Build Smart

If you are considering making changes to your residence or property, you’ll want to know where to go for guidance and approval from the various regulatory bodies.

The OLA Board has created a document with assistance from Tay Valley and Drummon/North Elmsley Townships, as well as Otty Lake residents experienced with the guidelines, to help guide you.

Read on if you are considering any of the following improvements to your property:

  • New Construction, Addition, Renovation or Outbuilding
  • Deck
  • Boathouse
  • Dock
  • Well
  • Septic System (new, upgrade or replacement)
  • Floating Raft/Mooring Buoy
  • Aquatic Plant Harvesting
  • Shoreline Alteration

Read the OLA Building and Renovations document. (9 page PDF)

from Tay Valley Township:

A permit is required when you…

  • construct a new building, including temporary and farm buildings
  • renovate a building
  • construct an addition to a building, including sunrooms – any size
  • alter the interior of a building, including finishing a basement
  • build a deck or gazebo over 10 m2 or attached to a building
  • move or demolish* a building
  • change the use or occupancy of a building
  • install a sprinkler system or fire alarm system in a building
  • install a fireplace, woodstove, pellet stove or chimney
  • alter or remodel a plumbing system
  • install a swimming pool (check the swimming pool by-law also)
  • construct a retaining wall higher than 1 metre

*When a demolition permit is completed, the building is removed from your tax assessment, possibly reducing your property tax. Demolition permits are not required for farm buildings, but there may be a tax impact worth checking out.

Find out more by visiting

from Tay Valley Township:

A permit is NOT required when you…

  • construct a detached accessory building that is 14.8 m2 (160 sq. ft.) in area or less
  • paint and decorate
  • install kitchen or bathroom cupboards (but you need to be aware of minimum clearances required between cooking appliances and combustible cabinets and finishes)
  • do landscaping
  • install roof shingling (except clay tile roof)
  • install eavestroughing
  • make minor repairs to non-structural bricks or blocks
  • damp-proof a basement

 Find out more by visiting

from Tay Valley Township:

All lands, buildings and structures located within the Township are subject to development charges.

Development charges must be paid prior to the issuance of a building permit. Development charges are payable to both the Township and the County.