Designated Structures

Depending on the nature of the project, inspectors may visit a building site several times to conduct inspections.

Under the Ontario Building Code, the person who is issued a permit is required to provide notification to the Building Standards department when various stages of construction are ready to be inspected. To ensure work is carried out in accordance with reviewed drawings and to the Ontario Building Code, several inspections are required.


Preliminary meetings: These may be requested by the permit holder or, in some cases, may be required by the building inspector. Preliminary meetings provide an opportunity to discuss the project before the start of construction. These meetings can be scheduled with the Building Standards department.


Not all stages of inspection will apply to every project. Please call the Building Standards department to clarify which stages of construction require inspections.


Inspection categories

Retaining walls

Under the Ontario Building Code, retaining walls are considered a designated structure when the retaining wall exceeds one metre (about 3.2 feet) in exposed height adjacent to:

  • Public property
  • Access to a building
  • Private property to which the public is admitted

Ground-mounted signs

Excavation/footing: An inspection is required before pouring concrete. At this point, excavation is complete, footing forms are installed and the ground within the forms is not frozen, and free from standing water, mud and loose materials.


Backfill/foundation: An inspection is required before backfilling.


Structural framing: For signs, all structural framing of the sign is complete before installation of facing materials.


Final inspection: All construction is complete, including grading.


Wall-mounted signs

Structural framing: All structural framing and anchorage of the sign is complete before installation of facing materials.


Final inspection: All construction is complete, including installation of facing materials.


Solar roof panels

This inspection category applies to small, large and complex buildings.


Final inspection/exterior: Structural work is completed. An engineer’s report demonstrating that the solar roof panels and the existing supporting structure have been designed and installed to have sufficient structural capacity and structural integrity, and that the requirements of Division B, Part 4 of the Ontario Building Code have been satisfied. The report must also include verification that the roof assembly’s protective materials will continue to shed precipitation and prevent entry into the roof or solar panel.


Read more about how to schedule an inspection for a construction project.