Building & Renovating

Submitting Drawings and Qualified Designers

COVID-19: FAQ for Development Approvals

As the COVID-19 situation in Hamilton continues to evolve, these Frequently Asked Questions for Development Approvals will be regularly updated as circumstances change to provide residents and developers with current information.

Where to find a qualified designer and registered firm?

Most designs for Building Permits not completed by the owner require a designer registered and/or qualified under Division C, Part 3, Section 3.2 of the Ontario Building Code. A designer is anyone who is responsible for the design, which may also include preparing the drawings for submission.

Check with the Building Division to find out if your project requires a qualified designer:
Building Division
Phone: 905-546-2720
Email: [email protected]

Before hiring a designer, you should get three or more quotes. You can verify a designer’s qualifications through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s Public Registry, or at 416-585-6666.

Qualification with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

The Building Code Act requires that a range of individuals and firms responsible for design activities regulated under the Act be qualified in their appropriate area of design and, when required, registered with the Province. Individuals and, in some instances, their firms must file with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to obtain a Building Code Identification Number (BCIN).

The Ministry’s Qualification and Registration Tracking System (QuARTS) includes a public registry of qualified designers and registered firms. For more information, visit the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website.

For certain projects, such as most industrial / commercial / institutional construction, a qualified or registered designer is not sufficient and the drawings must be stamped by an architect, professional engineer or both. Refer to Division C, Section 1.2 of the Building Code for specific requirements, or contact the Building Services department. The seals and signatures of architects and professional engineers are required to be original on at least one set of drawings. Refer to the City of Hamilton permit application requirements for additional information.

Finding a qualified designer and registered firm

There are several resources available to find a qualified designer or registered firm, including local online classified listings and internet searches. The following internet search terms may help you in finding a qualified designer or registered firm:

  • BCIN drafting services
  • BCIN qualified designer
  • BCIN house designer
  • House designer Ontario
  • Registered and qualified designer
  • Registered and qualified designer BCIN
  • Registered design firm
  • Registered drafting services
  • Registered drafting services Hamilton

Note: Ensure all designers are qualified in the area(s) of design that fits your project, and registered where required, with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing – QuARTS (Qualification and Registration Tracking System).

In addition to the internet search, the following Associations and Organizations have listings or contact information for local designers:

Note: Architects licensed through the OAA and professional engineers licensed through the PEO typically do not need to also file with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, however, all other designers are required to.

The City of Hamilton does not specifically endorse any individual designer or organization. This list has been assembled for general information purposes only.