Building a Swimming Pool

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Swimming Pool Safety Fences

All swimming pools that have a water depth deeper than 0.5 metres are required to be enclosed by a pool safety fence. All swimming pool safety fences require a permit from By-law Services.

Pool safety fences and permits are required in order to prevent the unauthorized or unintentional entry of persons into a yard which contains a swimming pool.

Permit Application Process

To make an application for a swimming pool safety fencing permit, please provide By-law Services with the following:

  • A completed Pool Enclosure Permit Application (PDF, 185 kB)
  • A detailed drawing showing the construction of the existing or proposed fencing
  • Payment in the amount of $350.00 made payable to the Town of Whitby for the cost of the permit
  • Any required deposits (please see below for more information)

Please note that all fees and deposits must be paid by cash, debit or cheque. Credit cards are not accepted.

Additional Approvals

In addition to the documents and fee referenced above, the following additional approvals and fees may be applicable:

  • If your subdivision has not been assumed by the Town of Whitby, you must provide the Town with a letter of permission from the developer of your subdivision authorizing the construction of a swimming pool on your property
  • If your property contains a septic system, you must provide the Town with a letter of approval from the Region of Durham authorizing the construction of a swimming pool on your property
  • If your property is located in an area regulated by the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA), you must provide the Town with a letter of approval from CLOCA
  • In some cases, certain properties in the Town will have conditions attached to their site plan agreements that restrict or prohibit the installation of swimming pools. In these cases, further consultation with By-law Services and Planning and Development staff is required

Please remember to contact Ontario One Call to locate any buried utility lines on your property prior to beginning any excavation work or digging any fence post holes on your property. To contact Ontario One Call, please call 1.800.400.2255 or visit their website at www.on1call.com.

Deposits

If the construction of your swimming pool requires access over a municipal curb, sidewalk, boulevard or through a Town owned fence, you will be required to provide the Town of Whitby with the following deposits:

Type of AccessDeposit Amount
Over a curb $1,000.05
Over a sidewalk $1,243.00
Over a boulevard $248.60
Through a Town owned fence $2,248.70

If the construction of your swimming pool requires access through Town owned land such as a park or green space, additional deposits may be required.

All deposits will be refunded upon completion of your swimming pool provided that no damage has occurred. In the case of damages, the Town may use a portion or all of the deposits to undertake repairs.

Please note that all fees and deposits must be paid by cash, debit or cheque.  Credit cards are not accepted.

Road Occupancy

During the construction of your swimming pool, it may become necessary to place construction or landscaping materials on the street adjacent to your home. In order to place materials on the street, you are required to apply for and obtain a Road Occupancy Permit from the Public Works Department. Placing materials on the street without a Road Occupancy Permit is illegal and could result in charges being laid against you and/or your contractor. To find out more about Road Occupancy Permits, please contact the Public Works Department at 905.430.4307 or email engineering@whitby.ca.

Inspections

Once you have received your Pool Enclosure Permit, By-law Services will complete the following inspections:

  1. If you have submitted deposits to the Town, a pre-inspection of the curb, sidewalk, boulevard or Town owned fence will be completed to record the condition of Town property prior to the construction of your swimming pool.
  2. When you have completed the construction of your swimming pool a final inspection of your pool enclosure is required. Once you have completed construction, prior to installing the pool liner and filling the pool with water, please contact By-law Services at 905.430.4345 or by email bylaw@whitby.ca to make arrangements for your inspection.

Final inspections of swimming pool enclosures are generally available throughout the week and on Saturdays.

A General Guide

Pool safety fences must be built to the following standards:

  • Safety fences must be at least 1.2 metres (4') in height
  • Safety fences may be of chain link or vertical board construction (other fencing materials may be acceptable if approved in advance by By-law Services)
  • All fences must be setback a minimum distance of 1.0 metres (3'3") from the edge of the swimming pool
  • The exterior (outside) of the pool safety fence, including all gates, must not contain any climbable objects or horizontal fencing supports spaced less than 1.2 metres (4') apart which could facilitate climbing

Chain Link Fencing

In addition to the general information outlined above, pool safety fences of chain link construction must be built to the following standards:

  • Chain link fencing mesh cannot exceed 38 mm (1.5")
  • Chain link fencing mesh must be either 12 gauge galvanized steel wire or 14 gauge wire covered with vinyl or similar
  • Vertical corner support posts and end posts must be at least 48 mm in diameter and extended at least 0.9 metres (3') below grade encased in concrete
  • Vertical intermediate support posts must be at least 38 mm (1.5") in diameter and extended at least 0.9 metres (3')below grade encased in concrete
  • Horizontal top and bottom support rails are required and must be at least 32 mm (1.25") in diameter, however the bottom support rail may be substituted for a steel tension rod having a minimum diameter of 5 mm (0.2")

Vertical Board Fencing

In addition to the general information outlined above, pool safety fences of vertical board construction must be built to the following standards:

  • Vertical boards must be at least 24 mm x 100 mm (1"x4")
  • Vertical boards cannot be spaced more than 38 mm (1.5") apart
  • Vertical support posts must measure at least 100 mm x 100 mm (4"x4") and cannot be spaced more than 2.4 metres (8') apart
  • Vertical support posts must be extended at least 1.2 metres (4') below grade encased in concrete and treated with a preservative to prevent rot and decay
  • Horizontal top and bottom support rails are required and must be at least 48 mm x 100 mm (2"x4")

Gates

All gates that provide access into the yard area containing the swimming pool must conform to the following standards:

  • Gates must be at least 1.2 metres (4') in height
  • Gates must be equipped with functioning self-closing hinges and self-latching devices
  • Gate latches must be located on the interior (inside) of the pool safety fence
  • All gates must be kept locked when the pool is not being supervised by an adult

Above-Ground Swimming Pools

Depending on the height of your above-ground swimming pool, it may be possible for the exterior walls of your pool to function as a pool safety fence. If your pool walls are hard-sided and at least 1.2 metres (4') in height and there are no climbable objects located near your pool, a pool safety fence may not be required. If this is the case with your swimming pool, please contact By-law Services at 905.430.4345 or by email to bylaw@whitby.ca. Please note that a swimming pool enclosure permit is still required prior to beginning construction of your pool.

Hot Tubs

Hot tubs are not required to be enclosed by a swimming pool safety fence provided that they are equipped with a secure, ridged cover which is kept locked at all times when the hot tub is not in use.

Swim Spas

Swim spas are growing in popularity. The design of swim spas varies considerably from one model to the next. Therefore, it is recommended that you review the installation of a swim spa with By-law Services staff to determine whether or not a pool enclosure permit is required prior to commencing construction/installation.

More Information

For more information about swimming pool safety fences and permits, please contact By-law Services at 905.430.4345 or by email to bylaw@whitby.ca.

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