Do you need a building permit for a storage shed ?

Do you need a building permit for a storage shed ?

A storage shed is a great way to keep things organized. It is also a good place to store tools and equipment. Read our guide

According to Toronto’s Building Permit Guide, accessory structures, such as sheds, require a permit if the structure is greater than 10 meters squared or 100 square feet. (Find more information here If a building permit is not required, compliance with your municipality zoning bylaw is required.

In Toronto, the general requirement for a setback is 0.5 metres from the rear and side lot lines. (Find detailed information here)

In Mississauga, Brampton, and Vaughan, there is a setback requirement of 0.6 meters ( 2’) away from the property line. This setback measurement can change based on the type of structure you are building and the details of your property. Make sure you check with the current municipal zoning requirements before you begin your build and ensure you understand the proper setbacks.

Choose the Right Location.

Choosing the right location to build your shed is paramount, as placing your structure in the wrong location could end up costing you a lot of time and money.

Use your land survey plan to locate your property boundaries. In some cases, you may need to hire a surveyor to come and do a boundary stake out.

Once you have determined where your boundaries are, measure out the required setback distance from your property line to where your shed can legally be placed. Mark your measurements with flags or stakes in the ground and be mindful to stay within the area you have marked once you begin your build. Another consideration is to leave enough room for access to doors and windows.

Due to Ontario’s cold climate, you will want to choose a location where you will not be bothered by weather extremes and windy conditions. You may also want to consider adding adequate insultation to your shed. For the summer months, you will want to consider whether your shed will be exposed to direct sunlight and how that will impact the use of your shed.

Determine the size

Your intended use for the shed will determine how large or small your structure needs to be. If you plan to use the shed as a work area or for storing large items such as lawn mowers or snow blowers, you will need to account for the space required. If you intend on storing smaller items such as rakes and general gardening supplies, then a smaller structure would suffice.

Once you have determined what type of shed you require, you will need to determine the coverage area. Many municipalities have a maximum coverage area for accessory buildings and structures. (Example: Accessory structures may cover up to 10% of the lot area.) You can refer to your land survey plan to determine your lot area and then check with your municipality on maximum coverage areas for your type of shed. With some simple math, you will be able to determine how large your structure can be.


  1. Always refer to your land survey plan to ensure proper placement of any structures you are building or before making any changes to your property
  2. Check with your local municipality to understand by-law and zoning requirements.
  3. Consider the details – Assess the building location, ease of access to windows and doors and if your structure will be affected by inclement weather.
  4. Your Land Survey Plan is vital anytime you make changes to your property, type in your address below to see if we have a survey plan available for your property