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AT D.A Gracey, we try to get all our information together before applying for a permit of any kind. This will hopefully save ourselves and our clients both time and money. Previously, I mentioned the steps to take while going to permit. I will briefly tell you the story of one of our clients, their deck and the success of it!

This particular client has a lovely property in Toronto. It is situated on a ravine, surrounded by trees and is on a quiet street, but very centrally located. It truly is like you are not even in the City, when you are sitting in that backyard. When they had bought the property it had an older, tiered deck that peeked out and over the ravine edge. A set of stairs led down to the walking trail beneath it. These clients had taken every precaution to sustain their ravine lot. They had a Conservation Authority specialist in to access the slope, and take note of the trees. They planted additional native species to help rejuvenate the woodlot area, and wanted to make sure their children would eventually also have the benefit of this beautiful lot.

Our clients decided they wanted to take down the existing deck, which was nearing the end of it’s lifespan, and put up a deck that would last; made of steel, composite decking, and glass. We went to the TRCA and asked how to proceed. The nice people of the Toronto and Regional Conservation Authority met myself and the home owner on site. This site is unique. If the existing deck had not been there, the TRCA would have denied our application entirely. But because there was an existing deck it was considered grandfathered in, and so we proceeded.

We needed an engineer to review this deck design due to its special nature. The piers needed to be helical piers. This style of piers lessen the impact and damage to surrounding existing trees. The steel substructure had to be specially made in order to meet the needs of what the engineer was looking for. Trex decking was used to create a dramatic but low maintenance surface to the deck. The final and finishing touch with the beautiful stainless steel and glass railing. Every one of these details needed to be approved with the TRCA before continuing.

The whole permit process of this one deck, with the TRCA was approximately 6 months. Once we got the TRCA’s ‘blessing’ – sorry, Permit; we went to the City of Toronto for a deck permit. That was fairly painless, as deck permits are fast tracked. Although there were still some issues regarding the whole grandfathered in factor, the deck is now built, and it is GLORIOUS. You have never been on a deck like this. The feeling of sitting in the tree canopy, while living within walking distance to amazing shopping, and a hospital… It is truly a one of a kind feature that adds immensely to the Homeowners enjoyment of their property.

By: Courtney Cotter