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Farm owners are responsible for obtaining a building permit for all agricultural construction projects, including manure storage facilities, grain bins and silos, along with all other farm structures. Whether building new or modifying an existing farm building, you must consider building code regulations. Farm building construction in Ontario is primarily regulated by the Ontario Building Code, 2006. Planning is critical in the process of constructing a farm building. The Canada Plan Services site offers draft plans for a number of farm structures and explains their key components.

Municipal building officials are enforcing farm building construction to a larger degree.

It is important to know what the building inspector expects from you. Anticipate that you will be asked to comply with regulations pertaining to the following:

  • Ontario Building Code
  • National Farm Building Code of Canada
  • Nutrient Management Act
  • Lightning Rods Act
  • Gasoline Handling Act
  • Pesticides Act
  • municipal zoning bylaws
  • siting of livestock buildings and manure storage structures using Minimum Distance Separation formula.
  • various other codes in effect
Always allow extra time in advance of your starting date to ensure that the requirements have all been met.

Farmstead Planning

When planning a new building or adding to an existing farmstead, you must consider such things as:
  • site drainage
  • services (lanes, power, water supply, waste disposal)
  • security
  • space allowance for future expansion
  • separation distances for snow and wind control, ventilation and disease control
  • distance separation from residences for control of noise and odours
  • municipal regulations
  • distance to wells, surface water, catch basins

Do you know about Ontario's Nutrient Management Act?

For structures that store nutrient materials, Ontario Regulation 267/03 of the Nutrient Management Act, 2002, establishes mandatory construction protocols to follow. The provincial Nutrient Management Act (NMA) and the Regulation 267/03 regulates the storage, handling and application of nutrients that could be applied to agricultural crop land. The objective is to protect Ontario's surface and groundwater resources. Please consult the regulation and protocols for the specific legal details.
For more information on the NMA call the Nutrient Management Information Line
at 1-866-242-4460, e-mail

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