Construction and renovation

Construction procedures

Please note

The information contained on this page is simplified and for information purposes only. In case of a contradiction between the By-law and this document, the former will prevail.

Architectural Design Guidelines for low density residential buildings (PDF, 10 MB)

When planning to extend, replace, build, or modify the exterior of a building several steps may be involved.

1. New project proposal

The first step is the presentation of plans and perspectives of the proposed project to the Planning Advisory Committee (PAC). The PAC then makes a recommendation to City Council who vote on whether or not to approve the proposed project.

The PAC and council meet regularly. See the schedule for council meetings. A schedule for PAC meetings as well as deadlines for application submission is available by contacting the Urban Planning Department.

After approval in principle of the new design, some of the following steps may need to be taken before a construction permit can be issued. Applications for each step are again first reviewed by the PAC for recommendation and then voted on by City Council.

2. Zoning amendment

Zoning amendments are required when the zone in which the property is located does not permit the proposed use (e.g. residential building in a commercial zone). Zoning amendments must follow a complex approval process (notice of motion, adoption of draft by-law, public consultation and approval of by-law) and take a minimum of three months to complete. Please contact us for more information.

3. Minor exemption

Minor exemptions allow for small deviations from the zoning by-law that are not related to land use or occupation density. They are required to allow new nonconforming construction as well as pre-existing nonconforming conditions. More information regarding the application process for minor exemptions is available in the Minor Exemptions guide.

4. Demolitions

If a demolition (removal of 50 percent or more of the volume of a residential building, or 20 percent or more of a commercial building) is required, then a certificate of authorization must be obtained. Certificates of authorization require, among other things, public consultation and approved replacement project. The replacement project must be approved in principle before the building can be demolished. Additionally, a deposit equal to 20 percent of the value of the property for residential buildings (5 percent up to a maximum of $3.5 million for commercial) is also required before demolition can proceed.

5. Subdivision

If a property must be split or combined in order to be built on, a subdivision is required. Applications must include plans prepared by a Quebec land surveyor showing the proposed subdivision. If a subdivision results in an increased number of lots, a parkland tax is applied that is equal to 10 percent of the value of the property to be subdivided payable in money, land, or a combination of both. The parkland tax is used to provide public park space.

6. Building permit

The final step is obtaining a building permit. Once the appropriate documents and plans are submitted and approved a building permit can be issued and construction can begin.

Protect your renovation investment by hiring a contractor licensed by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ).


For the fees associated with each step please refer to the Fee schedule guide or contact the Urban Planning Department.


The time between application and approval can vary depending on the timing of the PAC and Council meetings, the steps involved, as well as the approval of plans.

It is the responsibility of the owner to obtain required permits. If you require more information or clarification, please contact the Urban Planning Department at 514-485-6800 or [email protected]