The following is detailed list of commonly requested applications, licences and permits related to building, development and roads in the City of Cambridge.

Addressing and renumbering

According to the Municipal Addressing By-law, the City may provide a change of address notice to the property owner, if needed.

A property owner can also request an address change by completing an address number change application and submitting an application fee.

Please note that the City may not approve all address number change requests.

Building permit
There are a number of different types of building permits issued by the City of Cambridge. You must apply for the appropriate permits before your project can begin.
Cross Connection Control/Backflow Prevention Device Testing

The Cross Connection Control Program is in place to ensure the safety of our water supply through backflow prevention.

The City of Cambridge Water Use By-law #146-03 requires that all buildings (except some residential properties) be equipped with backflow prevention devices. These devices need to be maintained and tested regularly by a certified backflow prevention device tester licensed by the City of Cambridge. 

Please follow the Instructions for Compliance to the Cross Connection Control/Backflow Prevention Program

* NEWThe Cross Connection Control Program at the City of Cambridge is going paperless!

Cross Connection Online Submissions

Read more about Lead Free Backflow Prevention Devices

What is backflow and how would this occur?

Backflow means a flowing back or reversal of the normal direction of water flow.

The water supply system is normally pressurized to make sure water flows into your building or plumbing system, but there are times that pressure may be reduced.

If the pressure drops enough that the flow of water reverses, unwanted substances could flow backwards and contaminate the public water supply. 

What is a Cross Connection?

A cross-connection is any connection, whether permanent or not, between the public potable water system and a possible source of contamination.

Some examples of cross-connections are fire sprinkler and irrigation systems, or plumbing connections to equipment that uses water, such as beverage machines, dental chairs and dialysis equipment.

What is a backflow prevention device?
Backflow preventers are mechanical devices that prevent water from flowing backwards into a water supply.There are degrees of protection ranging from a vacuum breaker on a garden hose line to reduced pressure zone backflow preventers commonly used in an industrial setting where chemicals are connected to water lines. The type of device required and location it is installed depends on the application and the threat level.
A building permit is required for a new backflow preventer or new plumbing system. Visit the building permit page or contact for more information. 
What if I choose to not install a backflow device?

The by-law mandates that every building, except for some residential buildings must be equipped with backflow prevention devices. Failure to install and maintain these devices could result in having your water shut off, and/or a fine.

Demolition permit
Learn how to apply for a permit to demolish or other related building permits.
Development applications
Learn how to apply for a development application.
Development Charges (DCs)
Development Charges may be applicable at the building permits stage please visit the Development Charges page for more information.
Development standards
The City of Cambridge ensures that building projects meet certain development design guidelines.
Electrical permit
The City of Cambridge does not issue electrical permits. For information about electrical work and applying for electrical permits, contact the Electrical Safety Authority at 1 (877) 372-7233.
Gas permit
The City of Cambridge does not issue gas permits. For information about gas work or permits, please contact your local gas authority.
Pool, hot tub and pool enclosure permits

There are number of rules and regulations involved with installing a pool, hot tub or pool enclosure. View Section of the City's Zoning By-law for regulations related to pool or hot tub locations.

Swimming pools and hot tubs

You need to apply for a permit to install a swimming pool or hot tub. To complete your permit application, you'll need the following:

  • A survey that shows the location of the pool or hot tub and its distance from other structures and property lines
  • A simple description of the pool or hot tub
  • A diagram of the type of fencing you will construct around the pool or hot tub
  • A method of payment for the applicable fees
  • Apply online
Septic System Inspection Program for Source Water Protection

Properties within the Region of Waterloo “Vulnerable Source Water Protection Area” are part of a Septic System Inspection Program for Source Water Protection.  These properties are required to have septic systems located on the property inspected a minimum of once every 5 years, to ensure that these systems are operating properly and will not adversely affect the municipal water supply. 

A Licensed Septic Installer or Engineer must inspect the system and provide an On-Site Sewage Source Water Protection Survey to the City of Cambridge.

Properties that has compliant systems will be issued a Sewage System Inspection Certificate, which verifies compliance with the program.


You do not need a permit to install a fence, except around pools and hot tubs. However, you do need to follow the City's Fence By-law regulations for the height, location and types of fences allowed.

If a property owner wishes to install a fence that does not meet City regulations of the Fence By-law, we can review the case. If the case is valid, Cambridge Council may approve an amendment to the Fence By-law.

You must submit an amendment application along with a fee to the Director of Building & Enforcement Services. Keep in mind that not all applications are successful.

You may view a copy of the Fence Amendment Application.

Please call (519) 621-0740 for further information.

Sign permit

To apply for a Sign Permit you can either apply in person at City Hall or apply online

Please submit the following information:

  • Sign Permit application form (complete both pages)
  • Two copies of your Site Plan (plot plan)
  • Two copies of your working drawings/sign drawings
  • Sign installation commitment form (if required)
    • the requirement of design and review by a professional engineer, to demonstrate compliance with of Div. B., will be required for:
      • Individual projecting signs with a weight exceeding 25 kg
      • A ground sign that exceeds 1.8 m in height,
      • A projecting sign attached in amy manner to a parapet wall, 
      • A roof sign that has any face that is more than 10 square meters
  • Sign permit fees can be found in the fee section of the permits page

The turn around time to issue a sign permit or provide comment as to why it could not be issued is 10 working days.

Sign Variance Committee

The Sign Variance Committee reviews all variance and amendment application to the City Sign By-law. If there are no objections, the department General Manager may approve the variance. If the General Manager does not approve the variance, a report is prepared for Committee review. For information, please call (519) 621-0740 ext. 4280 or 4307.

Mobile sign permit

We require permits to ensure compliance with zoning and other By-laws. We permit approved signs up to 180 days per year.

To view rates for mobile sign permits, please read the 2015 Rate Review. Non-profit organizations do not have to pay permit fees but must sign a special form with their application.

You can view a copy of the mobile sign permit application and authorization.

To report a concern with mobile signs within Cambridge, please contact (519) 621-0740 ext. 7907.

Site plans

Learn about the City of Cambridge's Site Plan approval process.

Trades licences
The City of Cambridge requires all drain layers, drain contractors and backflow prevention testers to be licenced. Please submit a completed copy of the trades licence application form to obtain or renew your licence.
Zoning and minor variances

Learn about zoning regulations in the City of Cambridge.