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Planning, Property & Development

Occupancy Permits

Learn about occupancy permit requirements, the application process, life safety tests, and associated fees.

A Building Occupancy Permit is a mechanism used by the City of Winnipeg to assist in establishing and maintaining control over building standards. Occupancy permits provide permission to occupy commercial spaces, which are defined as buildings or parts of buildings other than single family dwellings, two family dwellings or multi-family dwellings without shared exits. As a public document, an occupancy permit also indicates to the general public the terms and nature of the occupancy permission. All new commercial occupants/tenants require an Occupancy Permit, whether construction takes place or not.

Please refer to the Building Occupancy Permits Guide and Requirements for Occupancy Permits for additional details.

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existing occupancy permit

Permits Online

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When is a Building Occupancy Permit Required?
  1. When there is a  new occupant/tenant
    • has completed construction and is ready to move into their recently renovated space. An Occupancy Permit is required prior to occupying, or moving loose furniture and personal items into the premises.
    • does not undertake construction. In this case, the new occupant / tenant requires an Occupy Only permit. Read more about Occupy Only permits.

  2. When an existing occupant/tenant:
    • has to vacate the entire building, floor, wing, or unit to accommodate alterations, or where in the opinion of the Authority Having Jurisdiction, the alterations are significant enough to warrant one
    • is relocating or expanding their unit within a building
    • wishes to increase the occupant load of the occupied space

  3. When a building owner is constructing a new building or addition
    • an Occupancy Permit is required prior to occupying, or moving loose furniture and personal items into the premises.

  4. Note: A final Base Building Occupancy Permit must be issued prior to the issuance of any individual Tenant Occupancy Permits.When there is a change of use
Application Process
  1. Apply for a Building Permit / Occupy Only Permit
  2. Pay Permit Fees
    • You will receive an invoice during your meeting with the Permit Technician. Fees are payable at this time.

  3. Your Building Permit is Under Review
    • Determination is made if a Life Safety Test is required. See Life Safety Checklist.
    • Register for Permits Online to track your permit process. You will receive an email with registration information.
    • You will be contacted if we require additional information and your permit review will be put on hold until the required information is received.

  4. Your Building Permit is Ready for Pickup
    • You will be notified when your permit is ready for pickup. Additional fees may be due at this time.
  1. Apply for your Building Occupancy Permit
    • Download the Occupancy Request Form
    • When should you apply for Occupancy?
      1. When all construction work is substantially complete and all required professional certification letters, test reports, and shop drawings (if applicable) have been submitted or
      2. When you are applying for an Occupy Only permit
    • How to submit your Occupancy Request Form:
      1. By email:
      2. In person (if you do not have email): 4th floor, 65 Garry Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

  2. Schedule Inspections
    • You will receive an email from the Occupancy office with instructions for scheduling occupancy related inspections. You are responsible for contacting inspectors directly.  
    • Required Disciplines (Building, Mechanical, Electrical, and/or Fire Department) will assess the space and submit a report to the Occupancy Office. The office will contact you with a written decision regarding one of the following scenarios:
      1. Occupancy is approved on an interim basis.
      2. Occupancy is issued as a final approval.
      3. Deficiencies of a more serious nature will result in a denial letter, requiring identified issues to be remedied and another inspection scheduled.

  3. Receive your Occupancy Permit
    • You will receive your Occupancy Permit via email when you pass all inspections and any outstanding fees have been paid in full.
  • Permit processing times vary depending on the complexity of the project and the current influx of applications.
  • Tips for Faster Permit Approval
    • Provide a complete and accurate application package
    • Apply during the slower season (December through February)
Professional Certifications
Other Types of Occupancy Permits
Contact us - We're Here to Help!
  • Email:
  • Phone: 204-986-5136
  • Business Hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday
  • Location:
    4th Floor, 65 Garry Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
    Occupancy Office, Development and Inspections Division
    City of Winnipeg
Last update: June 6, 2018