Hot tubs, pools & ponds

Outdoor hot tubs, swimming pools and ponds.

Step 1: Review the rules and fees for your project

When is a permit required?

Typically, any hot tub, pool, or similar project requires a permit if it could contain a maximum amount of water that exceeds 0.6m (2’-0”).

In most situations, your project will only require a building safety approval (building permit) and an electrical permit. If your design or location does not meet land use bylaw specifications you will also require planning approval (development permit).


​Planning Approval - Development Permit (prior to construction) ​Permit fee ​Advertising fee ​Development Completion Inspection ​Total
Planning Approval - Development Permit (prior to construction): Proposed land use bylaw relaxation for a hot tub, pool, or pond
Permit fee: ​$365 Advertising fee: ​$30 Development Completion Inspection: ​$155 Total: ​​$550

See the planning applications fee schedule​ for a complete list of planning application fees.

Building Safety Approval - Building Permit ​Permit fee Safety Codes Council Fee (4%) ​Total
Building Safety Approval - Building Permit: New Hot Tub
Permit fee: $​198
Safety Codes Council Fee (4%): ​$7.92 Total: ​​$205.92​
Building Safety Approval - Building Permit: ​New Pool Permit fee: ​$​198 Safety Codes Council Fee (4%): ​​$7.92 Total: $205.92​
Building Safety Approval - Building Permit: ​New Pond Permit fee: ​$​198 Safety Codes Council Fee (4%): ​​$7.92 Total: ​$205.92​
Building Safety Approval - Building Permit: ​Renovation to an existing hot tub, pool, or pond Permit fee: ​$​198 Safety Codes Council Fee (4%): ​​$7.92 Total: ​$205.92​

See the building permit fee schedule for a complete list of building permt application fees.


Hot tubs and swimming pools

Hot tubs and swimming pools are required to be 1.2 m from side and rear property lines and may not be located in the actual front setback without a development permit.

There can be no wires over a hot tub, unless it is covered by an overhead structure. Any existing overhead wiring is required to be clear of any hot tub or swimming pool 5.0 m vertically and 5.0 m horizontally.

hot tub sample drawing


Hot tubs on a deck/patio

If a hot tub is supported by a structure that elevates the floor of the hot tub above grade, such as a deck or patio, an engineer’s stamp is required, regardless of the height of the structure.

Hot tubs in a gazebo

If you’re putting your hot tub in a gazebo that is more than 10 m2, or if the height of the gazebo floor is more than 0.6 m above ground level, the gazebo must have its own approved building permit.

If you plan to enclose a hot tub in a covered structure, such as a gazebo, accessory residential building rules will apply. Any covered structure over 10 m2 in floor area will require a building permit. Any covered structure with a finished floor 0.6 m or more above grade will require an approved development permit.


Building code requirements for swimming pools and hot tubs

As per National Building Code (Alberta Edition), the water depth of a hot tub should not exceed 1.2 m measured from the hot tub floor to the water surface. The depth of water to a seat or bench in a whirlpool must not exceed 0.6 m.

Please review locking covers and fence and gate requirements for pool and hot tub building code standards. Please note that all permanently installed hot tubs and swimming pools must be wired by a qualified electrical contractor.

Please contact the Technical Assistance Centre for code-related inquiries about:

  • Building
  • Plumbing
  • Gas
  • Electrical
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning
  • Construction methods
  • Building safety
  • Fire regulations

For all other inquiries (i.e. Land Use Bylaw), please contact our Planning Services Centre.

Locking covers for hot tubs

Division B of the 2014 Alberta Building Code

A fence and gate are not required for a single family dwelling, outdoor hot tub provided:

  1. The hot tub includes a cover that:
    • has been designed and constructed in conformance with ASTM F 1346, “Safety Covers and Labeling Requirements for All Covers for Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs,” and
    • is provided with lockable devices to prevent access to the water by unauthorized persons.

Fence and gate requirements

Division B of the 2014 Alberta Building Code

  1. The entire area of an outdoor swimming pool must be protected by a fence, building wall or enclosure to prevent unauthorized access, and its height above grade must be a minimum of:
    • 1.8 m for a private swimming pool; and
    • 2.4 m for all other swimming pools

      A fence is not required for a swimming pool / hot tub if it:
    • is provided with a cover that has been designed and constructed in conformance with ASTM F 1346, “Safety Covers and Labeling Requirements for All Covers for Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs,” and
    • is provided with lockable devices to prevent access to the water by unauthorized persons.
  2. Access through a fence shall be protected by a gate that is:
    • the same height as the fence;
    • equipped with a self-closing device;
    • equipped with a self-latching device installed at least 1.5 m above grade inside the gate; and
    • lockable.
  3. The fence and gate shall be constructed:
    • so that all horizontal and diagonal support boards face the swimming pool side so the fence cannot be easily climbed, and
    • to prevent objects greater than 100 mm from passing through the fence boards.
  4. Barbed wire cannot be used on or as a fence or gate.
  5. Electric fencing and/or gates are not permitted.
  6. A fence is not required around any portion of an above-ground outdoor private swimming pool if the top of the pool’s outside wall is at least 1.8 m above grade and is constructed so that the only access point is through a gate.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the work being carried out conforms to any restrictive covenants, caveats or other restrictions that are registered on the land title.

Step 2: Prepare your application

  • Use the Pool, hot tub and pond permit checklist to determine the application and drawing requirements for your project.
  • For online applications, review the criteria for information on how to organize your plans and documents
  • Complete plans and collect supporting documents. Review the sample drawings if needed.
Note: you will also have to provide a copy of the manufacturer’s installation specifications.

Sample drawing

You can use these sample drawings as a reference while preparing your application


Hot tub site plan

Step 3: Apply

In order to get started, create a myID account.

​​​​Create a myID account​​

Businesses can register for a myID business account. A business account is intended for myID services to be submitted on behalf of a business or organization. Please follow the steps outlined on the myID business account page.

In person
Once you have gathered all required documents, you can apply for your permit in person by visiting the Planning Services Centre. To skip the line, book an appointment.

Step 4: Inspections and managing your permit application

Planning Services Centre

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:15p.m. (MT)

Live chat:


3rd floor, Municipal building
800 Macleod Trail SE

Click before you dig

Always contact Utility Safety Partners before you dig. Submit a locate request online or call 1-800-242-3447 for more information.


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. ​