Kitchener-Waterloo

City of Guelph fines itself over failure to obtain building permit

The City of Guelph says it will pay $1,125 to the province after it violated the Ontario Building Code Act. The city applied for a building permit to renovate a changeroom at the West End Community Centre, but the permit was never approved.

City completed work on community centre changeroom without proper approvals

The City of Guelph fined itself $1,125 under the Ontario Building Code Act after it says staff failed to obtain a building permit for changeroom renovations at the West End Community Centre. (Kate Bueckert/CBC News)

The City of Guelph charged itself for failing to obtain a building permit before starting change room renovations at a community centre. Therefore, it both won and lost the case.

The city will have to pay the province a $1,125 fine stemming from the infraction. 

Scott Stewart, deputy chief administrative officer for infrastructure, development and enterprise, said the city has to hold itself to the same rigorous standards as other buildings in the city.

"I think anybody who comes in to get a building code from us would expect us to get it right and when we got it wrong, we just want to say look, we got it wrong, here's a cause and effect, there's a consequence to that … and the consequence is we've ended up this position where we've had to fine ourselves for the violation," Stewart said.

Permit applied for, not obtained

Earlier this year, the city started and completed renovations on a change room at the West End Community Centre.

After staff realized a building permit had been applied for, but not obtained, the city closed the change room. It was reopened after a full final inspection was completed by the building services department.

"The building permit has since been issued, final inspections are satisfactorily complete, and the building permit closed," the city said in a release.

Employees disciplined

The city has taken disciplinary action against the employees that were deemed to be responsible for the mistake.

The city also said this is the first fine it has had to pay following a charge for non-compliance with the Ontario Building Code.

Earlier this year, former chief building inspector Bruce Poole said he was fired in August in retaliation for, what he says, were his repeated efforts to get the city to comply with the Ontario Building Code. He has sued the City of Guelph for $1 million, claiming wrongful dismissal. None of his allegations have been proven in court.

The city denied Poole's claims and said it would defend its position in court.

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