Obtain a Permit

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Get Help Submitting Construction Plans That Meet Your Needs And The Environment’s: Talk to MVCA Staff

When you want to build or renovate on or near water bodies in the Mississippi Valley, you may need a building permit. MVCA aims to balance your personal needs, from building boatsheds to gazebos, with the needs of the ecosystems and residents around you. The permit safeguards your property and your neighbors’ against water damage—helping you avoid unnecessary court fees and flawed insurance claims.

The request and approval process is simple: 

1.  First, contact MVCA to discuss your project with a local watershed expert and make sure your property falls within the boundaries of the Mississippi Valley watershed and a relevant regulated area.

2.  Second, open the MVCA Permit Application  online to start your application. Please note the application can be filled out, signed digitally and emailed to MVCA using Microsoft Explorer or Adobe Acrobat Pro version 8 or newer.  If you are using Adobe Acrobat Reader or DC, you can download the file and fill it manually, and then mail or scan and email. 

3.  Third, submit your application to MVCA, who will review your plans in consideration of provincial regulations. If your application cannot be approved in its current form, MVCA will make recommendations to help future construction on your property so that it:

  • Protects your home or business from natural hazards, like flooding and erosion
  • Preserves Mississippi Valley’s diverse habitats and wildlife, and natural heritage features
  • Supports source water protection best practices

*Permit Applications require 30 days to process; take this into account when you are planning your project’s timeline.

How much does it cost?

To discuss your permit application, call MVCA and schedule a time to speak with staff: (613) 253.0006:

  • Receive answers to questions about waterfront development and get help choosing the appropriate level of permit clearance.
  • Benefit from practical advice that’ll help you take the next steps.


Plus, learn about funding for projects to improve water quality in, and around, rural Ottawa, such as dry or unused well removal or healthier farming practices.

Get your permit now: Start your online or print application MVCA Permit Application.  And call MVCA staff at (613) 253.0006 for practical help with the application, answers to questions regarding shoreline developmentwaterfront development, or fish and habitat changes.

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