The Township of The Archipelago is responsible for enforcing the Ontario Building Code and issuing permits for the construction, renovation, demolition and certain changes of use of buildings, and for the installation, alteration, extension or repair of on-site sewage systems.

For building inspection requests, please leave a detailed message with the permit number, property location, inspection type and your contact information.  Inspection requests can be made at 705-746-4243 Extension 360 or email to

For building permit inquiries, please contact Elke Dyck at 705-746-4243 Extension 317 or email to

Information regarding the permit process can be found below.

To determine what is permitted on your property, please refer to the Planning Handbook and the Comprehensive Zoning By-law.  If you do not know the zoning of your property, you can find it and more on the West Parry Sound Geography Network.

Permit fee information can be found in our Building By-law.

Building Permit Process

General information regarding the permit process, including some frequently asked questions, can be found here.

Residential Occupancy Permits

Before you can occupy your newly constructed residence (including cottages and sleeping cabins) you are required under the building code to obtain an occupancy permit. This occupancy permit is issued by the building department once your building has reached the minimum level of completion as set out in Division C - of the Ontario Building Code.

Please refer to the excerpt from the Ontario Building Code to determine what you need to have completed to receive an occupancy permit.

Dock Permits

A permit is not required for a dock replacement of the same size, location and configuration. If you are increasing the size, reconfiguring, or constructing a brand new dock, you will require a building permit. Please refer to the Planning Handbook and Zoning By-Law for dock regulations.

MNRF Dock and Boathouse Requirements 

Depending on the size of your dock, you may require approval from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).  On June 1st, 2017, the MNRF made changes to the Public Lands Act.  As a result, most docks and single-storey boathouses that have 15 square metres or less in physical contact with the shoreland no longer require review or approval from the MNRF.  Floating docks, post docks and crib docks, having less than 15 square metres in physical contact with shorelands, are included in these changes.

A work permit will still be required for certain activities on shorelands.  For example, the installation of cribs having a cumulative area of more than 15 square metres in physical contact with shorelands.

Building permits are required from the Township for the construction of a new dock or boathouse or boat port and/or the expansion of an existing dock, boathouse or boatport.

The Township of The Archipelago is responsible for administering and enforcing the provisions of Part 8 of the Ontario Building Code for on-site sewage systems within The Archipelago and in the geographic Townships of Blair, Brown, Harrison, Henvey, Mowat and Wallbridge.

Building permits are required to construct the following sewage systems:

  • Class 2 greywater pits
  • Class 3 cesspools
  • Class 4 leaching beds, filter beds, shallow buried trench, Type A and B dispersal beds
  • Class 5 holding tanks
The building permit application can be found here.

Permit fees can be found in our building by-law.

Note:  No permit is required to construct a Class 1 system (outhouse, compost toilet).  You are required to meet the minimum construction standards and setbacks indicated in the Ontario Building Code and manufacturer's specifications.  In addition, a Class 2 system would be required for a handwashing sink.

Sewage System Maintenance

Installing a new Class 4 septic system, especially on water access properties, comes with a high price tag.  Routine maintenance can greatly increase the life expectancy of your system, which in turn, will save you money.  A properly maintained system limits the potential for environmental damages often associated with failed septic systems.  It is up to you, the owner of this system, to ensure it is maintained and functioning as intended.

Please take the time to read through the Septic Smart publication.  It will provide you with some general information about standard Class 4 sewage systems, including some dos and don'ts, and maintenance tips.

If you have also installed a secondary treatment unit, or a tertiary treatment unit, you should refer to that particular system's operation and maintenance requirements.

Reviewing Your Current Sewage System

Do you currently have a sewage system on your property?  Here is a self-evaluation quiz you can take to determine if you are doing your part for environmental protection. 

Rob Farrow, Chief Building Official
705-746-4243 Ext. 308
Mark Macfie, Deputy Chief Building Official
705-746-4243 Ext. 321
Elke Dyck, Building Permit Clerk
705-746-4243 Ext. 317
705-746-4243 Ext. 360