction of a building, including the installation of pre-fabricated buildings, occupying an area greater than 10 square metres (approximately 108 square feet) requires a building permit. For more information, please visit our guide to accessory structures.

Regardless of whether or not a building permit is required for your shed, you should contact the Zoning Examiner to determine whether your proposed shed will meet the zoning requirements for your property, such as setbacks to lot lines, and restrictions to building height and lot coverage.

Adding a​n Ap​artment

I wish to build an acce​​ssory dwelling unit. Do I need to apply for a building permit?
Yes, a permit is required for all renovations of apartments. For questions related to accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and building permits, consult the Homeowners Guide to ADUs or contact the Building Department. We advise you to review your plans with the Zoning Examiner before beginning construction.
What size unit can I ​build?
You can find details related to the requirements for an ADU on the Accessory Dwelling Unit web page. The Ontario Building Code also sets requirements for minimum size of rooms and other matters.
Do I need an additional park​ing space for the secondary dwelling unit?
Yes. Four parking spaces, each measuring 2.6 metres by 5.0 metres, exterior to a garage are required for a residence with an ADU.
Will my property taxes increase if I build a sec​​ondary dwelling unit?
If the value of your property increases as a result of building a secondary dwelling unit, your property tax may increase. If you would like more detailed information about property assessment, please contact MPAC toll free at 1-866-296-MPAC (6722).
Is there any financial assistance available to b​​uild a secondary dwelling unit in my home?

The RRAP provides financial assistance to eligible applicants to convert/develop existing residential properties that can reasonably accommodate a secondary self-contained unit. More information about eligibility and financial assistance is available from the CMHC.

Is my secondary or basement apartment​ registered?

You can consult a list of re​gistered Accessory Dwelling Units online here.​


We already have a fence constructed in our b​ackyard. Do I still need to get a Pool Enclosure Permit?

We already have a fence constructed in our b​ackyard. Do I still need to get a Pool Enclosure Permit?

Yes, you must obtain a Pool Enclosure Permit to ensure that your existing enclosure or fence meets the requirements of the Pool Enclosure By-Law No. 2008-18.

I want to install a pond in my backyard. Do​​ I need a permit?
Yes, you must obtain a Pool Enclosure Permit if the body of water is at least 1 square metre in area and capable of a depth of greater than 0.61m at any point. The Pool Enclosure By-Law No. 2008-18 can be viewed on our Web site.
I want to fill in my in-ground​​ swimming pool. Is a permit required?
A permit to demolish is not required. You are reminded that when dismantling the pool you must ensure that you do not adversely affect your neighbours' property. The grading of your property must not be modified without municipal approval.


I want to build a fence. Do I nee​​d a permit?

A permit is not required to build or replace your fence; however, you are required to comply with the Town's fence by-law. The Fence By-law sets out minimum standards for the installation, maintenance and repair of fences.  

However, if the fence is to be used as a Pool Enclosure, you will require a Pool Enclosure Permit.  Please visit the Pool Enclosure Permit page for more information.

How high can my fence be? ​​And where can it be located?

The Fence By-law regulates the height of fences. Generally, in residential zones, the maximum height of a fence constructed along a front lot line is one metre above ground level. The maximum height of a fence varies depending on which yard it abuts. The maximum heights are generally as follows:

  • Rear yard - 1.8 metres
  • Interior side yard - 1.5 metres
  • Exterior side yard - 1.5 metres
  • Front yard - 1.0 metre

Questions regarding the Fence By-law can be directed to Legi​slative Services at 905-895-5193.

Other Ques​​tions​​ 

Is the Town of Newmarket able to recommend a Planner? 

Is the Town of Newmarket able to recommend a Planner?
Those looking to hire a planner can visit the Ontario Planner's website for more information on Planners that you can hire. It is advisble that the Planner has an RPP (Registered Professional Planner) designation. 

​My question isn't answ​ered here. Who can I ask?

If your question is not answered in the FAQ, contact Customer Service at 905-895-5193.