Frequently Asked Questions for Permits - NVCA

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Updated business hours for NVCA's Administration Office: ​ ​
Monday - Friday from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, close​d daily from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


​NVCA staff are pleased to meet with you to discuss any work you have planned. To discuss your proposal, please start by completing our
online property inquiry form. You can also email​​with your specific questions. ​

NVCA also offers walk in service for residents to speak to our regulations staff about your property. We recommend coming in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as our regulations staff has blocked off time to answer all your questions about the NVCA permit process.

During your meeting, staff will review our mapping to see if your property is regulated by NVCA, and whether or not a permit is required from the authority. NVCA encourages pre-consultation prior to making any permit applications.

​​Frequently Asked Questions for Permits​

Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the permit process.​​

What is involved in the permit review?

Our regulations staff work with property owners to ensure developments meet legislation and NVCA guidelines. We will work together to ensure your project is safe from river flooding, erosion and doesn't affect wetlands, the Georgian Bay shoreline or our environment.

​In rare cases where projects may not meet NVCA's guidelines, a hearing may be held before the NVCA board to determine if the permit can be issued. 

Can I make changes to my permit?

​Permits can be amended by obtaining a permit amendment through the NVCA. Amendments can only be made once per application. The amended permit is valid through the original permit approval date.

The following items must be included to qualify for a permit amendment:

  • A new permit application form.
  • The plans and documents detailing the work being amended.
  • Note that property ownership must be the same as per the previously approved permit.
  • Digital photo(s) taken with a phone or camera showing the current conditions of the development location.
  • Permit amendment fee (see fee schedule). Payment can be made over the phone by calling our front desk staff at 705-424-1479 with credit card, in person with credit card, cheque, debit or cash, or by mail with a cheque. Please ensure your application form is submitted prior to or at the same time as making a payment.

Are other permits required?

Your projects must also comply with your local municipal by-laws and Official Plan. For more information, please contact your local municipality.

If your property is located in the Niagara Escarpment jurisdiction, you must obtain proper approvals from the Niagara Escarpment Commission prior to applying for a permit from NVCA.​

Approval from NVCA does not replace building permits or any other permits required by municipalities or other agencies such as the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC). It is your responsibility as the property owner or authorized agent to determine any other relevant approval or permission. Below are some agencies you may need to contact do get the proper permits for your project.

  • Your projects must comply with your local municipal bylaws and Official Plan. For more information, please contact your local municipality.
  • If your property is located in the Niagara Escarpment jurisdiction, you must obtain proper approvals from the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) prior to applying for a permit from the NVCA. Visit the NEC website for more information.
  • For residents applying for permits along the Georgian Bay shoreline, you may also need permits from, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNRF), and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). Residents bordering Wasaga Beach Provincial Park (including beach) must apply for an Ontario Parks work permit through the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) before commencing shoreline works along provincial park beaches.

​Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF)
Midhurst District (Zones 10, 11, 14, 15, 16)
Midhurst MNRF Office: 705-725-7500
Owen Sound MNRF Office: 519-376-3860

Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP)
Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP)
Ontario Parks, Southwest Zone Office: 519-873-4001​

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

Fish and Fish Habitat Protection Program
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
867 Lakeshore Rd
Burlington ON L7S 1A1​
Telephone: 1-855-852-8320

What if I am not the owner of the property?

If you are applying for a permit on behalf of the property owner, complete the Landowner Authorization Form (included in the application package) and submit it with the completed application form and supporting information.

I'm looking to buy a property that may fall within the NVCA’s regulated area. How do I find out if the property is regulated by the NVCA?

NVCA provides current owners and potential buyers or lawyers and real estate agents acting on their behalf with information on stating whether or not a property is likely to be affected by NVCA policies and regulations.

To see if the property you are interested in is regulated, start by:

  • Checking to see if the  property is regulated - Search for the property on NVCA's property map to see if you are in an area where a permit is required. You may require a permit if some or all of your property is in the regulated area.
  • Submitting a property inquiry - Complete our online property inquiry form to get more information about if the property and project may require a permit from NVCA. You can also call or visit the NVCA office during regular business hours.
  • If a permit is required, you must complete the agent section on the NVCA application form, and ask the current owner to fill out the owner section.
  • Complete pages 4 and 6 of the application
  • The permit is only valid with a Land Transfer Agreement​

I’m a solicitor looking for information on a property for a client. What information do you need to process my request?

To process a solicitor realty property inquiry, we require the following:

  1. Request Letter – Please state information required. This would include: Regulatory control and compliance under Ontario Regulation 172/06 (Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses) pursuant to Section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act, and other environmental designations search.

    Record of any outstanding directives, orders or notices of any unresolved breach of environmental regulations. Please include an email address on the letter as responses are sent by email.

  2. Property Survey in its entirety that clearly depicts the geographic location and the extent of the property, with the property in question highlighted. In lieu of a survey, a Property Index Map (PIN) of Reference Plan with the property outlines, including the Property Assessment Roll Number is sufficient.
  3. Payment of Fee - See fee schedule.

    You can submit this information by email or email:

    ​Submission by E-mail
    Email address:

    ​Submission by Mail or Courier
    ​Mailing Address: 8195 8th Line Utopia, ON L0M 1T0 Please include all materials in package. Cheque(s) should be made payable to Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority.

    ​Please include items 1 and 2. Payment can be made over the phone by contacting our reception desk at 705-424-1479 when paying with credit card. Do not send credit card information via email. Note: It takes 14 business days for staff to respond to complete requests. Requests are dealt with on a first-come, first-serve basis.

What happens if I work on my project without an NVCA permit?

If you don't get a permit and one was required, you will be in violation of the Conservation Authorities Act. Conviction can result in fines of $10,000 and possible jail time. You may also be required to restore and rehabilitate the site to its original condition.​

Is the permit process complicated?

It depends on your property and project and whether or not we have recieved all the necessary information to review your file.

Depending on the complexity of your project, our regulations staff may send your file to be reviewed by our engineers or ecologists.

If there are any concerns, they will comment on your submission and send it to you and your agents (authorized representitives). This process will continue until all concerns are resolved.

Get started by booknig a pre-consultation with us at​​

What are NVCA's responsibilities?

​NVCA is responsible for directing development outside of natural hazards such as floodplains, steep slopes, dynamic beaches and other hazardous lands to protect public safety. 

We also ensure development does not impact sensitive environmental areas such as wetlands, shorelines and watercourses.