Demolition permit: A form of building permit to demolish or move a building from a site. This process ensures that the services have been disconnected prior to demolition and that the site is safe during and after demolition.
Before you start
If there is an existing house on site, a demolition permit must be applied for prior to the acceptance of a single construction permit application. If you are proposing interior demolition, please refer to calgary.ca/homeimprovement.
When is a demolition permit required?
A demolition permit is required whenever you are demolishing or moving a building from a site. This can include partial demolition as well as reducing a house to foundation and rebuilding.
Risks when a permit is not obtained
If you, as a homeowner or contractor, do not have permits for work that has been started or completed, there could be consequences if you do not take action to correct the situation, such as:
- Enforcement action issued by a city inspector.
- A fine for building without a permit.
- Having to undo work that has been completed.
- Future legal and financial issues when selling your property or making an insurance claim.
- Having to do more work than was originally planned and budgeted.
Note: As a homeowner, you are responsible for paying any penalties, even if you hired a contractor who assured you permits were not needed. If you're unsure if you need a permit, call the Planning Services Centre at 403-268-5311. Find out if your contractor has a City of Calgary business license with our Licensed Trade Contractor List.
We’re committed to providing you with a timely response on your permit application.
Once the demolition permit has been applied for, the permit issuance will depend on the applicant returning with the completed service disconnection form. Once received and verified, the permit will be issued to begin demolition. The time it takes to complete the disconnection sign-offs depends on the response time from each utility provider.
Bylaw and code considerations
Asbestos abatement requirements
As a part of the demolition application, the applicant must submit the asbestos abatement form prior to starting demolition. At the pre-demolition inspection, a report must be provided to the building inspector which verifies:
- the asbestos has been abated by a professional company, or
- the building has been inspected by a professional company and there are no signs of asbestos
Note: If the house was built in or after 1982, the applicant will not be required to provide a report for asbestos testing, and in turn will not require a pre-demolition inspection. If you are unsure of when the original house was constructed, the Planning Services Centre can assist you during time of application.
Tree protection policy
Tree protection during demolition is important, as often times injured trees will not show signs of decline until as late as 10 years after the damage. A tree protection plan is required when a public tree is within six meters of the demolition.
For more information about tree protection plans, visit calgary.ca/treeprotection.
Construction site contact information sign
Construction site contact information signs are provided with the issuance of a demolition permit and are required to be attached to the security fencing and visible from the street. They must be posted any time a construction activity, including demolition, possesses a potential hazard to the public. The owner of the property is required to provide measures to safeguard the public. For information on construction site fencing, please refer to the Construction Site Fencing advisory.
The inspection for a building demolition must be made through 311 at least 24 hours prior to commencing demolition. Failure to notify may result in a Stop Work Order or enforcement action. This inspection ensures the site is safe prior to demolition and hazardous materials (asbestos) have been removed safely; documentation must be provided as proof. For clarification on the safety code requirements, please contact our Technical Assistance Centre through 311.
Moving a building
Moving a building requires a demolition permit and follows the same demolition process to have services disconnected.
Note: Even if the services have previously been disconnected, a permit is still required. This is to confirm the services are disconnected and to ensure site safety (e.g., open foundation is fenced off, etc).
In addition, if the house is being relocated within the city limits, it will require a building permit for the new location and may require a development permit.
Building movers are required to obtain a permit from City of Calgary Roads when moving a building on a city street.
Moving an accessory residential building that does not have any services does not require a demolition permit, but the building mover still requires a permit from City of Calgary Roads.
Shutting off services only; no demolition planned
Doing work to a building that requires shut-offs with no demolition planned requires calling each individual utility provider to ask for their services to be disconnected. If only the services will be shut off, no demolition permit is required.
Demolishing a detached garage
Detached residential garages and accessory residential buildings
A demolition permit is required for detached residential garages and accessory residential buildings that are over 10 square metres and meet any of the following conditions:
- The garage or accessory building is independently serviced.
- The garage or accessory building has the primary utility meters/connections for the residence.
A demolition permit is not required for detached residential garages and accessory residential building that meet any of the following conditions:
- The garage or accessory building has no utility services.
- The garage or accessory building will be demolished and replaced with another garage or accessory building (the demolition of the existing structure is included in the permit for the new structure).
If you are demolishing a detached residential garage and not replacing it with another garage, contact Property Assessment at (403) 268-2888.
All demolition and moving applications require review from a heritage planner. This review will occur after the application has been submitted and must be approved prior to being released.
These instructions are provided as a guide to obtaining a demolition permit. For specific questions regarding the various utilities' procedures and applicable fees, please contact that particular utility office.
Removing a building affects the property assessment and, as a result, the property taxes. All buildings over 10 square metres that will be removed at the time of demolition must be included on the site plan and in the demolition area calculations.
Step 1: Apply for the demolition permit
Apply for the demolition permit at The City of Calgary Planning Services Centre. The demolition permit requirement list outlines the items required at the time of application. At the time of application, you will receive the Service Disconnection Request - Demolition/Removal of Buildings form.
Step 2: Utility disconnection
Determine which utilities will be disconnected. For each utility (water, electrical, gas), a separate approval signature is required.
You must email the demolition address, a contact name and a phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be emailed a service kill quote. This deposit must be paid by cheque to the City Cashiers, Municipal Building, 3rd floor, 800 Macleod Trail S.E.
Once payment has been made, an appointment to meet The City's representative on-site can be made by contacting 311. Once water shut-off has been confirmed, The City's representative will sign the service disconnection request form.
The following conditions must be met to obtain sign off:
- The water meter must be removed
On the appointment date, customers are expected to be present on site to allow the meter service representative to access the property. If an appointment is missed, customers must reschedule. If the meter on the property cannot be removed due to unexpected conditions, such as an inoperable valve or unstable building conditions, the status of the water meter must be reported to meter clerks by contacting 311.
- The service valve must be shut off
If a service valve does not work, please be specific with the condition of the valve when the information is reported to meter clerks. The City's construction services are going to need this information to have the necessary support crew (hydrovac and machine crew) out to repair the service valve.
The crimp procedure is available to owners and contractors to proceed with their demolition permit process. When a service valve requires repair or service disconnection by construction services, it may take additional time to be completed. If an owner or contractor does not want to depend on The City to repair their service valve, they can choose to crimp their water line.
To initiate the crimp procedure, the owner must sign an acknowledgment of risk form. This form does not allow for the applicant to obtain the demolition permit. Customers must then arrange for an inspection of the crimped water line with an estimator from Water Services, by sending an email to email@example.com. After the inspection has been passed, the estimator will sign off the demolition disconnect form. We recommend you provide estimators a minimum of 24 hours notice for inspection.
- Water lines should be removed/shut off prior to gas and electrical lines being removed/shut off. This will help to avoid any risk of damage due to frozen water lines.
- Water lines will only be shut off if the client is present at the site when the work is done.
Water and Sewer Service Connection
The portion of your water and sewer service connection located on City property (within the street or lane) can maintain existing services for minor renovations. For infill housing and major renovations, existing services may be re-used if the services meet all requirements and guidelines. For more information on eligibility and how to apply, visit calgary.ca/waterreuse.
You must visit one of the ATCO Gas locations listed below to make an application for removal. The removal may take from 10 to 14 days to complete. The disconnect has to be completed before an ATCO Gas representative can sign the demolition/removal form.
- Crowfoot Operations Centre, 500 Crowfoot Crescent N.W. - 403-245-7070
- Midnapore Operations Centre, 383 Midpark Boulevard S.E. - 403-254-6200
- Whitehorn Operations Centre, 3055 37 Avenue N.E. - 403-219-8600
- Contact your retailer to request a permanent service disconnect. Refer to your electrical bill for retailer contact information. They will arrange for the update to your account and will generate a service order to have your services permanently removed.
- After the service has been disconnected, scan and email the service disconnection form to SOC2@enmax.com for authorized sign off. For additional information, phone 403-514-2807.
Waste and recycling
If you have a blue recycling or a black waste collection cart, the cart must be empty and available to be picked up on the same date as your scheduled water service disconnect appointment.
Cable television and telephone
Remember to contact your cable and telephone providers to have these services disconnected prior to demolition.
Step 3: Permit issuance
Return to the Planning Services Centre with the completed, signed service disconnection request form for processing and issuance of the permit. You cannot demolish or move the building until the permit has been issued.
Step 4: Demolition Inspection
Once you've received your demolition permit, you must schedule a demolition through 311 at least 24 hours prior to commencing demolition.
What documents do I need?
Demolition permit requirement list
Call before you dig
Always call Alberta One Call before you dig: 1-800-242-3447. For more information or to submit a locate request, visit Alberta One-Call.
Disclaimer: This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically.