Permits & Inspections

Temporary Use By-law for Temporary Tents

The Temporary Use By-law for Temporary Tents By-law 20-214 (PDF, 35 KB) allows tents for certain commercial and institutional uses, on a temporary basis, to be erected for longer periods of time to accommodate social distancing. All tents – regardless of size – shall comply with the applicable Zoning By-law, the Ontario Fire Code and other applicable laws, including Reopening Ontario Act, 2020.

Tent

A tent is a collapsible shelter of fabric (such as nylon or canvas) stretched and sustained by poles and used as a temporary building.

Examples of a tent, a collapsible shelter of fabric that is being used as a temporary building.

Is a building permit required?
Two or more tents are considered a group of tents if the tents are not more than 3.0 metres apart.

In accordance with the Ontario Building Code, a building permit is not required for a tent or group of tents:

  • not more than 60 square metres in aggregate ground area; and
  • not attached to a building; and
  • constructed more than 3.0 metres from other structures.

All tents – regardless of size – shall comply with the applicable Zoning By-law, the Ontario Fire Code, and applicable laws, including Reopening Ontario Act, 2020.

Accessory building

An accessory building shall mean a structure, whether permanent or temporary, with walls or a roof or part thereof, used or intended to be used for shelter, accommodation or enclosure of persons, pursuant to Section 3, Hamilton Zoning By-law 05-200.

Examples of an accessory building, with walls or a roof intended to be used for shelter, accommodation or people enclosure.

Is a building permit required?
In accordance with the Ontario Building Code, a building permit is not required where the structure does not exceed 10 square metres.

All accessory buildings – regardless of size – shall comply with the applicable Zoning By-law, the Ontario Fire Code, and applicable laws, including Reopening Ontario Act, 2020.

Established outdoor commerical patios

If your establishment has an approved patio and you are planning to add a temporary tent, please contact the Building Division to confirm building permit application requirements, including Zoning By-law restrictions.

Learn more about the building permit process for small businesses

What is reviewed?

Applications for temporary tents are reviewed for compliance with the Zoning By-Law, Ontario Building Code (where a building permit is required), Ontario Fire Code and other applicable laws. These compliances include:

  • Zoning By-law: Proposed locationfor the temporary tent. Setbacks from residential zones, parking, and driveways, etc.
  • Ontario Building Code: Washroom access for patrons, exits, barrier-free accessible requirements (where applicable), occupant load, snow/wind loading, etc.

Outdoor Dining Districts Program

The City of Hamilton’s Outdoor Dining Districts program allows eligible local businesses to establish temporary seasonal patios and seating areas on municipal or private property.

Learn more about the  Outdoor Dining Districts program.