Construction and renovation

Minor exemptions

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)

What is a minor exemption?

A minor exemption allows property owners small exceptions to the zoning by-law providing they are not related to land use or occupation density. Minor exemptions are granted on a case-by-case basis providing the request not hinder the owners of neighbouring properties in the enjoyment of their right of ownership. Minor exemptions can be granted for new constructions or to permit existing conditions providing that the work was authorized by a building permit and carried out in good faith (e.g., in the case of the sale of a property that does not conform to the current zoning by-law).


An application for a minor exemption must be made with the Urban Planning Department by the registered owner of the property.

PDF, 123 KB

The following is required when submitting an application

  • Title establishing ownership
  • Copies of a plan or drawing showing the land, exemption requested, the location of the proposed or existing building, as well as indicating how any adjacent properties might be affected if the exemption is granted. If the exemption relates to setbacks then the plan must be signed by a Quebec land surveyor
  • Fee payment
  • Any other document deemed necessary to study the application.


Once the application is completed, it is reviewed by the Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) who then make a recommendation to City Council.

Before Council votes on the proposed exemption, a public notice must be issued at least 15 days prior to the meeting at the expense of the applicant.

Council then votes on the exemption after hearing the recommendation of the PAC and input from any interested party.

If approved, a council resolution is issued and the applicant can proceed with the sale or with obtaining any necessary construction permits.


The cost for a minor exemption varies depending on the circumstances prior to the application.

If applying to permit an existing condition:

Study by Planning Advisory Committee$150

If applying at the time of a permit request:

Study by Planning Advisory Committee$600
Total1500 $

If applying following an infraction notice:

Study by Planning Advisory Committee$1100

The amount of time required to complete a minor exemption from application to certificate depends on the schedule of PAC and council meetings as well as the acceptance of the application. As council and the PAC meet on a regular basis, the exemption must be advertised for 15 days in between these meetings. The process can take 8 to 10 weeks—or longer—to be approved from time of application.

See the schedule for council meetings. Please contact the Urban Planning Department regarding deadlines and the PAC meeting schedule.

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]