This is a question we are asked very often, and the answer depends on a few factors. The type of event you are planning, the municipality where the park is located, and the event equipment you will require for your event.
The type of event you are planning will determine whether you need more than just a tent permit. For example an event where alcoholic beverages will be served will require a liquor license along with other measures that must be adhered to such as on site security, restrooms, and so on. If you are hosting a simple family gathering or a company annual BBQ in the park and do not plan on serving alcohol then you do not need to worry about a liquor permit. However if you intend to install a tent for protection from the sun or rain, then depending on the size of the tent and the municipality, you will be required to apply for a building permit.
In a City of Toronto public park, a tent permit is require for tent(s) that exceed a total of 646 square footage (sq ft). A small 10’x10′ Canopy Tent has a total square footage of 100 sq ft, this means that you can install up to six 10’x10′ Canopy Tents in a park without a permit. The total square footage of these six canopies is 600 sq ft and therefore below the 646 sq ft limit, putting you on the safe side. However if you plan to rent a bigger tent, a 20’x40′ Tent, which has a total square footage of 800, then you will be required to apply for a tent installation permit. Failure to applying for the necessary permits could result in the sudden interruption or halt of your event by city parks & recreation enforcement personnel. The last thing you want is having the party come to an end, when your guests are enjoying themselves.
Public parks tent permit requirement for most GTA municipalities is 646 sq ft with an average application fee ranging between $210.00-$500.00 See below for exact city requirement:
City of Toronto Public Parks require a tent permit for structures larger than 646 sq ft
Mississauga City Public Parks require a tent permit for structures larger than 646 sq ft
Brampton City Public Parks require a tent permit for structures larger than 645 sq ft
Oshawa City Public Parks require a tent permit for structures larger than 646 sq ft
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