Non-residential Interior Alterations

A guide to preparing your non-residential interior alterations building permit application.

Non-residential interior alterations, also known as a tenant fit-out, are considered any change occurring inside the unit such as wall removals, adding partitions, modifying mechanical, plumbing and/or life safety (fire alarm, sprinkler system and/or kitchen suppression system), or modifications to the entrance. Typically, permits are not required for replacing existing millwork, faucets, sinks and toilets or for cosmetic changes to surfaces of a decorative nature like flooring, trim work and painting.

If changing the use or occupancy of the space, a zoning certificate of occupancy is required.

Project preparation

Detailed information is required to properly evaluate your plans and the unique conditions of your unit:

Before you get started, consult the Zoning By-law to ensure your proposed plans for the unit are permitted under the Town of Oakville's zoning by-laws which regulate the use, shape and location of buildings on properties. or contact us at 905-845-6601 ext. 3955.

Anytime there is a change of use for the building or unit, a Zoning Certificate of Occupancy is required. You may also require this certificate to obtain a business licence.

If you are a new owner or tenant moving into a space or if a change of use is occurring, development charges for the Region of Halton may apply. A non-residential development charge form (pdf) will need to be submitted so the region can review the scope of work and determine if charges are applicable. Development charges must be paid prior to building permit issuance. For more information on development charges, including current rates, please visit the development charges page.

If your project is deemed to be substantial redevelopment, then Planning approval is required from the town. If you are opening a daycare centre, site plan approval may be required. Learn more at planning applications or contact

In certain instances, approvals from additional agencies are required.

  • Business owners or operators are required to notify Halton Region Public Health when they are planning to open to the public, reopen (seasonal), undergo renovations or change in operation and/or services provided to the public including food premises, personal services setting, class A&B pools and tobacco/vapour product retailers. For more information visit Halton Region Public Health Notification of Business Opening, Reopening & Renovation.
  • If your project changes the use of the building or unit to a more sensitive use, you will need to provide a record of site condition from the Ministry of the Environment. An example, of a change to more sensitive use is proposing a daycare centre in a former industrial unit.  
  • If your project is for a daycare centre, Montessori school or private school you will need to provide a letter of approval from the Ministry of Education.
  • If your project is for a long-term care facility, you will need to provide a letter of approval from the Ministry of Long-Term Care.

Other considerations

Demolition activities may be eligible  for a reduction in property tax assessment under Section 357 of the Municipal Act which provides municipalities with the authority to cancel, reduce or refund taxes based on specific criteria.  If you think you are eligible to apply for a property tax adjustment please complete the Application for Cancellation/ Reduction/Refund of Taxes under Section 357 form (pdf) and send to

Deadline for submission is the last day of February, the year following the issuance of a demolition permit. 

A $20.00 fee will apply. Learn more about property tax assessments.