Building permits

As the agency responsible for the stewardship of all federal lands and waters that make up the port, the port authority issues building and occupancy permits for any new structures proposed within our jurisdiction. This responsibility stems from the Canada Marine Act, which requires us as a port authority to ensure all maintenance and building that happens in our jurisdiction meet applicable standards and minimizes environmental and community impacts.

Are you looking to apply for a building or occupancy permit for a project on port land?


Please review the following resources:

If you have any questions or need more information about our building permit process, please contact our project and environmental review department at 604.665.9047 or email [email protected].

Before issuing these permits, we work with contracted building code consultants and review design drawings to help ensure that the development taking place on port land is safe and follows professional standards, meeting the 2020 National Building Code of Canada and the 2020 National Fire Code of Canada. For projects that include new buildings or require modifications to existing buildings, a port authority issued building permit may be required in addition to a project permit issued through our Project and Environmental Review process.

Port authority-issued building permits are generally required for:

  • New building construction
  • Changes of building use
  • Additions and renovations
  • Structural modifications
  • Interior renovations
  • Temporary buildings and/or structures on port property

There are some exceptions, including works not regulated by the 2020 National Building Code of Canada, and certain in-water works such as:

  • Floating docks or piers
  • Mooring dolphins and pilings

Construction of structures that require a building permit must not begin until the building permit is issued. Similarly, structures cannot be occupied until the occupancy permit has been issued. If a project and environmental review is required, a building permit application can be initiated, but the permit will not be issued until a project permit has been approved.