Do I Need Permission for Installing an Awning?

You’ve decided to add an awning over your patio or deck to extend your living area and provide you with some much needed shade from the summer sun’s heat beating down on you. In making this great decision to install this practical and attractive addition to your existing home structure, you may be wondering if you need permission for installing an awning.

approved awning


For those folks living in townhouses, condos or business owners with a storefront, the same question might be popping into your mind. Here are some simple rules and clarification on the issue so that you can feel comfortable taking the right course of action.

General Practice

Generally speaking, awnings installed on residential homes do not need permits, unless of course there is going to be a major overhang on your neighbour’s property.  You should inquire about the bylaws in your community.  Commercial properties usually require a permit because they extend over public areas. There could be safety issues which must be addressed ahead of time.

Residential Awnings

Planning regulations usually stipulate that if you aren’t creating a usable space then you don’t need permission. Even though the awning is offering you more useable space because it provides protection from the beating sun, the attachment to the existing building is a cover for an already built deck or patio area. The only exception to this rule for a residential awning is that the awning extends over or encroaches on your neighbour’s boundary. This could also include any rain that might potentially run off into your neighbour’s property.

Commercial Awnings

Most often, a commercial business will require a permit to install an awning. They will need full planning permission to erect an awning on their property. The permit is required for high street buildings like shops or cafés where the awning would extend over the pavement and pedestrians. Each municipality will have varying regulations regarding the health and safety when members of the public use the property.

If your existing awning needs replacement due to weather age or damage, you do not need a new permit provided the replacement is like-for-like; otherwise, a new permit is required.

Many commercial properties will feature branding and logos on their awnings. Since the canopy is conveying an advertisement message and viewed by the public, there may be guidelines that usually fall under advertising regulation by the relevant authority.

Condo & Townhouse Awnings

Owners of a condo, or townhouse that connects to other townhouses, will need board approval for an awning. The rationale for this requirement is that the awning may detract from the appearance of the condo, plus there is the cost, maintenance or replacement of the awning that becomes a common expense shared by all owners. Some associations will allow you to install an awning at your own expense provided that it does not detract from the appearance of the condo/townhouse.

Before any owner considers making an addition, alteration or improvement to their condo they must refer to Section 98 of the Condominium Act of Ontario. A letter should be written to the board of directors outlining the size, colour and material of the awning you have in mind, including a photo, name of the insured company and company completing the installation.

Once you’ve gotten your permit, or if you decided to install an awning and don’t need a permit, next step is to choose a great quality awning that’s durable and have it installed by experts. At Jans Awning Products we pride ourselves on the quality of products we carry, as well as the service and craftsmanship our experts provide. Contact us today and our team will help you get started on your new awning project. We service Oakville, Hamilton and Burlington for Awnings.