Swimming pool / spas

Swimming pools and spas

BEFORE installing a swimming pool or a spa, you must plan ahead!

Obtain a permit

Installing a pool or a spa on your property requires the city’s prior approval by means of a construction permit in the case of an in-ground pool, or a certificate of authorization for an above-ground pool or a spa. Either document is available at the Town Hall for a fee of $150 in the case of an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool and of $75 for a spa.

A $1000 deposit for completion and compliance of works is also required when applying for a permit (except for spas with a capacity not exceeding 2,000 litres). This deposit will be reimbursed once the work is complete, and following an inspection of your installations by a city employee confirming they are compliant with municipal and provincial regulations.

The permit application must be submitted with a copy of the property’s certificate of location as well as a detailed layout plan of the pool and other related treatments or structures (to scale and of professionnal quality). To obtain the form, simply use the Request Online System to submit your request for a permit. All required documents to be attached must be scanned as photos of the documents will not be accepted.

Ensure compliance with applicable regulations

It is the responsibility of the pool or spa owner to ensure the installation is fully compliant with all applicable rules and regulations.  To make the right choice as to the type of pool to buy and where to install it, it is important to be aware of the applicable regulations. In Kirkland, these rules are set out in Article 5.7 of Zoning By-Law No. 90-58.

Amongst other requirements, there are minimum distances that need to be respected for the location of a pool and its ancillary deck, as well as municipal and provincial safety requirements.

Control access to the pool

The Provincial Residential Swimming Pool Safety Regulation and Article 5.7 of Zoning By-Law No. 90-58 imposes safety standards for installing pools and spas. In particular, all fences preventing access to the pool must be fitted with a gate equipped with automatic self-closing and self-locking devices and the filter system must be positioned in such a way as not to provide access to the water. The device must be locked or padlocked when the pool is not under the direct supervision of an adult.


End of acquired rights for swimming pools built before November 1st, 2010

In response to a recommendation made by several coroners in recent years, amendments were brought to the provincial Residential Swimming Pool Safety Regulation so that it now applies to all swimming pools, regardless of the installation date.
It should be noted that owners of pools built before November 1st, 2010 benefitted from acquired rights and were therefore not subject to the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Regulation.  Amendments brought to the regulation have put an end to these acquired rights so that all pool owners must now comply.

Considering the costs and the delays associated with the installation of an enclosure, especially for inground and semi-inground swimming pools, pool owners have until September 30, 2025 to comply with the amended regulation. Note that the treatment of an enclosure requires a municipal permit issued free of charge.

Residents are asked to contact our employee in charge of pool inspections at 514 694-4100, ext. 3134 for any question related to the new regulation.

Know where to dig

The ground where you plan to dig can hide electrical cables, telecommunication networks, gas lines and other underground utilities. To ensure your family‘s safety and the safety of others, it is crucial to know whether there are any buried installations near the site where you are planning to excavate.

It is very important to locate all underground facilities on your property BEFORE you start digging. Info-Excavation offers free subterranean infrastructure location services and can also give you advice. Queries can be made online at info-ex.com.

Watch out for power lines

You must also ensure compliance with your property’s power line clearances. For this, Hydro-Québec provides an interactive online application that allows you to verify whether your installation complies with the standards.

ONCE your swimming pool or spa is installed, INACCESSIBILITY, SUPERVISION AND VIGILANCE are the new watchwords!

Prevention is of utmost importance

Controlling access to a residential pool is the key to drowning prevention. As soon as the pool is filled with water, «Inaccessibility, Supervision and Vigilance» must become standard practice around the pool. In this respect, it is imperative to apply the Lifesaving Society’s proposed safety tips by visiting the following website: http://www.perfectswimming.com/en/home

Know the standards applicable to diving boards

Noting the seriousness of the consequences of accidents related to the practice of using a diving board with a residential pool, the Bureau de la normalisation du Québec published in May 2009 the BNQ 9461-100 standard that applies to in-ground pools equipped with a diving board. This province-wide standard establishes the minimum dimensions that a pool must meet for the practice of safe diving.

Know how to react quickly

The Lifesaving Society also provides a Home Drowning Prevention Training Program for groups of 4 to 12 people. For more informations, call 514 252-3100 or 1 800 265-3093.


The Kirkland Urban Planning Department can provide information on the provincial Residential Swimming Pool Regulation and advise you on how to ensure your pool installation fully and safely complies with all applicable rules and regulations.

The Department can be reached during regular business hours at the Town Hall’s Urban Planning counter, by calling 514 694-4100 or by email at [email protected].