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Planning and Building applications during COVID-19

Please be advised the submission process for Planning and Building applications has changed to accommodate physical distancing practices and staffing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following drop-off options are available Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm:

  • Lindsay Municipal Service Centre, 180 Kent Street West, Lindsay, located outside of the building’s rear entrance opposite the rear parking lot.
  • City Hall, 26 Francis Street, Lindsay, located outside of the building's Colborne Street entrance.

Small items, that fit in a standard mail slot, can be dropped off at either location without appointment.

If the item is larger (eg. drawings) and will not fit in the mail slots:

  • City Hall drop off: come to Colborne Street entrance of City Hall and ring the black doorbell beside the door.
    • The receptionist will answer the door and accept the items being dropped off. Please respect the receptionist's physical distance by placing the item on the ground and giving at least 6 feet of space.
    • The receptionist will then direct the items to the appropriate person(s).
  • Lindsay Municipal Service Centre drop off: call the City at 705-324-9411 and choose extension 1288 or 1434 to make a scheduled appointment for drop off of items.
    • The Administrative Assistant will attend at the rear entrance doors (adjacent to the parking lot) at the scheduled time for the drop off.  Please respect the Admin's physical distance by placing the item on the ground and giving at least 6 feet of space.
    • The Admin will then deliver the item to the appropriate person(s).

 Building Division

The Building Division is responsible for administration and enforcement of the Building Code Act and the Ontario Building Code, including private on-site sewage systems with a daily sewage flow 10,000 litres or less, as well as administration of the municipal sign, pool and development charges by-laws.

Building Permits

It is important that your building or renovation project meets the regulations of the Ontario Building Code and the Building By-law.

You may need to apply for one or more permits when you plan to renovate or build on your property. Please contact Building staff to find out if permits are required for your project.  Click on the forms, applications and information sheets tab below for building permit related forms.

Contact Us

Lindsay Municipal Service Centre

General Inquiries:

Phone: 705-324-9411 extension 1288 or 1434

Fax: 705-324-5514



Mailing Address:

City of Kawartha Lakes Building Division

180 Kent Street West

Lindsay, ON  K9V 2Y6


Map of building inspector coverage areas

View a map outlining building inspector coverage areas.

Forms, applications and information sheets

When do I need a building permit?

Building permits are required for all structures exceeding 10 metres squared (108 ft2), including structures less than 10 metres squared that are attached or directly adjacent to another structure, as well as all plumbing installations and alterations. Please contact the Building Division office if you are unsure if a building permit is required.

Permits are not required for self-contained structures 10 metres squared or less, and not containing plumbing.

Permits are not required for decks less than 0.6 metres (2 ft) above grade, provided the deck is not located adjacent to a private on-site sewage system (unless approved by the septic inspector).

If you commence construction without the benefit of a building permit you are subject to increased costs in permit fees and possible legal action and associated fines. Building permits ensure that all construction is in compliance with the Ontario Building Code and Building Code Act.

All structures, whether governed by a building permit or not, are required to comply with applicable zoning requirements.


View all Building Permit fees as outlined in By-Law 2012-019.

Site Alteration

 Visit our Site Alteration page to learn more information.

Septic Systems and Permits

clip art sewage system

The Building Division Sewage System Program administers the legislation under Part 8 of the Ontario Building Code affecting private sewage systems with a daily design sewage flow of 10,000 litres per day or less.  Sewage system permits are required for all private on-site sewage systems for new installations, replacement installations and additions and repairs.

Sewage system permits are not required for Class 1 systems, privies or portable toilets, however standards still apply.

Also, you may need to locate, upgrade or replace your private on-site sewage system as a result of your renovation or building proposal.

Please contact the Building Division Lindsay office if you are unsure if a permit is required or for clarification of requirements.

Large or Municipal systems (more than 10,000 litres per day) are regulated by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.

COVID-19 and Your Septic System

The unexpected COVID-19 crisis has lead to many changes in our everyday lifestyle including self-isolation, working at home, and kids out of school which have all lead to an increase in domestic water usage and changes to wastewater. 

With many individuals and families doing their part by staying home, many septic systems are receiving an increase in wastewater, from regular day to day activities such as food preparation, dish washing, laundry and personal use.  The increases in wastewater into private septic systems can lead to problems with the balance of the sewage.  For each litre of wastewater entering the septic tank, one litre of sewage effluent is discharged to the septic field.  Too much wastewater may lead to an overload in your septic causing back-ups into your house or break-outs in your yard.  As well, large amounts of wastewater over short periods of time can reduce settling and separation time in the septic tank.  This can lead to solids being carried out to the septic field and clogging the pipes.  Older septic systems are the most sensitive to overuse.

In some instances, the type of wastewater has changed due to a higher volume of cleaning and disinfecting.  While following the recommendations to disinfect touched surfaces frequently, families are using higher than normal amounts of chemicals such as bleach.  These chemicals can kill the good bacteria in the septic system which causes the waste to move into the septic system with limited breakdown of materials leading to clogging in the septic field.

Here are some tips to lower the stress on your septic system:

1)    Spread out the laundry and dishwasher loads over the entire week.  Wait until you have a full load to turn on the unit.

2)    Take shorter showers.

3)    Spread out showers and tubs throughout the week.

4)    Limit the amount of disinfectants that go directly into the septic system.  Use disinfecting wipes where possible and throw them in the trash. 

5)    Use as many septic friendly cleaning/disinfecting products as possible.

6)    Only dispose of human waste and toilet paper into the toilet.  Do not put any of the following items in your toilet - disinfectant wipes, baby wipes, paper towels, facial tissues, etc.

Map of Sewage Inspector Coverage Areas

View a map outlining inspector coverage areas.

Mandatory Sewage System Maintenance Inspection Program

The Mandatory Maintenance Sewage System Program is intended to support the Ontario Building Codes health & safety‎ and environmental integrity objectives. The requirement for mandatory assessments was a result of recommendations brought forth from the Walkerton Inquiry and the objectives of The Clean Water Act.

The program requires the assessment of sewage systems on properties located immediately adjacent to the vulnerable zone of the Surface Water Intake area and properties located within the identified vulnerable area of a Municipal Wellhead.

Section 8.9 of the Ontario Building Code (Operation and Maintenance‎) requires that all on-site sewage systems be operated and maintained in accordance with the basis on which their construction was approved. Thus, the mandatory maintenance inspection program is geared to identify systems that aren't being properly maintained and to provide education to home owners to ensure that on-site sewage systems do not cause a public health threat or environmental concerns.

Quick facts about source water protection

What is drinking water source protection?
The purpose of drinking water source protection is to protect Ontario's existing and future drinking water sources as part of an overall commitment to safeguard human health and the environment.
How did Drinking Water Source Protection come about?
  • Through the Walkerton Inquiry recommendations were made to ensure safety of water supplies.
  • The Walkerton inquiry stated that a multi-barrier approach to prevent contamination was the best defense mechanism.
  • Thus, the Clean Water Act, 2006 was passed by the province of Ontario to enact legislation to protect Ontario's Drinking Water Sources.
  • Source Water Protection Planning under the Act requires Source Protection Committees to development key deliverables such as an Assessment Report and a Source Protection Plan
  • Source Protection Plans used technical studies as well as scientific data to assess land use activities and the impact those activities would have on drinking water quality and quantity.
Why a Mandatory Sewage System Maintenance Inspection Program?
  • The Clean Water Act, 2006 identified sewage systems as 1 of 21 potential significant threats to drinking water sources and as such we want to ensure adequate protection of our valuable water resources, such as our lakes, rivers, streams, and watersheds.
  • To protect the environment and to ensure a sustainable future for the next generation
Where are Mandatory Sewage System Inspections required?
  • Inspections are required to be completed for existing and future sewage systems located in vulnerable areas as identified in the Source Protection Plan around Municipal Well Heads and Surface Water Intake Zones.
  • Wellhead Protection Zone is a defined vulnerable area around the municipal well.
  • Surface Water Intake Protection zones are the area on the water and land surrounding a municipal surface intake.
What are the steps in a Maintenance Inspection?
  • Complete a search of records to locate documentation on the existing sewage system.
  • Complete a homeowner questionnaire about the property and the sewage system maintenance.
  • Complete an on-site visual assessment of the property and sewage system.
  • Provide an opportunity for questions and education.
What if a problem is found?
  • A more invasive investigation will have to be performed to locate the issue.
  • It will be the responsibility of the homeowner to obtain the necessary permits/approvals to complete the upgrades and bring the sewage system into compliance.

Schedule of 2021 Assessments

Stay tuned to this location in April 2021 for updates to the 2021 schedule.


For more information please contact:

Anne Elmhirst C.P.H.I. (C), B.A.Sc., B.Sc.

Supervisor - Part 8 Sewage Systems

Development Services - Building Division

705-324-9411 extension 1882

E-Mail Development Services - Building Division

Municipal Wellheads

Surface Water Intakes

Septic Applications, Permits and Loan Programs

Building and Septic Permit Fees 2021


Accessory Dwelling Units (Basement Apartments/Secondary Suites)

An Accessory Dwelling Unit is a completely self-contained, self-sufficient residential dwelling unit located entirely within a single detached, semi-detached, townhouse or row house dwelling, which contains no more than one other dwelling unit. Accessory dwelling units are often also referred to as basement apartments or secondary suites.

As of November 4, 2014, the only accessory dwelling units that are considered legal are those registered with the City according to the Registration By-law 2014-305. Units previously registered under Town of Lindsay By-law 97-169 will be deemed compliant. To register an Accessory Dwelling Unit you must complete and submit the Accessory Dwelling Unit Registration application form.

For assistance with completing the process please see the Guide to Creating Accessory Dwelling Units or contact the Building Division.

New in 2019: The Province of Ontario has released a homeowner guide Adding a Second Unit in an Existing House to help homeowners plan and build a second unit within their house.

To check to see if your unit is registered, see the Public Register below.

Accessory Dwelling Unit Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

An Accessory Dwelling Unit is also known as a basement apartment, secondary suite or another form of secondary residential unit in a house that contains no more than one other unit.

A dwelling containing an Accessory Dwelling unit is not considered a Duplex Dwelling.

An Accessory Unit:

  • consists of a self-contained set of rooms that can be used as an independent unit;
  • contains kitchen, sleeping and bathroom facilities designed for the exclusive use of the unit;
  • has a means of access that may be separate or shared with the other unit; and
  • may be installed on any floor of a house

Where are Accessory Dwelling Units permitted?

Zoning By-law 2014-283 permits Accessory Dwelling Units to be located in single detached, semi-detached, townhouse or row house dwellings within the City of Kawartha Lakes, serviced by full municipal services, where the dwelling is attached thereto.

The subject property must be located within the urban settlement boundaries, outlined in the City of Kawartha Lakes Official Plan, of Lindsay, Bobcaygeon, Fenelon Falls or Omemee.

How do I register my Accessory Dwelling Unit?

All Accessory Dwelling Units must be registered under By-law 2014-305. Unregistered Accessory Dwelling Units are considered illegal.

An application for registration of an Accessory Dwelling Unit must be filed with accompanying paperwork and applicable fee to the Chief Building Official. Applications can be dropped off at the Lindsay, Bobcaygeon or Omemee Service Centres. Once an Accessory Dwelling Unit is registered, the owner will receive a letter of registration from the City.

Do I require a Building Permit to register an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

In most cases a building permit is required. Most Accessory Dwelling Units will require modifications with respect to the Ontario Building Code to comply with registration requirements.

Who can prepare the drawings for an application?

The property owner or a qualified designer can prepare the drawings. Drawings must include all Ontario Building Code requirements.

How long does it take to obtain a building permit?

Upon submission of a complete application, a building permit will be issued within 10 business days.

What is the current fee to register an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

There is a one-time fee required to accompany the application for registration, which can be found in the Consolidated Fees By-law 2016-206. There may also be associated building permit fees applied with respect to required upgrades.

Will an inspection be required in order to register my Accessory Dwelling Unit?

Yes. The inspection may be performed by a Building Inspector or by a Building Inspector and Fire Prevention Officer.

What is involved in the inspection?

The inspector will confirm compliance with applicable regulations and will require access to all areas within the dwelling units.

What types of things does the Building Permit address?

The building permit will address items such as access/egress, suite to suite fire separations, room sizes, window sizes, locations of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and any other items applicable to your site.

What if I don't register my Accessory Dwelling Unit or complete the inspection report?

Your file will be forwarded to the Municipal Law Enforcement Division for Enforcement of the Zoning By-law and Accessory Dwelling Unit Registration By-law.

Does an Accessory Dwelling Unit have to be registered if a family member resides in it?

Yes, unless the dwelling functions as a single unit with open and unimpeded access to all portions of the welling unit for all inhabitants.

Will there be regular follow up inspections of all registered Accessory Dwelling Units?

No. Municipal Law Enforcement Staff will enforce the Registration By-law based upon complaints received. Complaints must be submitted in writing on the applicable form. You can submit a Municipal Law Enforcement Complaint online. All complaints will be investigated to determine compliance.

Accessory Dwelling Unit Public Register

Accessory Dwelling Unit Public Register

Add #StreetTown/VillageDate RegisteredReg. By-lawRegistration Number
32 George St. E. Lindsay Jan-98 97-169 1-98
170 Colbourne St. W. Lindsay Mar-98 97-169 2-98
165 St. David St. Lindsay Mar-98 97-169 3-98
41 St. Lawrence St. Lindsay Apr-98 97-169 4-98
331 William St. N. Lindsay Apr-98 97-169 5-98
80 Angeline St. S. Lindsay Jun-98 97-169 6-98
29 Cottingham Cres. Lindsay Jun-98 97-169 7-98
10 Oak St. Lindsay Jul-98 97-169 8-98
175 Ardmore Ave. Lindsay Aug-98 97-169 9-98
5 Mill St. Lindsay Dec-98 97-169 10-98
122 Elgin St. Lindsay Feb-99 97-169 11-98
29 St. Paul St. Lindsay Apr-99 97-169 1-99
208 William St. N. Lindsay Apr-99 97-169 2-99
71 King St. Lindsay Jan-00 97-169 01-2000
69 King St. Lindsay Jan-00 97-169 02-2000
61 Albert St. S. Lindsay Mar-00 97-169 03-2000
67 Eglington St. Lindsay May-00 97-169 04-2000
93 William St. S. Lindsay Jul-02 97-169 01-2002
64 Russel St. E. Lindsay Apr-04 97-169 01-2004
21 Eglington St. Lindsay Jul-04 97-169 02-2004
142 Sanderling Cres. Lindsay Oct-05 97-169 01-2005
174 Ardmore Ave. Lindsay Mar-06 97-169 01-2006
52 Adelaide St. S. Lindsay Aug-06 97-169 02-2006
97 Colbourne St. W. Lindsay Sep-06 97-169 03-2006
321 William St. N Lindsay Jan-10 97-169 01-2010
323 William St. N Lindsay Feb-10 97-169 02-2010
79 Short Ave Lindsay Dec-10 97-169 03-2010
10 Flavelle Cres Lindsay Dec-11 97-169 01-2011
69 Glenelg St. E. Lindsay Apr-13 97-169 01-2013
333 William St. N. Lindsay Jan-16 2014-305 2016-001
99 Elgin St. Lindsay Jan-16 2014-305 2016-002
18 Liberty Lane Emily Jun-16 2014-305 2016-003
18 Short St. Fenelon Falls Sep-16 2014-305 2016-004
34 Lisbeth Cres. Lindsay Sep-16 2014-305 2016-005
82 Durham St. W. Lindsay Dec-16 2014-305 2016-006
101 Pottinger St. Lindsay Jul-17 2014-305 2016-007
10 Milner Crt. Lindsay Jul-17 2014-305 ADU2017-0005
3 Richardson Crt. Lindsay Aug-17 2014-305 2016-008
9 Karen Dr. Lindsay Dec-17 2014-305 ADU2017-0001
64 St Patrick St. Lindsay May-18 2014-305 ADU2017-0011
44 Truax St. Lindsay Jul-18 2014-305 ADU2017-0010
20 Beall St. Lindsay Aug-18 2014-305 ADU2018-0008
31 Glenelg St. E. Lindsay Aug-18 2014-305 ADU2017-0012
9 Jefferson Blvd. Lindsay Aug-18 2014-305 ADU2018-0010
48 Beall St. Lindsay Sep-18 2014-305 ADU2018-0007
24 Beall St. Lindsay Nov-18 2014-305 ADU2018-0011
151 King St. Lindsay Feb-19 2014-305 ADU2018-0001
10 McGibbon Blvd. Lindsay Mar-19 2014-305 ADU2018-0014
107 Pottinger St. Lindsay May-19 2014-305 ADU2018-0012
103 Adelaide St. S. Lindsay Jun-19 2014-305 ADU2018-0006
163 Springdale Dr. Lindsay Jun-19 2014-305 ADU2019-0002
143 Queen St. Lindsay Jul-19 2014-305 ADU2019-0005
111 Sanderling Cres. Lindsay Jul-19 2014-305 ADU2019-0001
83 Thrushwood Trail Lindsay Oct-19 2014-305 ADU2019-0007
47 Gee Cres. Lindsay Nov-19 2014-305 ADU2018-0009
11 Hutton Rd. Lindsay Nov-19 2014-305 ADU2017-0009
31 Madill Cres. Lindsay Dec-19 2014-305 ADU2019-0012
53 Truax St. Lindsay Jan-20 2014-305 ADU2019-0016
28 Beall St. Lindsay Jan-20 2014-305 ADU2019-0015
103 Alcorn Dr. Lindsay Feb-20 2014-305 ADU2019-0009
19 Albert St. N. Lindsay Feb-20 2014-305 ADU2019-0010
9 Dunsford Crt. Lindsay Mar-20 2014-305 ADU2020-0002
72 Albert St. N. Lindsay Jul-20 2014-305 ADU2020-0006
50 Gee Cres. Lindsay Aug-20 2014-305 ADU2020-0001
305 Mary St. W. Lindsay Oct-20 2014-305 ADU2020-0007
3 Duke St. Lindsay Oct-20 2014-305 ADU2017-0007
93 Sweetnam Dr. Lindsay Oct-20 2014-305 ADU2019-0008
34 Mary St. E. Lindsay Oct-20 2014-305 ADU2019-0011
49 Orchard Park Rd. Lindsay Nov-20 2014-305 ADU2020-0009
271 Victoria Ave. N. Lindsay Nov-20 2014-305 ADU2019-0014
31 Durham St. E. Lindsay Nov-20 2014-305 ADU2018-0004

Pool permits

Any swimming pool capable of containing a water depth of greater than 1.2m (48 inches) of water requires a pool permit.

The City of Kawartha Lakes Pool By-law 2005-314 outlines the requirements for the installation of both above ground and in ground swimming pools and the associated fencing requirements. The Pool By-law regulates all private pools servicing 1-5 dwelling units.

The Ontario Building Code regulates all public pools, which includes private pools servicing 6 or more dwelling units. Common examples of public pools are pools servicing trailer parks, cottage establishments and hotels/motels. A building permit is required to install these types of pools.


Fences built on property lines

Property owners both have the right to build a fence directly on the property line, as long as it complies with the Fence Construction By-law. As both parties have the same right for one fence, this can sometimes cause disputes. The municipality always recommends resolving your dispute between yourself and your neighbour on terms that are suitable to everyone. If a dispute is unavoidable and:

  • There is no dispute about the location of the property line (property line disputes are civil matters dealt with by the courts and/or local land surveyor firms);
  • A fence has not already been constructed, or materials purchased; and
  • The proposed fence is not replacing a fence that is generally in a state of good repair
  • No other legal situation applies (swimming pools, condition of severance, subdivision agreement terms).

Then either one of two laws may apply to your situation:

Your property location within Kawartha Lakes determines which law applies to your situation. The Fence Cost Sharing By-law applies to all properties designated in the Official Plan as:

  • Urban (Bobcaygeon, Fenelon Falls, Lindsay, Omemee, Woodville)
  • Hamlet (smaller villages in Kawartha Lakes such as Coboconk, Kirkfield, Oakwood, Pontypool, Sturgeon Point, etc.)
  • Waterfront (lakeside and riverside locations throughout Kawartha Lakes with significant residential and seasonal development); and
  • Development Plan Areas

The Line Fences Act applies to all other areas not covered by the Fence Cost Sharing By-law listed above. This typically includes (but is not limited to);

  • Agricultural properties
  • Rural or forested properties
  • Severed residential lots in rural areas

Use the Fence Dispute Mapping Tool to determine which law applies to your property. When the fence is being constructed between two properties that are in the two different regulation areas, the Line Fences Act applies.

More information about both laws and commonly asked questions can be found below:

 The Line Fences Act (Fence-Viewers)

The Line Fences Act provides a method for some properties in Kawartha Lakes to resolve disputes between neighbours constructing a fence on an undisputed property line. Fences being built off of the property line are permitted without a neighbour's consent if the fence being constructed is compliant with the Fence Construction By-law or applicable building codes. However, we always recommend that you inform your neighbour prior to the construction of a fence as they may dispute the location of the property line. 

Contact the building department for information or questions about constructing a fence compliant with the Fence By-law.

The Line Fences Act cannot be used:

 What can I do if my neighbour is not willing to share the cost of a fence on the property line?
It is always best to try to resolve the issue with your neighbour before requesting the Fence-Viewers. Discuss with your neighbour the type of fence you want and the reasons why you want the fence to try to resolve this issue. If a fence cannot be agreed upon, you can initiate the process for requesting the Fence-Viewers to view the site and make an award. Do not build or purchase any materials for the fence until the Fence-Viewers have been contacted. 
 Does the municipality or the Fence-Viewers determine my property lines?
The Fence-Viewers cannot determine the location of the boundary between two properties. This is a civil matter and may require a survey and the advice of lawyers. The City does not keep survey records on file. You may consider contacting a local surveyor to have property lines marked out for you and your neighbour if the property line is in question. If the property lines are in dispute, a Fence-Viewing is not permitted to proceed.
 Does the Line Fences Act also govern the design and construction of fences?
If the Fence-Viewers are requested to hold a fence-viewing and make an award stating that a fence is required, the award must include a description of the fence to be built and materials to be used. The description of the fence specified in the award must conform to the Fence Construction by-law. The fence-viewers may also require that a third-party contractor build the fence to avoid further disputes.
 May I call a Fence-Viewer directly for advice on my situation?

Fence-Viewers do not give advice. If you have questions about the process, please call 705-324-9411 extension 1322 or E-Mail the Clerks Office.

If you need advice about a property line dispute, you should contact a lawyer with property law expertise.

 How do I get a Fence-Viewer to come to my property?

Forms for initiating the process to request Fence-Viewers to attend are available at City Hall. Complete the form 'Owner's Request for Fence-Viewers - Dispute' and mail or deliver it to:

City Clerk's Office

26 Francis Street, P.O. Box 9000,

Lindsay, ON, K9V 5R8

Remember to provide a description of both your property and your neighbours, including the property assessment roll number. Attaching a diagram of the property is very helpful to City staff and Fence-Viewers.

Please Note: Fence-Viewers in Kawartha Lakes may only attend properties located outside of the Fence Cost-Sharing By-law area.

If you have questions about the process, please call 705-324-9411 extension 1322 or E-Mail the Clerks Office.

 When can Fence-Viewers attend my property?

Once an a valid application is received in the City Clerk's Office the Fence-Viewers must attend the proposed fence site within 30 days.

The municipality does not process any fence viewing applications between November 1 and the following March 31, unless authorized by Council.

 What does it cost to have Fence-Viewers attend?
The administration fee is $255.00 (as of January 2020), plus three Fence Viewer fees at $70.00 per Fence-Viewer and mileage at the City's prevailing rate. On average the total administration costs can be in the range of $500.00 to $650.00. Fence-Viewers are required to view and attend the site. The responsibility for payment of these fees is paid for by the parties involved. The percentage to be paid by each party is determined by the Fence-Viewers as part of their award.
 Can I appeal the decision of the Fence-Viewers?
An owner who is dissatisfied with the award may appeal the Fence-Viewers Award. You have fifteen days from the date of receiving a certified copy of the award to initiate an appeal. An award is deemed to have been received seven days after being sent by registered mail. A cheque or money order to cover the appeal fee, payable to the "Minister of Finance", must accompany the appeal. The appeal fee increases each year. To get the current appeal fee please visit the Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs website. Additional City appeal administration fees of $102.00 (as of January 2020) may also apply. If you require further information on appealing an award please call 705-324-9411 extension 1322 or E-Mail the Clerks Office.


 Fence Cost Sharing By-law

Where a Fence Cost Sharing By-law is in place, it overrides the Line Fences Act. The Kawartha Lakes Fence Cost Sharing By-law is designed to encourage property owners to settle disputes informally, without involving the use of the local government or courts. In summary it provides:

  • that an owner may construct a fence directly on the property line (there is no 6 inch setback requirement)
  • definitions of what a basic fence is (4 foot galvanized steel chain-link)
  • that unless otherwise agreed, both neighbours are be responsible for 50 percent of the cost of a basic fence.
  • if one property owner want a higher standard of fence other than a basic fence, that they are 100% responsible for the additional costs
  • that without an informal agreement, an owner seeking to share the cost of constructing a new line fence, or reconstruction of a line fence must serve upon the adjoining owner(s) a notice that includes:
    • a copy of the cost sharing by-law;
    • the date the work is planned to commence;
    • copies of 3 estimates received for the cost of the proposed fence;
    • an estimate of the basic cost of the proposed fence;
    • and a request for payment from the adjoining owner calculated in accordance with this by-law
  • that notice must be served at least fourteen (14) days before the commencement of any work or execution of any contract in relation to the work to be undertaken

The Fence Cost Sharing By-law cannot be used:

  • in rural or agricultural areas in Kawartha Lakes (see the Line Fences Act above)
  • to replace a fence that is in state of good repair
  • as a mechanism to solve a property line dispute (this is a civil matter, and may involve a local land surveyor)
  • to establish a cost sharing measure for a fence that must be constructed for another legal reason (Swimming pool by-law, severance condition, subdivision agreement)

The Fence Cost Sharing By-law allows residents resolved disputes on their own terms, and provides procedures for when a neighbouring property owner is unwilling to participate. Read it carefully, and direct any further questions to the City Clerk's Office at 705-324-9411 extension 1322 or email the Clerk's Office.

Alternatively, residents may build a fence fully on their property (for example, 6 inches or more inside of the property line) and assume all expenses, full ownership and responsibility of the fence. This, however is not a requirement, as both neighbours have the right to build a fence along the property line if they desire to mark the boundary line. A fence built fully on your own property must still comply with the Fence Construction By-law. It is always good practice to inform your neighbour prior to construction, in case they raise concern about a property line dispute.

In general, newly constructed fences built on your property, or the property line must be:

  • Stable;
  • Vertical;
    • 2 metres is the maximum height in residential areas
  • Made of good quality materials
    • Not permitted: barbed wire, razor wire, electrified wire, and non-vinyl or plastic coated chain-link
  • Constructed and supported in a manner commensurate with the design of the entire fence
  • Structurally capable of safely sustaining its own weight and any load to which it might normally and reasonably be subjected; and

  • Constructed in a manner accepted as good workmanship in the trades concerned

If you believe your neighbour is constructing a fence in contravention to the Fence Construction By-law, talk to your neighbour to bring forward your concerns, and if required, contact Municipal Law Enforcement.


 Trees on Property Lines

The municipality does not regulate the trimming of trees or hedges on private property.

If the tree in question is dead/dying or has dead branches that could be hazardous, and is on Kawartha Lakes property, or on the property line with the municipality, please file a report with the municipality.

The Forestry Act of Ontario, 1990, also states the following about trees on property lines:

Boundary trees

10 (1) An owner of land may, with the consent of the owner of adjoining land, plant trees on the boundary between the two lands.

Trees common property

(2) Every tree whose trunk is growing on the boundary between adjoining lands is the common property of the owners of the adjoining lands.

Trimming a neighbour's overhanging branches:

The municipality always recommends that you discuss this with your neighbour, before hiring a qualified tree expert, or taking on the work yourself.

There are three main points to remember when dealing with trees on adjacent private property:

  1. You cannot trespass onto your neighbour's property
  2. You cannot damage your neighbour's property (in this case a tree); and
  3. You have the right to maintain your property in a safe condition

It is therefore best for property owners to come to an agreement between themselves with respect to trees overhanging property lines.

If you are unable to reach an agreement with your neighbour and want to determine your legal rights, you should contact a lawyer.

The act of pruning trees on neighbouring private property affects private property rights and is a civil issue between private property owners.


Sign permits

City of Kawartha Lakes Sign By-law 2009-076 regulates the erection of signs for both residential and non-residential advertising.

Signage is regulated within the Town of Lindsay, with additional site specific regulations within the Lindsay Business Improvement Area, Village of Fenelon Falls and Village of Bobcaygeon.

Signage is not permitted on any municipal lands, which includes all City road allowances.

Signs are also regulated by the Ministry of Transportation and the Ontario Building Code. The Ministry of Transportation regulates all advertising signage located within 400 meters of any Provincial Highway Right-of-Way.

The Ontario Building Code regulates all signage that falls outside of the municipal by-law, and these signs would require a building permit, rather than a municipal sign permit.

You can complete a Sign Permit Application and submit it to the City Building Division for review.

Northwest Sanitary Sewer Capital Charges

In accordance with section 4.01.2 of By-Law 2015-151, starting on August 11, 2016 Northwest Trunk Sanitary Sewer Capital Charges shall be indexed annually in accordance with the Quarterly Construction Price Statistics Index published by Statistics Canada. Whereas the index stood at 156.8 on June 30, 2015 and at 161.6 on June 30, 2016, the capital charges that would have otherwise been in effect for the period August 11, 2016 to August 11, 2017, pursuant to By-Law 2015-151, shall be indexed by (161.6/156.8 - 1)*100% = 3.061%.


The following charges are effective August 11, 2020 to August 10, 2021:

Northwest Trunk Sanitary Sewer Capital Charges as per By-Law 2015-151
Benefitting Area

Index Rate %/Annun

Residential $/Dwelling Unit

Non-Residential $/metre squared of GFA

Jennings Creek




Gravity Sewer




Existing Growth




Development Charges

 Non-Residential Development Charges


City of Kawartha Lakes Schedule of Non-Residential Development Charges for January 1 - December 31, 2021 as per By-Law 2019-184

Municipal Service

Electricity Generation

Other Non-Residential

($/500 KW of NGC)

($/m² of GFA)

Health and Social






By-Law Enforcement






Parks and Recreation






Administration Studies















Waste Diversion



Roads and Related



Water Treatment



Water Distribution



Wastewater Treatment



Wastewater Collection






Municipal Service Area

Electricity Generation

Other Non-Residential

($/500 KW of NGC)

($/m² of GFA)

















 Residential Development Charges

City of Kawartha Lakes Schedule of Residential Development Charges for January 1 - December 31, 2021 as per By-Law 2019-184



Single or Semi-Detached ($/Dwelling Unit)

Row or Multiple ($/Dwelling Unit)

Apartment - Two or More Bedrooms ($/Dwelling Unit)

Apartment - Other ($/Dwelling Unit)

Health and Social










By-Law Enforcement










Parks and Recreation










Administration Studies

























Waste Diversion





Roads and Related





Water Treatment





Water Distribution





Wastewater Treatment





Wastewater Collection











Service Area

Single or Semi-Detached ($/Dwelling Unit)

Row or Multiple ($/Dwelling Unit)

Apartment - Two or More Bedrooms ($/Dwelling Unit)

Apartment - Other ($/Dwelling Unit)


























 Development Charges Studies and By-laws


Development Statistics

To access development statistics from past years please contact the Building division by calling 705-324-9411 extension 1288.

2019 Development Statistics, Statistics Canada Reports

2018 Development Statistics, Statistics Canada Reports

2017 Development Statistics, Statistics Canada Reports

Source Water Protection

Permits and planning help protect you and your investment from natural hazards such as flooding, unstable soils, and steep slopes, while contributing to a healthy, sustainable environment.

If you are living near a lake, watercourse, or wetland, you and your property may be at risk from natural hazards. Before constructing or altering any structures or buildings, grading, excavating, placing any materials (soil, sand, or gravel), changing any watercourse, improving or altering your shoreline, or working in or near a wetland, you will need to contact the Kawartha Conservation Planning & Regulations Department to determine if a permit is required.

A source protection clearance may be required if you are planning work near a municipal water supply system. Please check the Source Water Protection map to find out if you are near one of these systems. If you are in an area of interest, you may require a clearance. For additional information, please visit Kawartha Conservation's Source Protection Planning Services.

Visit the Utilities, Water and Sewer services section of our website to learn more about water quality and services in Kawartha Lakes.

Code of Conduct for Building Officials

The purpose of the code of conduct is to:

  • promote appropriate standards of behaviour by building officials in the exercise of their powers and performance of their duties.
  • prevent practices which may constitute an abuse of power, and
  • promote appropriate standards of honesty and integrity.

Building Officials undertake at all times to:

  • act in the public interest, particularly with regard to the safety of buildings and designated structures
  • maintain their knowledge and understanding of the best current building practice, the building laws and regulations relevant to their building certifying functions
  • commit themselves to a process of continuous education so as to constantly be aware of developments in building design, practice and the law relevant to their duties
  • comply with the provisions of the Building Code Act, the Building Code and any other Act or applicable Law that regulates or governs Building Officials of their functions
  • avoid situations where there may be, or where there may reasonably appear to be, a conflict between their duties to their clients, their profession, their peers and the public at large and their personal interests
  • not act beyond their level of competence or outside their area of expertise
  • apply all relevant building laws, regulations and standards strictly and without favour and independent of the influence of interested parties or members of municipal council
  • perform their inspections and certifying duties impartially and in accordance with the highest professional standards
  • not divulge any confidential or sensitive information or material, that they became privy to in the performance of their duties, except in accordance with laws governing freedom of information and protection of privacy
  • extend professional courtesy to all
  • not act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence decisions
  • recognize the appointment under the Building Code Act as a symbol of public faith
  • maintain current accreditation to perform the functions assigned to them
  • take all reasonable steps to ascertain and document all available facts relevant to the performance of their duties
  • demonstrate compliance with all regulations and standards that govern building construction, health & safety or other matters related to their status as a building official

The Building Code Act provides that the performance of Building Officials will be measured against this code of conduct.  In response to any allegation of a breach of this code, the Chief Building Official shall direct an investigation and where appropriate, recommend disciplinary action against any Building Official who fails to comply with this code of conduct.  Where the allegation is against the chief building official, the Director of Development Services and/or the Chief Administrative Officer will direct the investigation and make such recommendations as are reasonable.

In determining the appropriate discipline, the Chief Building Official or the Director of Development Services and/or the Chief Administrative Officer will have regard to the relevance of the conduct to the official's powers and responsibilities as well as the severity of any misconduct.


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Visit the utilities, water and sewer section of our website.

Heritage Building Register

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Emergency preparedness

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