Town of Canmore

Planning & Development

COVID-19 Update:  Staff within the Planning & Development will continue to work remotely until further notice. 

Please note that Building Plans Requests are being temporarily suspended until the middle of February, while our archival information undergoes the process of being digitized.

Due to current staffing capacity, permit volumes and the implementation of some IT improvements, we are experiencing delays in the review of development permit applications. After receipt of payment, it may be up to two weeks before a Planner is able to begin the review of your application. Please factor this into your construction scheduling expectations. Once your file is assigned, the applicable file manager will reach out to you to provide you with an update on review timelines. We thank you for your patience during this time.

Currently, we are processing applications that were submitted on April 12, 2021.
*This timeline is updated daily at 4 P.M. Monday - Friday 

Welcome to the Town of Canmore Planning Department - what are you looking for today?

What is the zoning of my property?
To find out what land use district your property is located within, please use our Online Property Information Tool and follow the instructions below:
On the “Layer List” found on the right of your screen, click “Land Use Districts”
Type the address of the property in the search bar at the top
The red letters within the thick black boundary surrounding the property, is the Land Use District*
* You may have to Zoom Out by clicking the minus sign beside the search bar to see the applicable Land Use District
What kind of development is allowed in my zoning?
To find out what type of development is either permitted or discretionary within your designated land use district, please consult the Land Use Bylaw. Uses are listed at the top of the page for each zone.
When do I need a building permit?
A Building Permit is needed for the construction of a building, the renovation or addition to a building, and for any change in the type of occupancy of the building.
A Building Permit is also required for:
Demolition (as per the 2019 National Building Code Alberta Edition)
Retaining walls over 1.2 meters in height
Swimming pools or hot tubs
Tents (temporary or permanent, used for commercial purposes that are greater than 60m2 in area)
When do I NOT need a building permit?
A building permit is not required for the following activities:
Re-insulating or adding insulation if using the same type of insulation as was previously installed.
Painting, decorating, re-roofing or re-siding*.
Maintenance work on roofs or upgrading roofs**.  
Construction that does not exceed five thousand dollars ($5000) in total prevailing market value*.
Construction of an accessory building or structure less than 10m2 (~107 ft2) in area and located on a temporary foundation. 
The replacement or alteration of ducting serving a space heating appliance in a detached residential dwelling and where there is no design change required to the heating and ventilation system.
Repair or replacement of plumbing fixtures
Window or door replacement, except where the opening is being enlarged
*If matters affecting health and safety are not at risk and there is no structural change to the building.
** Due to fire risk in Canmore, homes in the Town require roofs be constructed of non-combustible or fire-retardant materials with a minimum Class B fire rating. 

Visit Building Permits for more information.

What permits do I need to obtain for occupancy or for electrical, gas, and plumbing installations?
If the project you are proposing to undertake involves electrical, gas or plumbing work, you will need to obtain the relevant permits from an accredited agency. For a list of agencies that are accredited to issue electrical, gas and plumbing permits and to monitor compliance in Canmore, please go to Building Inspections & Occupancy
I want to put up a new sign, what permits do I need
To find out more about signage application requirements, please go to Signage Standards and Regulations. An informational guide is available to step new applicants through what elements should be considered prior to submitting an application for signage.
How long are application review timelines?
In general, building permit applications take between 15 and 20 business days to process, depending on the complexity of the proposed construction. This estimate only applies to complete permit applications, where no development permit is required.

If a permit application is submitted without including all required documents as outlined in the applicable requirements list, the application will be sent back to the applicant identifying what information is missing. A new application will need to be submitted that includes all required documentation. Incomplete applications will not be held in a queue by the Town.

If a permit application is not consistent with the regulations of the Land Use Bylaw, the applicant will be advised of the need to acquire a development permit. The building permit will be placed on hold until the necessary development permit has been obtained. It cannot be guaranteed that a development permit will be granted for a proposal that varies from the Land Use Bylaw. For more information on development permits please visit Development Permits or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Upon the applicant satisfying the Town of Canmore that all engineering and other requirements specified under the Land Use Bylaw have been complied with, the Town will release the permit to the applicant. Permits that are not claimed within 30 days of the approval date will be cancelled. Plans will be returned by mail and 25% of the fee will be retained.

Have a Question?

Please fill out this form and a member of our team will get back to you within 48 hours. Planning staff will not be available at the Civic Centre for in-person inquiries.

Application Submission

The Planning and Development Department is now totally digital. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

All application forms for development or building permits and the associated plans or drawings must be submitted by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. All drawings must be submitted in metric units. Upon receipt of the application, a member of our team will follow up to arrange for payment. Please do not submit files using Dropbox.

Applications will not be assigned for review until payment has been received. Once your application has been assigned to a member of our team for review, you will receive a confirmation e-mail from the assigned file manager. 

Development permit form and requirements can be found here.

Building permit form and requirements can be found here.

Requesting a pre-application consultation?

For pre-application information and forms please visit our Other Services page here.

Current Planning Applications

A list of planning applications that have been submitted to the Town, and are currently undergoing the review process, or have been approved.

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Building & Development Permitting

Building & Development Permits, Fee Schedules, Accessory Suite Information, and Pre-Application request form.

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Planning Reference Materials

Area Structure & Redevelopment Plans, Land Use Bylaw, Municipal Development Plan, Planning & Development FAQ.

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Other Services

Other services through the Planning & Development department.

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