Records held by municipal governments are regulated by the provincial Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) and the City of Toronto Act. MFIPPA states that, in general, the public has a right to see most of these records, and can get copies of them (fees for photocopying may apply – see submitting a request section).
MFIPPA provides for specific exemptions from the general right of access, such as:
- personal information about an identifiable individual, and
- records, the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to endanger the security of a building.
Routine disclosure of building plans (viewing and copying) of wholly residential buildings submitted after December 31, 2006, is permitted between the 22nd day following the permit application date and three months following the closing of the relevant permit file by the building inspector, where no objection to disclosure has been received by Toronto Building.
If as the owner, the management company responsible for the building, or the permit applicant, you feel there may be a security risk by allowing the public access to your plans and you do not want your building plans to be disclosed by Toronto Building through the Routine Disclosure Policy described above, please submit a letter outlining the reasons for your objections by Registered Mail within 21 days of the application date.
Routine disclosure of building plans for uses other than residential and for residential buildings not meeting the criteria above is permitted to requesters who can confirm they are: an owner of the property, a director of the management company responsible for the building on behalf of the property owner, a person who has written consent from one of the above, City Councillors and their staff, or an officer of certain agencies. For City-owned buildings, authorization is required from the director of Facilities and Real Estate.
Routine disclosure of site plans, surveys and drain plans of any building and all building plans related to signs shall be provided without the consent of the property owner or property manager.
Requests for building records not routinely disclosed by Toronto Building are to be submitted directly to the Corporate Information Management Services (CIMS) office.
Submitting a Request for Routine Disclosure
- Requests for routine disclosure are to be submitted to any district office or by email using the Application for Routine Disclosure. Separate applications are required to be submitted for each property.
- Application fees shall be as set out in Municipal Code, Chapter 441, Appendix C and are applicable only when Toronto Building has determined the requested records are available.
- Requesters will be encouraged to view the records in advance of copying to identify the specific records for which copies are desired.
- When the building records requested are large in size and/or numerous, the records will be picked up and copied by a third-party printing company, and the requester will be instructed to deal directly with the company regarding pick-up/delivery and payment. The third-party printing company will return the original records to the Toronto Building district office.
- The fees for photocopying small building records (8.5” x 11.0”) or (11.0” x 17.0”) shall be $0.51 per page and $5.00 for each microfiche/microfilm print when printed in-house. Where copying fees total less than $2.50, they will be waived. HST is applicable to photocopy charges.
- Toronto Building will endeavor to process requests within 30 days after the application is received. The request will be deemed abandoned and the file closed if no steps are taken by the requester to view or obtain copies of the building records within 30 days of being notified that the search for records has been completed.