Local governments across Ontario are flocking to e-permitting as the pandemic made paper’s challenges tough to ignore.  

Still, there are many building and planning departments across the province that have not made the switch to a digital platform yet. These governments are now at a unique advantage: department staff can learn from the dozens of governments across Ontario that adopted e-permitting during the height of the pandemic to find the best solution now.

PROVIDE A CONVENIENT PLATFORM FOR PERMITS AND INSPECTIONS

With a population of 9,500 residents, the Township of Ramara, Ontario, launched Cloudpermit this summer to give its community a digital, convenient and accessible platform for its permit and inspection needs.

“I’ve used other systems that were more complex, and I thought they were great e-permitting solutions because I didn’t know any better,” revealed Walied Zekry, Ramara’s Chief Building Official. “If you would have asked me a year ago if we could offer a service like Cloudpermit, the answer would have been no. Now, we’re offering a big benefit to our community that we never thought we could, and our transition to that big, digital benefit was simple because Cloudpermit works so well with the Ontario Building Code.”

IMPLEMENT SOFTWARE THAT FITS YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT

One of Cloudpermit’s biggest advantages, according to Zekry, is its adherence to the Ontario Building Code.  

"It was a huge selling point that we didn't need to do anything to make Cloudpermit work with the requirements of the Ontario Building Code since it's perfectly tailored for Ontario local governments and takes our legislation into account," shared Zekry. “It’s important to find a solution that fits to you rather than the common alternative – software that you need to change your own processes to make it work for you.”

MAKE MPAC AND STATISTICS CANADA REPORTING EASIER

Local government building departments need to send reports to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) and Statistics Canada, and as many departments across Ontario might argue, it can be a tedious and mundane process.  

Cloudpermit makes reporting easy and automatic online.  

“One thing that we hadn’t realized before we implemented Cloudpermit was how beneficial automatic and online MPAC and Statistics Canada reporting is for our team,” Zekry revealed. “It’s turned a time-consuming task into a few easy and quick clicks.”

ATTRACT NEW AND REMOTE BUILDERS IN ONTARIO WITH ONLINE PROCESSES

The pandemic has inspired hundreds of Ontarians to buy property in cottage country as international travel poses some limitations.  

“Our cottage market is booming as people move up from the city in response to the pandemic, and e-permitting makes it easier for both our newcomers and staff to function with an added level of remote and efficient service,” explained Zekry. “Architects do not need to mail anything or be physically in Ramara to apply or amend permits because e-permitting allows them to work from wherever suits them best. Remote and user-friendly service where all involved parties can access information in real-time is a big selling point for our community as it continues to grow.”

FIND A SOLUTION THAT OFFERS YOUR TEAM SUPPORT

The Ramara Building Department implemented a solution that fit its processes and received the necessary support to move to an online platform.  

“Cloudpermit’s team has been really receptive and happy to find workarounds when we’ve needed them,” said Zekry. “Any time we had a question, we received the support we needed for a smooth move to e-permitting.”

LISTEN TO OTHER LOCAL GOVERNMENTS USING E-PERMITTING

Cloudpermit is Ontario’s leading e-permitting software and is trusted by governments of all sizes.  

“When we were looking into e-permitting software, I was impressed by how many municipalities use Cloudpermit, and how it catered to governments both bigger and smaller than ours,” said Zekry. “Big municipalities tend to be quite complicated so if a big municipality could use it, it gave us confidence that a smaller and forward-thinking municipality like ours could use it now and as we grow into the future."

ADOPT SOFTWARE THAT CATERS TO ONTARIO

Cloudpermit flows well with the Ontario Building Code, makes MPAC and Statistics Canada reporting automatic, and appeals to new builders in surrounding communities for an easy and simple transition to digital ways of working.  

To set up a demo with Cloudpermit, visit cloudpermit.com/book-a-demo.

Originally published in the September issue of OBOA Journal.