Building Code and By-laws in Landscaping
If you are engaging in any construction, or are changing your property grading you need to be aware of the restrictions regarding the Ontario Building Code and the City of Ottawa By-laws.
Ontario Building Code
The Ontario Building Code requirements come into force whenever you are constructing a building such as a storage shed, pool house or gazebo. The definition of a building under the OBC is any floor, wall or roof which exceeds 10 square meters in area. You will also be required to obtain a permit if you are attaching a ledger board to your house for the purpose of building a deck. The City of Ottawa website offers an overview of the requirements for small projects as well as a checklist for homeowners to read before you begin your project.
City of Ottawa By-laws
There are several By-laws, guidelines and restrictions which you should be aware of and which ones most often impact landscaping projects. If you are at all in doubt about your project and the restrictions pertaining to you property and location, please contact City of Ottawa, Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, Mississippi Valley Conservation or Ottawa Septic System Office.
Fencing By-law Corner Sight Triangles By-law Pool Enclosures By-law Driveways By-law Accessory Buildings By-law
Grading and Surface Water Drainage By-law Outdoor Fireplaces By-law Tree Conservation By-law Tree Protection By-law
Shorelines and Flood Plains
If your property abuts or includes a natural body of water such as a stream, river or lake, or is located within a designated flood plain, contact the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority or Mississippi Valley Conservation before proceeding with your landscape project.
City of Ottawa Emap
The City of Ottawa Emap is a digital map of the City which has individual lots marked, provides zoning information and includes several years of aerial photographs. Refer to the City of Ottawa Zoning By-law to find your zone and information pertaining to your location.
While not specifically a By-law, easements are common and can significantly impact your landscaping plans. They provide access to or over your property for utilities located at the back or side of you property or for the purpose of access to adjacent properties with utilities or from neighboring homeowners to have access to their yards. While fences can be built across these easements, gates must be provided and no other landscaping can be completed in these areas that might otherwise obstruct the pathway of which must remain clear for access.