What to Consider When Expanding Your Ottawa Commercial Space

Often you don’t need to move into bigger space or build a new office altogether – often expansion is your best option for your Ottawa commercial space.  To get a handle on your options, the pluses and minuses of each, you’ll want to engage with an Ottawa general contractor, preferably one with design/build capabilities like Argue so you can get a comprehensive picture of all your options.

Inevitably, if you decide on expansion, there are a number of considerations that will need to be visited, including:

Understanding Regulations
Building expansion or change of use in any commercial district is regulated by the local planning board. You will need to know what you are zoned for, and what applications you’ll need to apply for (and how difficult each will be to get through the system).

Pre-Application Process
Building expansion and/or change of use projects typically require neighborhood notification, a process where you’ll need sign off from your neighbors.

Buildable Area
Whether you know what it is or not, there are regulations on file that describe the “buildable area of the lot.”  If your project expands beyond these, notification to neighbors will be required.

Historic Districts
Awesome… you are located in a historic district… not so awesome, altering this space will be prohibitive and difficult.And while we’re at it – believe it or not, some trees on your lots may be protected from removal.

Environmental Impact
Your project may require an environmental impact study, depending on where you are located.

Parking Space
Expansions of commercial buildings or changes of use may require a new parking space or require an exception to that requirement through a Variance Hearing.

Any new signage requires a separate sign permit.


Whew… and we are just scratching the surface.  Our recommendation, make sure you engage with an Ottawa general contractor – you have a job, expanding your space can become all encompassing quickly.



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